Should you publish crappy posts?

The knee jerk answer would be NO. Definitively.  Why would you ever want to publish crappy posts?  In fact, most teachers, bloggers, writers, chefs, artists and any type of creator would say sift through the wheat -- get rid of the chaff and only publish the very, very best.  Photographers are told to cull their portfolio until only the very, very best of the best are displayed.  Show the photos that make an immediate impact, tell a story and show your photographic style.  So why would you distill the pool with crappy photos?

Well, you wouldn't, but you might write a couple crappy posts.  I wouldn't put them in my "best of" sections or even put them in your categorized sections.  They can disappear into blogdom without the slightest whisp of a whisper, but I will argue that perhaps you should post them.

Why?  Let me tell you a little history...

1. If you've been around 'A Nest for All Seasons' for any length of time, hopefully you've seen improvement.  If you look at my posts, my photography, my writing from a year ago -- it is kind of crappy compared to what it is today.  Hopefully today's writing and photography will be crappy compared to a year from now, yes? 

2.  The way I keep my sanity with several part time jobs and 3 full time babies is to write posts in bulk.  I photograph 8-10 posts in one sitting (see how right HERE).  Then I come back and edit all of those photos in one sitting, sometimes editing several batches at once at night when we are watching BBT.   I upload those photos immediately into new blog posts.  Otherwise I will ABSOLUTELY forget where they are all stored and what I wanted to do with the post, etc. etc.  Not only do I stick photos without text into new blog posts, but whenever I have an idea for a post, a series, a quote;  I start a new post.   Then, when I get a stretch of time and feel "inspired", I sit down and hash out the posts -- one right after another.  The day I publish the posts, all I have to do is check grammar, format and hit publish -- and promote it.

3.  This summer has been busy.  Busy busy.  Busy busy busy.  ...and I've hemmed and hawed over writing one of those "I'm taking a break" posts, but I hate those posts.  I hate that the blogger thinks that everyone is hanging on their every word waiting for the next post.   I know (I know) that there is not a single person sitting at home, hands poised to comment, coffee steaming in hand, just waiting for my next brilliant blog post so they can comment.  Nope.  Nothing like that, so why would I write a weird "I'm taking a break" -- "Sorry you won't be seeing any brilliance out of me for at least a few weeks -- maybe a few months" and then come back with a "PHEW - It has been FOREVER since I've written -- didn't you miss me?"  Yeah -- that feels weird to me.  So.

4.  You know how the TV networks run a bunch of reality tv in the summer and then come back with excellent scripted high-budget programming in the fall?  Remember that....

What does that have to do with crappy posts? 

That means I have a BUNCH of content waiting in the wings.  I kept building and building and building content (because the inspiration comes easy, but the execution takes time and deliberation).  That means that my drafts folder looks like this:

That's right.  108 posts in some form of production and I've been posting from this drafts folder ALL summer long.   Some of those posts are new.  Some have photography from last week.  Others have photography from a year ago.  If I were to take the pictures today, I'd call them crappy.  A year ago though?  They were right for the blog.

So should I tank all this content and keep my blog new and fresh and top of the line?

Some might take that strategy, but I blog for girls that read blogs the way I do.  What that means is I read in a reader.  I follow quite a few blogs, and I don't read everyday, but when I do I am a heavy skimmer.  I click through about 10% of the posts in my reader that I actually want to read top to bottom.  HOWEVER, I typically read through almost ALL of the snippets in the reader.  I see what bloggers are saying even if I'm not reading everything.  Every time I see that blogger post something (EVEN IF I DON'T READ IT) that blogger is basically advertising herself a little bit.  Her name is cemented in my head.  Her subject is cemented in my head (oh yeah -- that's the girl that does those amazing freeform gardens) and I remember her.  I might not read her crappy posts, but her crappy posts keep me interested.  I don't stop following.  I don't forget about her.  When she does come back with regular programming in the fall, I am clicking over to read her posts because they are fabulous.

That's my strategy and that's why you might be seeing a few crappy posts here and there.   I want you to remember me.  I want you to read this old content if it interests you (it's like reruns of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' -- terrible jeans and terrible decor, but the show is still funny and perfect for Sunday nights).  If it doesn't interest you, I just want you to not forget who I am (have you ever forgotten the acronym ABC?  NBC?)  I want you to stay tuned without me telling you to "STAY TUNED"!  Of course, now I just told you to stay tuned, so who's the loser now?

