January 3, 2017

Blogging, motivation to write, and Hans the troll

Meet Hans! Hans is a troll (not an Internet troll though - a genuine Scandinavian one!) and he's been named in the honor of Hans Christian Andersen, one of my favorite authors. Hans stands on my bookshelf and he's going to be my accountability partner and motivational coach this year! 

Two years ago at a pop culture convention in Toruń, I listened to a presentation about blogging given by a very popular Polish blogger. At one point, he said something along the lines of: if you don't treat blogging seriously enough to blog every day, you can blog about whatever you like because nobody is going to read it anyway!

I still think that was an example of the rhetorical use of provocation, not to be taken very seriously; too many different factors influence a blog's popularity. If the subject is interesting enough, you can certainly get away with posting new content once a week, or even twice a month. But leaving that aside, right now I'm blogging regularly for myself: to prove I can, to help build the habit of writing daily, and to exercise my ability to write in English.

Blogging daily is harder than I thought; on the one hand, you have to constantly come up with new ideas, but on the other hand, writing long, exhaustive, complicated posts is also out because I can't spend the entire day creating content for my blog! Moreover, for some reason I find it difficult to reconcile blogging (or translating, or any other intellectual activity) with writing on the same day; my brain doesn't easily switch from one working mode to another. And it's tempting to focus on blogging instead of going back to that unfinished story draft (in Polish) I was working on the week before Christmas. I really need to buckle down and finish it!

Hans the troll is reminding me kindly but firmly that my long-term goal for this year is to start writing fiction in English, not just keep blogging in English and writing fiction in Polish. Since I've managed to achieve my little mini-goal of creating seven blog posts on seven consecutive days, he's giving me a slightly more ambitious one: to write a short story in English (1000 words or more) before January 9. If I manage to do it, Hans will surprise me with a reward!

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