In journalism, the term "toe-touch" is means "to make a quick trip to a particular place, just so you can claim that location in the dateline of the published story." It's considered an unethical practice, since the dateline implies that the writer actually did the reporting in that location, when in fact they might have done all the reporting via internet.
I've seen the same toe-touching phenomena in blogging, where people make lame or irrelevant posts to their blogs just so they can keep up a high frequency of posting. You could think of the toe-touch as any action you take to comply with the letter of the law, even though it obviously contradicts the spirit.
When I started blogging, I decided that the most important thing was to write every day -- even if it sucked, it was more important to produce regularly than to get hung up on endless self-editing. But I also felt committed to not "toe-touching" the blog when I had nothing of value to add, because regular readers wouldn't give a fig about me living by the letter if the law if the writing sucked. I noticed that Adam Felber had some absolutely amazing posts, but the increasing frequency of his "I've-got-nothing-to-say-so-gee-whatever" posts drove me nuts.
But, here we are . . . my daily posting has slipped over the last two weeks, primarily because the start of school: the UNC Self Knowledge Symposium was starting up again, my son started school, and host of other inescapable demands on my time. So the question is: am I betterÂ off living by the letter of the law, maintaining the habit even if I have too little time to commit to the blog? Is a toe-touch better than nothing at all? Will God love you better for abiding by the letter?
Oddly enough . . . yes, toe touching is ok, at least in this context, because:
Sometimes you discover you have a lot more to say than you first realized, once you start the process of writing.
Sometimes you write something off-the-cuff that at the time you thought was a throw-away, only to have people come back and say it was the best thing you wrote in a long time.
Even if the toe-touch is a sorry-assed fig leaf of a post, at least you maintained your consciousness of the habit, at least for that day.
As Woody Allen said: "80% of success is just showing up."
Too many of my disciplines of died strictly because I lost the habit. I once meditated every day for two hours a day for nine months running . . . but once I went a whole week without doing it, for some terribly good reason I can't remember now, I totally lost the practice. It may be fashionable in modern spiritual circles to focus on the spirit to the exclusion of the letter, since the foolishness of Pharisee-like adherence to rules is one of the dominant themes of the New Testament. But the letter of the law can still serve the spirit, so long as consciousness is maintained.
Maybe you could sit down to write every day, but only blog when it came out being something you really want to share. This would give you the freedom to free-associate, knowing that it might turn out brilliant, or it might not. It would also give you the freedom to write about things too personal to post.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that I have found your blogs boring in any way. But I am saying that you're serving two masters here: your own development through writing, and your audience. I think the former should take precedence, and I also think you can find some compromise between the two. If you write every day for a week and don't post any of it, your fans (including me) may be disappointed, but you won't be losing a habit.
Yes, that's true, but one of the other mysterious things about the blog is that I never wrote every day until I had the blog. There is something about producing for an expectant audience that brings out the best in me, both in volume and in quality.
Eventually, once I start working on more substantial writing projects, I suspect I will do as you suggest.