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Why everyone should blog

why everyone should blog

Everyone should blog. You do not have to publish 500 words a day. You do not even need to post at all. In fact, writing comes easier when you can write for yourself, in private.

Use a smartphone journal like the Day One app or the ever popular Morning Pages Journal (Amazonwhere you write by hand. When it comes to blogging effectively, you have to be a little vulnerable. Don’t tell all but don’t hide everything either, especially if your advice will benefit the lives of other people.

“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.” 

Seth Godin

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I have been blogging for years (click here to view my guide to setting up a blog on WordPress). It is harder to get an audience who cares to read your stuff today than it has ever been. You have to assume nobody wants to read your shit (Amazon) because he or she is busy or would rather be social networking or playing games instead. However, for those readers who do read your blog frequently, they have subscribed for a reason.

Luis Suarez has been blogging since 2002 and recently offered some advice about using your blog to reflect the real you.

“It’s all about having a meaningful presence and how you work your way to make it happen, to leave a legacy behind, to share your thoughts and ideas others can learn from just like you do yourself with other people’s vs. pretending to be who you are not…Just be yourself with your own thoughts and share them along! It is what we all care for, eventually. The rest is just noise.”

No, blogging is not dead

People like to say blogging is dead. But not only are new platforms emerging like Medium, but blogging is just writing. Words will always be a powerful way to say something meaningful, whether it is in print, online, graffiti, or the walls of a cave.

I started this blog so I could show the world what interests me. It is no surprise that what you read here is information I learned from other blogs. In other words, blogging acts like a canvass where you synthesize, remix and interpret in your words. Above all, blogging is free, what Seth Godin calls “the last great online bargain.” Blogging gives you a voice, and it is an excellent incentive to think in a world that just wants us to consume.

Blogging is a bicep curl for the brain. Write daily, and practice the art of conviction.

“Use your blog to connect. Use it as you. Don’t “network” or “promote.” Just talk.”

Neil Gaiman

Regression in time

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance./ Regression in time

You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human.

One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge.

Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur.

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance.

gif via annasalmi

Paper = slow food for thought

So time keeps on slipping, as technology speeds it up into the future. If you want to slow down time, write a letter. Consider paper.  #amwriting #letters

Like a scarce piece of snail mail, it gets our attention. A story lies within the envelope and thus we feel compelled to spend more time with it. 

But another email augurs the birthing of threads, as it speeds up the time it was suppossed to save. 

In his book Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity (Amazon), German sociologist Hartmut Rosa writes: “We don’t have any time although we’ve gained far more than we needed before.”

So time keeps on slipping, as technology speeds it up into the future. If you want to slow down time, write a letter. Consider paper

gif by lironrash

The adult impulse

It draws us after it, the immediate impact of that sensational rectangular glow. Even without it in our thumbs, we go shoulder surfing looking at the screen of another.

The adult impulse is voyeuristic. We look externally, to see ourselves portrayed in other people. We are good replicas of ourselves.

It’s no wonder we fall victim to other peoples’s dreams, racing to the bottom of conformity rather than pushing the edges. If the self is woke, don’t fix it.

gif via taxipictures

When originality fails

We discover our uniqueness through failed conformity. We’re not here to follow. We’re meant to bend standard practices in strange and wonderful directions.

Thinking different is the ultimate motivator. It carves us into individuals. We just have to remember that that’s who we are, purple cows instead of mindless little robots.

“Originality consists of trying to be like everybody else and failing.”

Raymond Radiguet (view books)

When we wield the paintbrush, our imaginative grip never dies. It is then the masses want to steal chunks from us.

Textbook wisdom

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Take the theory of evolution. The topic itself lends to all types of discussions around race, identity, brain and body development. Aren’t we all just pond scum who lucked out on terra firma?

This is not to say we should believe in half-truths. Textbook wisdom says that we know only what we know as of right now.

But there is still no substitute for thinking through new possibilities even if it’s separate from our own palette of experience.

art via giphy

The invisible wall

Work grinds the dreams of many. The cycle of boring jobs begs the question: What should we do with our life?

Yet we run into the next occupation, thinking that it could be the defining one. But it too fails to shape us.

If a job shapes our identity, we damn well should make sure we take on something we care about. Otherwise, the invisible wall is always there, wanting, waiting, to frustrate the dreamer into a perpetual struggle.

Cultural differences between East vs West, illustrated

In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.

In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. From the way people confront a problem, deal with the boss, approach a queue, self-perceive, or talk in restaurants, it’s quite obvious that behaviors range between the two hemispheres. As they say, a picture is a thousand words.

‘Chaos always defeats order’

“Chaos always defeats order, because it is better organized.”

Terry Pratchett (see books)

art by Anna Firth

When in doubt…

  • Let your art make the rounds. Don’t hide it.
  • Don’t try to be everywhere. Pick a place and be consistent.
  • Rules are recommendations. Feel free to break them, recast, and remix them.
  • Rest when you’re underperforming. Don’t quit.
  • The muse is nonexistent. Inspiration is bunk. Habit is a bicep curl for the brain.

I hope the above helps you push through CRAP (criticism, rejection assholes, pressure). Bonus points for embracing the messy middle

Art via maorisaki

Headphone privacy

“It’s not just that headphones carve privacy out of public spaces. It is also that music causes us to relax and reflect and pause. The outcome of relaxation, reflection, and pausing won’t be captured in minute-to-minute productivity metrics. In moments of extreme focus, our attention beams outward, toward the problem, rather than inward, toward the insights.”

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

In this open office work culture, headphones are a necessity. But the right type of music can make you even more productive.  

art via floatinwoo

Fighting inertia

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing. / Fighting inertia #amwriting

Stock phrases, a detailed script, a prescription for exactitude. Imagine how boring life would be if you already knew its outcome.

It’s the routine that subverts our days into yesterday’s form, responding to emails in our head. Sameness destroys creativity.

How can we fight inertia?

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing.

En medias res, we ensure that we’re performing in the middle of becoming.

art via giphy