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Creativity Productivity & Work Social Media Writing

Why everyone should blog

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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 where 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

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 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.”

Luis Suarez

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.

“Blogs are like ham­mers. They are tools for building stuff.”

Hugh MacLeod
Art by Gaping Void

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
Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry

Starry-eyed surprise

To look at life full in the face, rather than externalizing it through a distracted and edited irreality.

The enlightenment takes place backward, in moments of strict boredom, reflection, and introspection.

It’s hard to look away from the rectangular glow, as it promises to signal and promote our best selves.

Drowning in novelty, when all that is interesting and worth preserving emerges from the constraints.

Tears come in varieties, only to be found in their distinctiveness upon studying the wrath of emotional states.

The Instagram wheel yields another tasty gem, reducing our humming neurons to the hypnosis of surprises.

The feed is fodder, man caught in the chaos of cosmos.

Who isn’t a participant in attention arbitrage?

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Seeking ignorance amid uncertainty

Curiosity is a powerful tool. It makes us question our surroundings and compels us to ask why things work the way they do. It kicks the mind into exploration.

But the addition of courage takes curiosity a step further; it tries to fill the void through hands-on experimentation. These small tests are fuel for failure in disguise as they convert ignorance into knowledge.

The greater challenge, therefore, is the audacity to continue guessing. Even when something gets discovered, it opens up a whole new can of ignorance.

It’s what I don’t know that stimulates me.

Toni Morrison, 1983

The learning never stops if the asking never stops. The more we know, the more we desire to know.

gif via Francis Amisola

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Social Media

The student never graduates

Learning stops in adulthood because people think all they’ll be doing the rest of their lives is working. But the cubicle, formerly called the ‘action of office,’ is where ideas and learning go to die.

You can put your head down and work for the same company for 20 years if you want. You’ll gain title and support the family. Everything will be safe and stable.

But you’ll never use up all your vacation days. You’ll get stuck in the maelstrom of email and meetings and come out feeling no smarter than where you started. Even worse, no company offers pensions these days.

Learning is a life-long endeavor

You can attach all the meaning you want to your job, but it’ll never replace the significance of continued learning that the Internet makes so accessible.

Tools for continued learning in adulthood include podcasts, tweets, blogs, newsletters, and a place to synthesize it all — whether that be your notebook or a blog.

The best part about the web is that most of the information is free, like air, minus a few paywalls. And yes, being a paid subscriber to a few respectable publications will make you appreciate shared intelligence even more.

Reading the right stuff can give you the knowledge and motivation to do your job better.

Sustenance, or in some cases chasing the Benjamins, is no substitute for education. Throwing in the towel helps nothing but time fly, a distraction from the things that matter.

Business isn’t necessarily learning. It’s just business.

Categories
Business Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Finding aim through purpose

Some people need that motivational voltage to get them going.

So they collect positive quotes on Pinterest, post inspirational tidbits on Facebook, and believe — albeit mistakenly — that the law of attraction will get them on the cover of Forbes.

The barest encouragement, even if forcibly imagined, provokes enough optimism to keep the wannabe achiever moving forward.

But an obsession with success may be the biggest handicap.

Humans crave meaning just as much as fame or a paycheck.

We create seeking systems that ensure what we chase fulfills our values.

Instead of going after what other people want, we prioritize a way of life that generates momentum toward the highest resolution.

Avoid following the flock of sheep. Don’t jump through hoops, go around them.

The only way to escape a labyrinth of conformity is not entering it in the first place.

If we can be outside and genuinely enjoy the road, stay outside.

gif by SoulPancake

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Enjoy the silence

Silence is the loudest sound — unprovoked, it can screech worse than nails on a chalkboard.

The pursuit of distraction is man’s attempt to escape the cacophony of a deaf monkey mind.

To break from mental prison, we conjure up an oasis of sound: Facebook or TV, dual-screens, infinitely scrolling through feeds and channels without remembering a thing.

The content Ferris wheel never ends. The circus rages on, burning into a dead-end of doldrums.

Perhaps the noiseless, originally our worst fear, is the pocket of sanity we needed all along.

gif by Carolina Costa

Categories
Writing

Writing is a wrestling of words

Writing is like wrestling, a tug of war with words that only make sense when we put them down.

We anticipate the next letter, next word, the next sentence, with the prayer that it all comes together: grammar, structure, and meaning.

Perfection is futile. The only fight we win is taking on the resistance that begs us to quit and move on.

But a writer is who we are, what we do, compelled to inject letters, words, and sentences into a jigsaw puzzle with pen and paper and screens galore.

And then we beg for cohesion, only to be lucky if anyone else gets it.