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The Craft of Blogging (6) Why be a Slow Blogger?

I’m a slow blogger and proud of it. Why? And what is slow? The term has been borrowed from the Slow Food movement. Slow food is the opposite of fast food. The work of growing, harvesting, preparing and eating is lingered over to preserve the qualities of the food. It’s seasonal, eaten as close to the source as possible. Carlo Petrini started it in Italy in the late ‘80s, reacting to deaths from adulterated cheap wine and the proposal to site a fast food outlet near the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome. It is now an international movement with local Slow Food groups all over the developed world. Here’s a quotation from their (indigestible?) Manifesto:

Against the universal madness of the Fast Life, we need to choose the defence of tranquil material pleasure. Against those, and there are many of them, who confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of a sufficient portion of assured sensual pleasure, to be practised in slow and prolonged enjoyment. (Slow Food Manifesto 1989)

125 slow food logoWhat is slow blogging?

Slow blogging applies the same principles to a blog: practised in slow and prolonged enjoyment. First it means not posting every thought and idea, not treating it like twitter. Raising the number of hits is not the goal. The emphasis of slow blogging is on the quality of what is being written and on people getting something from reading it.

Slow blogging also has a manifesto, by a Canadian, Todd Seiling, in 2006.

Slow blogging is a rejection of immediacy. It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly, and that many thoughts are best served after being fully baked and worded in an even temperament. (Slow blogging Manifesto, item 1. 2008)

However, unlike the Slow Food movement slow blogging has no organisation. Todd Seiling makes it clear that the manifesto is his, and we can write our own. He does not appear to have posted recently, which is fine if he feels he has nothing to say. The blog’s strapline is

It happens when it happens.

Why is Bookword a slow blog?

Books are slow. I mean the actual hold-them-in-your-hands and turn-the-paper-pages kind of books. Books are slow …

  • in conception
  • in writing
  • in production
  • in publishing
  • in absorbing or reading
  • in their influence.

Bookshelf DSC00106I accept that some aspects of E-books are also slow. But one of the virtues that kindle-owners relate is that you can get books anytime anywhere. This depends on the internet connection I imagine. But you get the idea. Quick. Quick! On a book blog, if it’s worth writing and worth reading, it’s worth mulling over. So I post every five or six days. In blogging terms, that’s slow.

Some slow bloggers advocate writing only when you feel like it. But I like the discipline of a schedule, a pattern to my posts – even if readers are unaware of them. I have to ensure I have enough time to mull over what I want to write. That explains why I am constantly rewriting the schedule – ready with one post, not far enough along with another. This one’s on time.

Snail: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Snail: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

. . . and two other thoughts

First, slowness is no guarantee of quality, of course. Some things are spoiled by over working (soufflés for example and other dishes involving eggs).

Stopwatch by Wouterhagens (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Stopwatch by Wouterhagens (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Second, the bots that mindlessly roam the internet are the antitheses of slow blogging. They infest blog in-boxes with messages like larvae, or stains, wherever they go. Knitters: think moths and you have the idea. Thank goodness for Akismet which saves me from thousands of the blighters. This blog is not a vehicle for cut-price rip-off handbags, sports shoes, and dubious medications.

A last word

Being a slow blogger does not prevent me from checking my statistics every day. I may go slowly but I want readers and comments. I believe that these depend upon the quality of the posts. But is there a connection? What do you think?

This is the sixth post in an occasional series on the Craft of Blogging. Please visit the first 5 posts:

  1. The medium
  2. Types of posts
  3. A checklist for blogposts
  4. Why do it?
  5. How I write my blog slowly


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Filed under Books, Reading, The Craft of Blogging, Writing