You don’t have to write about something sensational to maintain a steady reader base. If 4 million people show up to read about Heather Armstrong’s nursing problems, then there is an audience for your tales from the library.
“Something is always happening, even on the quietest days and deep into the night, if you stand a while and look.” – Don DeLillo (from Falling Man)
2. “But I’m busy! I need to brief more, sleep more...IRAC... my tummy hurts…”
Calm down, breathe, and write for five minutes every day. If Posner can find time to write his epic posts, then you can spare five minutes to document your day. And the tummy pain is probably from yesterday's sketchy "free" bagel.
“Professionalism probably comes down to being able to work on a bad day.” – Norman Mailer (from The Spooky Art)
3. “I want to blog…maybe I’ll start one later... after the Conlaw midterm... or X...”
The longer you put blogging off, the harder it is to start. Most blogging services are free. It takes all of five minutes to start. You can have a blog set up quicker than it will take for you to think of a better excuse not to.
“Sooner strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.” – William Blake
4. “I’d feel better writing under a pseudonym, but I don’t know if I could maintain one.”
Anonymous Blogging doesn’t work anyway. As I said, most professional (or school) bloggers move within a world circumscribed by a very limited number of real-world walls. This means your anonymity is inversely proportional to the actual value of figuring out who you are. – 3yearsofhell
Reasonable people can disagree on whether pseudonyms work, but I’m sure we all can write meaningful blogs using our real names without offending our peers or employers. I’ll change my mind when I get fired or heckled at school.5. “Fine! I’m going to start. Who should I copy?”
There are many great blawgs out there, but it is better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second-rate copy of someone else. Remember what we learned from the mall: the girl who stays true to her own style will look great, but the girl who copies a store mannequin will always look like a hot mess.
“There are many who think that they are marvelous if they can simply resemble a great man in some one thing; and often they seize only on the defect he has.” – Baldesar Castiglione
6. “Do I have to force this? What’s the point anyway?”
Yes. And blogging will also cure cancer and acne. Seriously. I have reasons why I blog, and I suspect everyone’s reasons are a little different. But like the miracle of Rogaine, you will only believe it if you try it!
“We have come to think that duty should come first. I disagree. Duty should be a by-product. Writing, the creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first – at least, for some part of every day of your life. It is a wonderful blessing if you use it. You will become happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light-hearted and generous to everybody else. Even your health will improve. Colds will disappear and all the other ailments of discouragement and boredom.” – Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write)
7. “Will this be a waste of time? Shouldn’t I be reading? I'm behind. Seriously...I don't even know what Res Judicata is...”
“No writing is a waste of time – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good.” – Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write)
Res Judicata is a doctrine that bars a person from asserting previously litigated claims. Now that you are enlightened, you have time to blog. Blogging is a great stress reliever, a way to establish your authority online, and a great way to network. I got my first law school job offer from twitter – so don’t tut-tut online networking.8. “I majored in underwater basketweaving, and I can’t really write…”
“The only way to write well, so that people believe what we say and are interested or touched by it, is to slough off all pretentiousness and attitudinizing.” – Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write)
You are in law school so you have at least a basic sense of grammar right? Maybe? Okay, the trick is to be more like Hemmingway and less like Joyce: people prefer to read shorter sentences written in plain English. This is why we like reading modern cases and not those horrible 100-year-old things they torture the 1Ls with. A rule of thumb is if your reader has to use a dictionary then the word is too big.9. “Okay, but seriously, what do I write about?”
Pretend that your blog has a twitter prompt: “What are you doing today?” or, ‘What happened today?” – it’s not hard to write about your day for about 5 minutes and hit “publish.” After a semester of doing this you can do pretty extensive outlines of your semester, which are extremely helpful for next year's victims law students.
“Creative power flourishes only when I am living in the present.” – Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write)
10. “But, wait, on second thought, I’m actually really busy…this is law school. I want to blog, but I really don't have the time!”
“Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.” – William Blake
Pestilence! You hear that? We are talking itching, scratching, H1N1 pestilence... I think of time in law school as something that is made and not "had." I make time to blog because it forces me to take a step back and think about my day. Even if I don’t write about it, a review of my day forces me to remember the 4 hours wasted on Apartment Therapy, or remind me that I may have too many shoes... This review of my day makes me more productive on a weekly because I have the opportunity to axe unproductive habits and stay on track before things get out of hand. There are no wasted weeks for a blogger.