“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson – Photographer
I came across this great quote today and as a photography nut it rang true.
However I quickly realized that the quote could easily be applied to the medium of blogging.
“Your first 10,000 blog posts are your worst”
Like anything – blogging is something that the majority of us are not brilliant at in our early days. I look back at some of the posts I wrote in my first year of blogging and shudder with embarrassment. The mistakes were spectacular and frequent.
However with each mistake and failure comes a lesson, with every post comes comes a new skill and with each experiment comes a discovery of a technique that works (or doesn’t work).
If you’re a new blogger – don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t ‘click’ for you straight away.
I don’t know … I think some of my earliest posts were my best. That was back when I was honest, before I got an audience and started self-censoring.
God Darren, how can you stomach the few comments here from those who say. “My writing/posting/wipingmyass is of such utterly perfect quality that I will never look back with regret”? Yeah right … like they don’t smell when they fart either. Just let me put on my wading boots. I do, however, appreciate your honesty and the honesty of many of the other commenters on how we change through blogging. It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”.
Mistake on, people.
Catherine, the redhead
At my current pace, that means about 12 years before I actually get expert at blogging.
Sounds about right to me…
I don’t think so, But as a rule It’s true that we are improving by time and practice .
I hope I’ll be one of those expert bloggers, Like you Darren .
talking about mistakes …
“with every post comes comes a new skill”
finders keepers :p
Old posts are great to look back on, and realize where you came from. You find how your writing style has changed, how your opinions have been reshaped, and how much you have learned since those beginning days.
Old posts are also a great resource for new topics to blog about, by putting a different “spin” on the subject.
Do we ever have blogging perfected? I know I won’t, as I am always striving to do it better. I’m my worst critic.
Yes, I agree with that 100%. We learn from our mistakes.
Thanks for sharing the quote, it’s a very good one and very true. I look back on some of my old posts and just cringe, but I would never delete them. It just feels wrong. Hehe.
Ansel Adams’ 12 good photos (read posts) a year would be what I’d aim for.
Having said, that personally I cannot quite pick out 12 super posts from my blog in 2007…maybe one or two…I guess I am going to have improve significantly over the next couple of months if I’m to reach 12 in 2007.
I don’t know if I will reach the 10,000 posts.. I still have long long way to go.
I have 9631 post to go. ;-)
My first posts were horrendous. I used to try to write for the search engines. Unfortunately, I’ve realised now that people are reading the old posts, and I do wonder if i’d be better off deleting some of them.
But, it is good that your first posts sucked too Darren – as it gives us all hope that we can improve and become as popular as you are.
Gee the title hurts, but it must be true.
Wow! I’d have thought 10000 words, not 10000 posts! I’ve got a long way to go!
I like that you’re trying to be encouraging, but I dunno about this quote.
The issue is that when some people first start blogging, they do so not because everyone else is doing it but because they have something really original and interesting to say.
I’m not saying they necessarily lose originality as time goes on, but there’s a reason why we’re encouraging them early on, and it has less to do with them being successful. It really has everything to do with the danger they might give up on their own voice.
I don’t know that blogging in-and-of itself is necessarily the development of a voice. For some it is, but some others do learn to be marketers first and writers second. And while I like marketing a lot, I’m learning a lot by trying to market myself, content is what keeps me online (when push comes to shove I reread my old entries and revise them).
Instead of saying “Your first 10,000 blogposts are the worst,” what I’d rather say is that “You could be the best blogger ever, but it’ll take 10,000 posts before you know whether you’re cut out for blogging or not.” And yeah, that’s not an indictment of bloggers, as much as it is this new media’s inability – despite all this tech – to find quality content consistently.
yea your probably write! CRIES…..
yea I agree my writing has improved a lot though from when I started bloggin, man was my writing horrible :)
It’s true that we are improving by time and practice .
I think this viewpoint is very limited. It comes from some kind of perspective that we are not enough unless we work really hard at it. That is called social conditioning and is simply a limited belief.
A belief with more possibility is: each day you show up and write your blog from the highest and best place in you. That is a wonderful thing to offer your readers. Sure your technique may improve and your wisdom will grow with life experiences and that is the way it should be.
I write every one of my blogs from an inspired place. I write to lift people up and to encourage the best in them. I have done that from the beginning and now 220 blogs in I feel more confident that I am doing this because it has meaning and purpose for me and my readers.
