What I Would Do If I Weren’t Blogging

Blog Process
If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing with the time instead? This is, of course, a loaded question. Is blogging your excuse for not doing some things you would rather not do, or don’t want to admit you’re afraid to do? And if so, why are you avoiding doing these other things, or what are you afraid of? Is blogging an addiction? A security blanket? Don’t you hate it when people get you all defensive about your blogging by asking loaded questions?

I have a pretty good idea of what I would do with the 2-3 hours a day I spend blogging. I follow Pollard’s Law: I do what I must, then I do what’s easy, and then I do what’s fun. Blogging to me is easy and fun, and is only a ‘must’ to the extent that if I stopped now, most of the attention I get for my ideas would be lost, and I would lose the self-discipline of thinking about what’s important to me for a couple of hours each day.

I have reached the stage where there are probably no other ‘musts’ that I would immediately start (or resume) doing if I stopped blogging. I have learned to say no, and to train people not to expect me to consider as urgent the things that they consider urgent. So there are many fewer urgent, unimportant tasks in my day than there used to be. If I had stopped blogging a couple of years ago, those urgent unimportant things that used to preoccupy most of my waking hours would have quickly filled the time void. Now, I think, I would be looking for other non-urgent important things to do instead, if I gave up my time-consuming hobby. Though, according to Pollard’s Law, they would probably be the easy, fun, important things, rather than necessarily the most important things.

Here’s a list of what I might do, and what I probably wouldn’t do, showing how urgent, easy, fun, and important each alternative is (to me). I’ve sorted them by Pollard’s Law:

 (a ‘must’)
of Ease
of Fun
Continue blogging 
     or spend the time…
M H H M1
1. Answering backlog of e-mails and blog comments M L L M
2. Household chores M L L M
3. Reading L H M L
4. Watching TV L H L L
5. Listening to music L M2 H L
6. Let-Self-Change activities
(exercise, meditation, yoga etc.)
7. Learning new skills L L H H
8. Getting & looking after a new pound rescue L L H M
9. Updating my genealogy L L M L
10. Pursuing my next work contract L L L3 H
11. Local environmental/social activism
(e.g. creating an intentional community)
12. Volunteering e.g at an animal shelter L L4 L M4


1. I’d like to believe what I’m doing on the blog is somewhat important.
2. I’m picky. It’s hard to find music I really like and haven’t heard too often.
3. Actually doing the work (which would involve helping Natural Enterprises) will be fun. Finding the sponsorship to get it off the ground will just be hard work.
4. This would be very hard; the stress might kill me, or someone else. Importance would be higher if there weren’t a steady stream of volunteers willing to take this on (I salute them).
Note that the importance of these activities has absolutely no bearing on their rank in the list. And if any of these items (or something else) rose to a high level of urgency (e.g. for #8 – if I found a lost animal on my doorstep and couldn’t find the owner; or for #11 – if a local environmental crisis occurred) it would immediately rise to the top of the list, even displacing blogging. We are programmed to look after the needs of the moment.

What’s worse, as long as something higher up in the list doesn’t become harder (e.g. #4 – when the power goes off, you can’t watch TV or blog), it’s unlikely we will ever get to the things lower on the list. Pollard’s Law doesn’t permit us to be what we aren’t and do what we don’t have to do but perhaps should (i.e. important things), unless they’re easy or at least fun, and only then after we’ve put the urgent tasks behind us.

In fact, all of the 21-22 non-blogging hours of my day (and most people’s days) are consumed with urgent things, our daily ‘musts’: working for a living (10.5 hours including getting ready and commuting), sleeping (7.5 hours), eating, exercise, chores and the minimal necessary social activity (combined 3-4 hours). On the weekend, other chores and family ‘obligations’ (a euphemism for ‘musts’ even when they’re also easy or fun) fill much of the work void. But on the weekends we might at last dip down to some of the medium urgency tasks and even the low-urgency easy tasks (choosing, perversely, the easy ones over the more difficult fun ones, because who has the energy left for the latter?)

There’s no point feeling guilty about this, or beating yourself up for your ‘choices’ and procrastination. You can’t fight the Law. You have nochoice. We do what we must.

Now you know why I blog. What’s your excuse?

This entry was posted in Using Weblogs and Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What I Would Do If I Weren’t Blogging

  1. neo says:

    Dave, you analyse things too much, almost to the point of absurdity. This is a disease that particularly afflicts the western civilization, a disease of being paranoid about every single moment of your life and wanting to get the best out of every minute. Just relax and live lightly. :-)Nothing you do or don’t do really makes much of a difference. Life is just a dance of zillions of interconnected energies. So just keep dancing. If you enjoy blogging, keep blogging. No need to feel so guilty about all the hours you are wasting or analysing how you would have used those hours. We are eternal souls and one lifetime is just a micro-second in eternity. Perhaps not even that, if you consider time as a property exclusive to three dimensional life. The only thing that is really important about life, is what the souls learns from a lifetime. I think you have a learnt a lot more than most people ever do. So relax and concentrate on the big picture and if you need to do something I would advice you to start studying Zen & Taoist philosophy immediately. :))

  2. Dale Asberry says:

    Dave, you might want to try Steve Stevens “Flamenco A Go Go”. Beautiful classical guitar mixed with a modern, rock-n-roll feel resulting in a CD that I never tire listening to. Steve has clearly made the music into his “own”.

  3. Jon Husband says:

    As neo points out, you do seem to like straightening things out, so to speak … looking for that causality, that reason, that linear “if this, then that”.It ain’t always there, even if it appears to be .. and at the same time, something’s always goin’ on, even f you can’t see it

  4. Conor says:

    Poor Bunny, it must be difficult being born without a belly button. I worry about you; keep it up long enough and you’re gonna get colitis, or something.

Comments are closed.