Passion vs Persistence
This past Thursday I got to the end of the day and found myself with my next day’s blog post not finished. It was not a pleasant feeling. While in many parts of my life I do not plan far ahead, when it comes to writing for my blog, I take a different approach: I feel the need to be prepared.
I have a method of planning my posts which basically works this way:
1. When I come to the end of a week I have the next week’s 5 posts fully decided on, perhaps with even a few things written.
2. The weeks following are already mapped out, sometimes as far as 4 weeks ahead (not always).
3. Everything is open to change. If I need to move something back because of inspiration, hesitation or procrastination, I can do it.
4. On Saturday and Sunday, I finish writing the next week’s posts in their entirety. After that weekend of writing, the content of a post doesn’t change much, but the mechanics of the posts do or at least can (where the “more” is placed, when I schedule Tweets, etc.). I try to read and reread the night before a post goes up to catch spelling and grammar errors.
5. I add ideas for weeks out via the WordPress Calendar plugin (if I am at a keyboard [most of my day I am]) as well as use Evernote to capture ideas whenever they hit.
Anyway, I got to Thursday night and the next day’s post wasn’t there. I had not written it because I had intended to post on a new social networking technology that is in closed beta status. I have applied but not been accepted yet. So even though the schedule said a post was ready, it wasn’t.
So, I did what others have done, I just persisted with a post (this post). As I finished it I felt it wasn’t one of my better efforts. In fact, I knew it was pretty week. The day’s page views bore that out. (I’m leaving it up as a testimony to persistence).
The day after the post went up I read a very challenging post by Financial Samurai at Yakezie.com. His post was titled: The Act Of Writing And Saying What We Do Not Understand, and as I read it I found myself in some of what he was saying. I commented on his article, and Financial Samurai was gracious enough to reply with a suggestion (which has become this post).
I do not claim to be an personal finance blogger. This is not a PF blog. I have written occasionally on matters that can pertain to frugality, and especially to stewardship and charity, but a PF blogger I am not.
I do claim to have a fair amount of experience in the technology field (first as a hobby, then a serious hobby, then as a way to earn a living, and now as a professional). I write about that area perhaps as an expert, but certainly as a very knowledgeable blogger. I could write more about tech and enjoy it, but I am not sure everyone would hang around.
When I write technology focused posts here I want to be helpful to readers without being over technical. I want the technology (be it a gadget or a web service or computer software) to be understandable and, thus, used.
I can write with passion about technology, because tech excites me. At times I have to write about technology only with persistence, but not as often.
I also have a fair amount of experience in cross-cultural living, having lived in 3 countries other than the USA for just shy of 20 years. That experience gives me a slightly different perspective on life here in the USA (we felt like strangers when we had to return to Texas in 2006).
I write about language learning from the experience of having learned to speak Mandarin when I was in my 30s. I don’t write it much (never did even in Taiwan), but I can still get by (it feels rusty now due to lack of use).
I write with a measure of passion about life and living, but sometimes it is only persistence that gets the posts written, even when I write on the broad area of “lifehacks”. When I write about lifehacks it is almost always in some way from experience.
I suppose what I want to do when I write is to speak with authenticity. Personal experience should inform the subject, but passion about an item or topic should be evident most of the time. Unfortunately, there are times when the schedule and the task list weigh in more than they perhaps should (to get the post out when the editorial clock is ticking).
What is interesting to me is that the tension between the two poles (passion and persistence) is found in other areas of life as well, from work to school, from hobbies to church, from volunteering to home life.
What do you think? Is passion or persistence more important?