So you think you’ll write a blog eh? Currently Technorati tracks around 57 million of these online journals, and they can’t even find them all. However, after trawling the depths of the Blogging Ocean, a question has slowly arisen to the surface of my mind like a blue whale coming up for air after a lengthy connoisseur’s session of krill degustation. How long will you survive? On my travels it’s not unusual to find ancient blogs sitting, hulking bulks of metal skeleton rusting away in the salty seas of eternity. Why do people quit writing so easily? Or am I wrong? Was their battle to stay with their blog reminiscent of Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, except in this instance, neither guts or stamina were enough to pull that giant fish in, ropes burning into the skin of your back, thoughts craving for the written page on screen.

This post was inspired by a comment recently received at another MiContent post, ‘Why comment on someone else’s blog?‘ Many of us find it hard, or even question the validity of, writing comments on another’s blog. Writing anything can be hard for so many reasons. Add in the fact that in the Blogosphere anyone and everyone can read what you’re saying, and couple that with the fact that no matter how passionate you are about a topic, once you’ve attained a readership, there’s true pressure to produce more content. I’ve seen blogs that have stuck it out on the high seas for 6 years or more, full steam ahead, with no hint of hesitation or loss of focus, and I’m sure for some (possibly a rare few) it’s not an issue. Blogging has become life, a source of inspiration, an outlet for creativity, and a medium for everyday interaction. These accomplished writers/bloggers would cry out in agony if anyone tried to take their source of lifeblood away.

What about the rest of us, the so-called average ‘normal’ citizens of the Earth (Sadly, I cannot put myself in this category, as for many reasons I’m just too insanely weird!)? Why does blogging take courage and staying power? The answer is simple, or at least it seems simple after my personal experience in the area. For years I wrote 2 article posts a week in a blog at M6.Net. This wasn’t much of an issue. These days I write at least several posts a week, and I have to tell you that the really popular bloggers are the same. There’s also a special class who (maybe though obsession, but possibly as a result of hardcore passion and dedication) must blog everyday. Some of these ‘Bionic Bloggers’ may be paid to do it (a genuine driver of impetus), but others do it because they have to.

No matter how passionate you are about your topic of dedication, you will find days where you need a breather. Writing for months and even years about fly fishing, or the human genome can take the natural flow out of the most avid practitioner, and what if no one is commenting or relating to you on the subject? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying. ‘I love you to death.’ That’s what many bloggers unwittingly do with their blogs, slowly and subtly becoming the killers themselves. So what’s the answer to this newfound dilemma for the Internet web journal writer of the 21st century? It’s guts and stamina, my friends, guts and stamina. Oh yeah, a hint of balance with the rest of your life won’t go astray either. One reason all those blogs died may have been somewhat related to the sudden realisation that all the other important passions and loves in life had been neglected too long. A myopic quest for a giant fish can leave behind a tired, lost, and worn-out soul.

Jesse S. Somer is on a quest for a different kind of fish…one that can fit in a kettle.