This blog is already a year old … time flies when you’re having fun.
When I started this blog, I was determined to make it a regularly updated blog, so I vowed to have a new post up at least once a week. And, lo and behold, I did manage to have a new post up every single Friday.
One of the things which had delayed me from starting a blog for so many years was my tendency to write very long pieces, which took a lot of time and energy, and thus burned me out quickly. I became acutely aware of this while writing my first round of guest posts at Manga Bookshelf, Why You Should Read Evyione Part 1 and Part 2. It’s one thing to pull out the stops for a one-time guest post, but I knew there is no way I could keep that up over the long haul.
So, when I started this blog, I put a word limit on myself. 500 words per regular post, period. I sometimes let myself go over the word limit for special posts, but I even try to avoid that. If I can’t fit an idea into 500 words, the idea needs to be split into multiple posts.
Without that 500 word limit, this blog would have been a *lot* less regular. In fact, it’s quite possible that without the word limit this blog would have already gone silent.
It’s forced me to make my writing style more concise. I think this has even spilled over into my It Came from the Sinosphere column – though I don’t put a hard word limit on that, if I hadn’t trained myself to make my writing more concise, I think it would be even harder for me to keep that feature updated regularly. And people who follow both that column and this blog must have noticed that this blog, with the hard word limit, has been more regularly updated.
But it’s not just conciseness. When I have only 500 words, instead of expressing a complex idea, I have to break the complex idea into simpler ideas, and present the simpler ideas one by one. This forces me to choose which (simple) ideas to express, and consequently, I think it’s made my writing clearer.
I had hoped that, if I could keep this blog updated regularly for a year, then in the second year I could do something more ambitious. But now that a whole year has passed, I think it’s best to keep things going the way they are. I have found a way to maintain this blog which works well for me, and right now I’d rather stick with what has been working than try something bold and new and have it blow up.