Charlie McDonnell is someone who I usually find myself agreeing with. But sometimes I have a fairly strong desire to post angry comments on his videos. This only happens when, as he sometimes does, he makes a video about the fact that he doesn’t make videos very often. He makes “quantity” and “quality” sound mutually exclusive.
This is a sentiment which is reiterated all over the place. When you ask someone why they don’t blog more often, the most common answer is about producing something good. Over and over I’ve heard people suggest that quality doesn’t just happen, you can’t just WRITE a blog. Writing something which people will actually want to read takes time and effort.
Yes. I know it does. I do it every week.
The last couple of months have been really hard. You might not have noticed because, somehow, I appear to have got decent content up every week. I’ve been a little late sometimes but that happens. I feel like it is important to tell you that on occasion I sit down to blog and end up writing this sort of thing:
It’s Monday night, my blog is already twenty-four hours late and, let’s be honest, I’m churning out something because I have to. Without my self-imposed deadlines there is no way in hell I would be writing anything at all. I’ve just submitted assessments totalling 4000 words and 90% and what I really want to do is fall asleep while listening to…do they have audio books on Spotify? GUYS THEY HAVE AUDIO BOOKS ON SPOTIFY.
So why do I blog the way I do?
Sometimes I really, really, really don’t want to write a blog. That feeling has overwhelmed me on quite a lot of Sundays this year. And yet I am incredibly proud of the way TV-Land is looking at the moment. I think I’ve written some good stuff, I’ve certainly had rather a lot of good feedback. Somehow that is much sweeter because it wasn’t easy to achieve.
I happen to disagree that forcing yourself to be creative means that what you produce suffers. When I was younger I would only write when I “felt” like writing. Which is fine, it works for some people. There’s just one problem with it: you don’t end up writing very much. One of the most eye opening things about doing Sideshow was realising that writing could be a profession. That you could go into work in the morning, write for six or seven hours and then go home in the evening. More to the point, you can write for six or seven hours. That first day, sitting in a room writing jokes, was the longest continuous amount of time I had ever spent writing anything. That changed my life.
Blogging has given me an incredible amount of confidence in myself as a writer and I believe a large part of that has come from committing myself to a weekly deadline. When I’m really struggling with a (non-blog) piece of writing (an article or an essay for uni) there’s always that little voice saying “You write a few hundred words every week. Just like that. If you can do that, then you can do this.” I know that I can produce writing to a consistent standard, all the time. I’ve written a blog every week (Christmas excepted) since April 2010. That means something, to me if not to you.
This blog is something I do professionally. I don’t get paid to do it but I don’t get paid to do many things (HIRE ME). Adventures in TV-Land is more than just a hobby. I’m not saying that people who blog to a less rigid schedule can’t call themselves “proper” bloggers, no way.
Just as I don’t actually think that Charlie is criticising people who post to a schedule, I am not saying that everyone should blog with the same regularity as I do. But I do think we should all be willing to push ourselves on a regular basis.
If you want to write – write every day. Every day. Just do it. And then show it to people. You will think what you have written is rubbish 90% of the time.

It almost certainly isn’t.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year