We have a number of bloggers who read these pages. This question, and it's a legitimate question, not a rhetorical one, is directed primarily to them, though comments from others are appreciated.
What keeps you doing it? How do you motivate yourself to post day after day? How does a Walter Olson, who is about to celebrate his 10th anniversary as a blogger, and maintains one of the oldest blogs on the web, keep doing it? How does a Patterico, who's also getting rather long in the tooth, keep doing it?
I go through phases in blogging and in internet activity generally. Sometimes, usually in fact, I'm enthusiastic for the hobby, and sometimes everything is perfect. I write something that I think (and ultimately my opinion is the only one that matters, though I appreciate and enjoy good comment discussions) hits on all cylinders.
But at other times I can't think of a word to say. Sometimes I just participate in comments at other folks' blogs. Sometimes work takes me away. Sometimes, in a misguided attempt to recover the initial enthusiasm, I start my own site. I thought my last attempt was a good one, but ultimately it was doomed to fail. So I returned to blogging "full-time" here.
Which isn't to dismiss my co-bloggers here, principally Ken and Ezra, but including a number of other friends who, for one reason or another, don't often post. And including Charles, our newest author, who I wish would post more often, as I've enjoyed his output here. I like each and every co-author at Popehat, some of whom I've met, and think that a group blog is ultimately a better environment for me. I'm glad to write here, and enjoy reading what my fellow authors post more than what I write myself.
But currently I'm going though one of my phases. If it weren't for my co-authors, this site would be on the verge of shutting down. I pre-wrote and pre-scheduled my last post, which was a trifle about "Towel Day," weeks before it appeared. And sometimes, maybe most of the time, what I write is filler.
I write the filler because I recognize that blog needs new content, preferably every day, to keep moving forward. And I want the blog to move forward, because in one of the rare weeks when I have a post that I think is a big hit, I want people to read it. I also write it because I enjoy discussing it with our commenters, whom I quite like, more sometimes than I enjoy writing it.
Unlike some bloggers, who get to appear on tv or radio, who have some small trace of actual political power, or who must enjoy some decent income for plugging stuff on commercial websites, we're not seeking attention (and of course, in my case, I'm nowhere near as good at it as they are). We don't post using our last names. We're just in it for discussion and the small narcissistic thrill that comes from a good comment or a link.
So how does one remain a full-time, part-time blogger? How does one avoid the fate of the blogs mentioned at One Post Wonder, which itself now appears to be almost dead?