A lot of people say to me “Why do you start a lot of your posts with the words ‘A lot of people say to me’ when clearly a lot of people don’t say much to you except things like ‘Are you planning to wipe your child’s nose any time soon’ and ‘I’ll see you in court'”. To these people, I say – nay, shout – “It’s called a device! A device!!” Sheesh. If those people had to pull six blog posts a week out of their own proverbial, they might think again before giving me a hard time.
So this week the Desk of the NDM presents a simple Ten Step Guide to blogging, just to show those naysayers exactly how complicated the blog-writing process is. “What’s that, NDM?” the naysayers will say. “Simple and complicated? This is more confusing than the first ten minutes of an episode of The West Wing.” And you know what? Those naysayers would be right for once, except blogging thankfully doesn’t require you to walk’n’talk through the corridors of power while you do it. But I digress.
STEP ONE: Choose a topic, any topic – preferably one you know something about, but not knowing a thing about something shouldn’t stop you from writing about it by any means. Just ask Lord Archer.
STEP TWO: Take the topic and write, goddamit. Write as if your life depended on it. Or, alternatively, write in fits and starts throughout the day with small children dangling off you like christmas decorations.
STEP THREE: Publish that sucker in the hope that someone might read it.
STEP FOUR: Notice, via the magic of the Blog Stats link, that someone has read it but they haven’t left a comment. Feel terribly insecure. And while you’re noticing things, also notice that there are two Step Threes and feel even more insecure about making such an obvious mistake. Go on. Wallow in it. Nobody likes you. You’re shit.
STEP FIVE: Also notice there was no Step Four.
STEP SIX (Part One): See that someone has commented and get very excited, especially if it is a comment from someone who you’ve never met and is commenting of their own free will and not because you know where they live and they feel frightened.
STEP SIX (Part Two): Realise that the comment is way funnier than your original post and feel a bit put-out. After all, you’re the one who does the funnies around here. Heal that hurt by immediately sending the commenter a message along the lines of “If you’re so witty, start your own blog.” And then worry that they really will start their own blog and won’t have time to read yours. Which will pretty much halve your readership in one foul blow.
STEP SEVEN: Discover that someone else (your other reader) has left a comment saying how hil-ar-ious the post was and how much they look forward to reading future posts. To a blogger of your calibre, there’s only one thing worse than silence and that is praise: now there are expectations to be met.
STEP EIGHT: Return to step one, choosing a topic, but with the weight of all that expectation, along with that snotty two year old, on your shoulders. Consider joining a cult, homeschooling your children or maybe doing some housework for a change just so you have something to write about. But then realise doing any of those things will mean you won’t have any time for blogging (particularly the housework). Ah the irony, the irony…
STEP NINE: Give up on the idea of finding fresh material and go all post-modern and meta-textual by writing a post about writing a post. That way no-one will know you couldn’t think of anything better to write about.
STEP TEN: Has been removed for legal reasons.
And that swiftly brings us to the end of this week’s NDM Guide. Yes, blogging really is that simple. And that complicated. Look, whatever you do, just don’t try it at home, okay?