After yesterday’s deluge of posts, I was chatting with Roamy, and discussing that some days, everything I see on the internet is interesting, and others… nothing moves the needle. Today seems to be one of those days, so far.

It’s going to be a hot day, but for now, I’m sitting on the patio, watching the geese, ducks, squirrels and bunnies frolic, unconcerned that foursomes of golfers pass right by every 7 minutes. It’s gorgeous and I’ve got a big old mug of coffee. Do I really want to spend my time writing or thinking?

It’s strange being a blogger. I started because I had stuff, words, concepts, that I felt a strange need to spout. I thought I had something to add to the lives of others, and struggled to be heard. That I got as much traffic as I did relatively quickly, and gained a very loyal and thoughtful following was extremely gratifying.

But that following means I also feel a pressure to produce content, even on those (all too frequent) days when the muse has fled, or the press of my other duties impinge upon my blogging time. As an aside, the loss of Neptunus Lex has also had a surprising effect. I don’t think I realized just how much I cribbed from him, not just topics, but his frame of reference, and the voice, the grammar, the prose he used to bring his thoughts to bear.

As I’ve mentioned in other contexts, I’m not the most touchy-feely guy. I have a hard time writing the human interest story that so many other mil-bloggers do, especially the Army types. It’s not that I don’t care for them. I just struggle and seem to have little in the way of ability to be any more than trite when discussing those issues. I’m far more comfortable discussing why a certain weapon developed they way it did, the pressures and problems that lead to one doctrine or technology over another.

There’s no real point to this. I’m not going to hang up my spurs, or make any major changes here. I just thought some of you might like to know what goes through my head.

13 thoughts on “Content”

    1. As a rule of thumb, I think it’s better to post something, anything, than just wait for the inspiration. And I can only hector the co-authors so much for content when I’m unwilling to put in the hard work myself.

  1. Brad, you present us with an interesting dichotomy, “Do I really want to spend my time writing or thinking?” Do you see these 2 actions as enemies or allies of each other? My suggestion is this, listen to your brain and think when it’s time to think and write when it’s time to write. I have seen enough thoughtless writing. The interesting thing is this, I figure you are probably saying the same thing of me.

    1. Usually, of course, the (good) content comes from thinking. But not all thinking leads to good content. Some days I find myself outside at 1am smoking and pondering, and letting my mind wander, and that often leads to good content. Other times I’m deep in thought on the …. SQUIRREL!!!

    2. About your reply to me, anyone who has done some writing faces the disciplines that you are describing. How do we get our thought processing to work with our writing? Try doing them together, always with that blank piece of paper or screen in front of you. Many times, I have found that doing some free writing, as a start and then edit and rewrite the garbage out of it. This always yanks my attention back to the writing and slowly, the brain becomes more engaged with the process. A friend of mine, from many years ago, yanked my chain and put it this way. He said, “What is the difference between politicians and normal people?” He answered it this way, “A normal person takes as few words as possible to say as much as possible. A politician takes as many words as possible to actually say as little as possible.” I have no doubt that you will find the right balance for yourself.

  2. I find with blogging the issue is not having a good topic to write about, but defining the angle at which to approach it. With book chapters or magazine articles I’ve written, I knew what ever I wrote that session would go through the grist of edit and revision. In the end, the reader sees a mature final product.

    Blog writing, on the other hand, has very little time between the first draft and the first reader’s consumption. In my opinion, that puts more demands on the writer.

  3. My problem lately is not so much the topics or the writing, but finding the time. That, and I’ve been blogging here long enough that I have to check the archives to make sure I’m not repeating myself.

    1. Roamy, if need to check the archives to see if you are repeating yourself, guess, sometimes you need to repeat yourself. This is to get through some thick heads, like mine. You remind me of the person who is searching for the “state-of-the-art computer”, only to find out it was probably obsolete the first day it was released. Relax, you’re doing just fine.

    2. Roamy, thank you for your posts. I don’t have much spare time myself, and you are a big help in keeping me in touch with advances outside our atmosphere.

    3. Grumpy, it’s more like being like my grandmother, with lots of stories to tell but somehow getting stuck on the same few that everyone has heard a dozen times.

      NaCly Dog, you are most welcome.

  4. What goes through my head most days, other than TV SITCOM trivia and sports stats, can be best described between these two parenthesis:
    ( )

    The literary equivalent of tumbleweeds blowing down the main street….

  5. Noone can be on top 100% of the time, so we just patiently wait for you. Lex has been gone almost six months now. Sigh.

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