Thank you Darren! I am indeed a new blogger and although I try so hard to make every post witty, engaging and relevant – gah – it’s hard! Even at the six month in stage, I look back at early posts and cringe. But I love that I keep learning. I’m sure this will make a better – and hopefully more prolific – writer of me, not just a better blogger. Thanks for the encouragement.
I read the quote in an entirely different manner than most of the folks on the board… It’s out of context, which makes it hard to interpret, but to me it is a statement of humility (maybe even self deprecation) from an accomplished photographer. It’s not as trite as saying that your early work is going to be bad. Instead, he’s saying that your work is never good enough and that you should always strive for something better. While that may sound like negative thinking to certain folks, it’s typical of artists to think that their work is never good enough.
And, at the risk of bringing flames down upon my head… humility (not to be confused with a lack of self confidence) is not a trait most people develop until they’re a bit older than the average blogging population. =} It takes a long time to learn enough to know that you don’t really know anything.
It’s a brilliant quote, regardless. Thanks for making us all reflect a little bit!
10,000 posts! Wow, I’ll be a grandad by then.
I think I’ll be doing better once I hit 1000 – almost there.
The main idea here the more you practice the more you do better. The more love you put in your blog the better you do. Blogging is about something you are appasionated about a topic.
Interesting…… still i have not over 1000 post at my blogs. And i also find, i improved from previous at least.
The first 6 months-1 year is the toughest part in blogging especially if you intend to pay all your bills with blogging. Until you get good traffic (that brings enough revenue), you are in a shaky condition. Even if your blog entries are good yet you are not confident. Once, you get healthy regular traffic then you can calm down and focus on the quality of your content. Well, the opposite can happen too as you might get too much obsessed with SEO and write for search engines rather than human beings.
Unless you know how to write from the beginning. That only your few first post are not good, mostly because of lack of experience in using blog interface etc.
Or am I wrong?
This is so true, I know I am a better blogger than I was when I started, and in a year’s time will hopefully be even better than I am now.
I look forward to that, and looking back to see how I have grown. I have just put a related posts plugin on my blog and I can see some of the old ones popping up, and it makes me think of how far I have come.
I can be a bit eager to look to the future and what I have planned, and it is good to stop and take a look back and root myself in the here and now again!
It’s a great boost to my confidence to see that I am improving, and that the future will hold new and exciting things for me. It gives me momentum to keep moving forward…
Thanks for the uplifting post. These words of encouragement will get me through another day. It is tough some days to keep going when it feels like the posts are just not clicking the way they should be and people aren’t reading.
I’m no way near my 10,000 post… but I know every day I blog I get better.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Wow….and I was so thrilled to reach 100! does that mean I’m still writing crappy posts ?(ha)
Man.. I’ve been blogging for a month now. Daily. And now I hear 10,000 posts? Motivation is the key, people!
Well, looks I have plenty of posts before out of this hole. :P
I’m enjoying and even in the 3 months, I’ve been seriously blogging, I noticed a difference. I think that also examining others can speed the process up. You’re building on shoulders of giants so to speak. I love coming here and seeing other people’s thoughts on blogging.
I’m so happy to know that after a mere 9,963 more posts that I won’t SUCK anymore. I feel so much better now. ;-)
Yeah, motivation … one post at a time … after today, only 9962 posts to go! ;-)
Practice makes perfect? In some cases, it just makes you average.
Oh, tell me about it! I’m bran new at this!
This is really something I think I could have used about 2 years ago. I know I am nowhere near as good a writer as perhaps everybody here, but I also know I can at least put words together.
I started blogging on blogspot and put 500 blogs there, each averaging about 3 pages. I extended that to myspace, Xanga, Soulcast, Blogstream, Live Journal and WordPress.
But I got kinda disappointed and pulled them all down, including my booksite and sat here thinking, “what am I doing wrong?” I have thousands of people who have read my posts on numerous sites and were reading my blogs, but I could not translate that to book sales. My writing seemed to be off or something, and in my disappointment I figured to erase the board and start anew.
I wish I had kept them, but it’s not a problem since I save every blog on my computer before I post it, but after reading some of the comments here, I really like the ideas. Rewriting certain posts gives me the chance to enhance an older post and make it like new again.
I bragged on the blogspot about my 500th post, which is about 1500 pages of writing, but I knew that I could do better, as lots of you said, you learn more about writing by writing. But I resigned myself to take a couple of weeks off to go back and read more about blogging; I think my flaw was in that I thought all you had to do was just blog your head off… which I did. I have learned that there is much, much more involved, but if done well, could be worth it.
Thanks for sharing your ideas guys.