Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Sheila Viehl has some thoughts on how to keep blogging "fresh", if you're concerned with such things. (Another way, of course, is to take the Nefarious Neddie approach and only post on average once every eight weeks.) I'd add this to her excellent suggestions: if you're a regular blogger, and by "regular" I mean that you offer new content at least five days a week on most weeks, take a hiatus once in a while. Like I just did.

It doesn't have to be very often (the hiatus I'm just concluding is my first since last August), but it's really a good idea. Like anything, it's generally helpful to step back once in a while and let the batteries recharge. Make the hiatus long enough to be restful to you, but not so long that it appears instead that you've abandoned the blog. Whenever I decide that a hiatus is called for, I decide a month or so in advance when I'm going to do it, and then I post a notice to that effect in the sidebar. That way it's not a shock to your readers, and that way they know when to expect your return.

And what do you do while you're on hiatus? Whatever you do when you're not blogging, only more of it. This can actually be a good time to execute Sheila's Suggestion #6 - - just type up posts like normal, but save them in Word or whatever as opposed to publishing them to the blog. Then, on Hiatus Return day, just cut-and-paste them and publish them, and go on your way. Or don't write anything at all, or write something completely un-blog related. I've gone both ways. But read new stuff – books, blogs you haven't seen, et cetera. Catch up on movies you've been meaning to see. Go for walks. Whatever. Just don't post to the blog.

How do you know when it's time for a hiatus? Well, you pretty much know it when you feel the creeping sense that you have nothing to say, day in and day out. At least that's how I know. I also try to time my hiatuses (hiati?) with vacations or times when the Wife is going to be off. But I've taken a few breaks just because, for no real reason. But if you find yourself posting out of habit or a sense of grudging obligation, or if you find yourself writing posts that start off with some variant of "Geez, has it really been four days since I posted last?", it's probably time to take a break.

:: In other metablogging news, I have made some new additions to the blogroll (mostly cultural or music blogs, but a couple of left-leaning political ones as well), and updated some overdue URL changes. Specifically, All Things Jennifer and Mike's Baseball Rants have changed locations; Michael Brooke is blogging again; and Alan of BuffaloPundit has a new location and new design (but same old URL).

Oh, and if you want to sponsor something, sponsor Michelle, if only to shame her into posting more regularly! (I'm still waiting to see what you thought of Last Light of the Sun, Michelle!)

UPDATE: Erin has a new address as well. Pretty soon, Byzantium's Shores will be the only Buffalo blog at its original URL. But that's OK, seeing as how Byzantium's Shores is the one, true Buffalo blog.

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