Anyway, stay tuned for new, exciting posts this fall and in the meantime enjoy the filler from the drafts folder.  Now that I think about it SYTYCD is my favorite show anyway, so maybe the filler isn't crappy after fact this summer I started my [Redbuds] and [gathered.] series which are two of my favorites be the judge!  What do you LIKE to read?  What do you think about crappy content?


Robyn said…
Excellent post!
Robyn :)
Gray Shelton said…
OH WoW! Thank you for this post! I have not been a consistent blogger at all - ever. Honestly, I started because of encouragement from others, which may account for my lack of dedication...but anyway. I am posting crappy posts along with ones I think are good, mostly because I am trying to find a way of writing that is me and that appeals to others.

Unfortunately, I'm guilty of the "I'm taking a break" post. Haha. I didn't really think anyone would even read it, but my friend gets on me for posting erratically, so I thought I would let her know I wasn't going to post for a while. You make a good point about it.

Though if every morning were like this morning, I would absolutely be sitting, coffee in hand, waiting for your brilliance. :) Haha
Amy Renea said…
You are too funny Gray :) Do you ever feel like you were pushed into blogging and want to give it up or are you happy someone encouraged you to publish?
Gray Shelton said…
Well, I started blogging about 5 years ago (anonymously) as a way to vent about my personal problems. Thank God no one read that. LOL
As for the DIY Design blog, I have mixed feelings. I'm happy to be encouraged, but feeling very inadequate and unprepared! :0
Amy Renea said…
ah I see...I think everyone feels a little inadequate and unprepared in this world -- brave new territory, you know? I wouldn't fret so much though -- everyone judges themselves more harshly than they should and I think your blog is just peachy and wonderful :)
Unknown said…
I can't believe this will be the first time I will write a comment on your blog (when you are writing about crappy posts) but I ACTUALLY DO WAIT WITH A STEAMING CUP OF COFFEE TO READ YOUR POSTS! I am a new mom with very little time on my hands now but a love of DIY Projects. I found your blog while searching for projects related to baby footprints. Your project was gorgeous and I loved the photo of your little one in the crib and so I was hooked. Slowly worked my way back on your posts all the while becoming interested in gardening (for the first time in my life), desperately needing a shed in the backyard (of a future house), and sharing your photography tips with my husband. I have shared your blog with all my closest friends and have loved the quiet hours while my baby sleeps in my lap and I have a cup of coffee and your posts on my phone. So there you have it, there is someone out there waiting with baited breath for your latest crappy or brilliant post! You have made living in a smaller city so that life can be everything that you make it look like a slice of heaven. Thanks for that because soon my hubby, daughter, and I will be making that next step in life where we'll have to decide do we go to the big city or do we make the conscious decision to slow down so that we can lead the life we choose. I am very thankful for the bought and effort you put into what you post on your blog and feel that I have learned and benefitted so much. I am even thinking about whether to start my own blog someday when/if I can quit my job to stay home with my baby(babies hopefully). You make it look like the good life! Sorry I couldn't sign in above but I am a serious technology dinosaur & would have SO MUCH to learn to start a blog!! -Liz Witmer
Amy Renea said…
AIIIeeee Liz! I wish you had contact info -- I'd love to write you :)

Thanks for the comment -- you made my morning...

There is plenty you don't see (lots of impatience on my part and buggery by the kids and tons of chicken poop), but living peacefully at home with the kids and Alex and the chickens -- it IS a tiny slice of Heaven. I know that's cheesy, but it is really a happy life for us and if it works for you -- I wish you ALL the best!

Here's to you Liz and your steaming cup of coffee!!
This psot has changed the way I blog! I'm now guilty of 15+ drafts with every thing from a single picture to a full post with no pictures. Thank you so much! I'm sharing this post with my blogging group
Amy Renea said…
sweeeeeet Alecia :) Let me know how it goes over - I love feedback!!! ;)
Amy Renea said…
PS Liz Witmer -

Sometimes I come back to this post and just read your comment and it makes me smile :) Thank you.
This is a great post. I would probably never scrap old content, but I do rewrite quite a bit. I don't have anywhere near 108 posts in my drafts folder, but I do try to have some ideas floating around.

Part of my problem is that I blog about food, so I don't want to post recipes that are no good, and I've had to scrap a couple things because of that. I mean, obviously, some recipes are better than others, but there sort of has to be a minimum standard.

I completely agree with you, though. I would rather post crappy content than put up an "I'm taking a break" post. I just muddle along, and do the best I can! Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement! Some days I need posts like this!