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Arts Creativity Writing

To dare is to blog

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A blog helps you solidify your thinking. But the practice of blogging is both a freedom and a constraint.

It’s liberating to say whatever you want, even if no one reads it. How dare someone discovers you! At the same time, there’s a fear that what’s written isn’t polished enough to be published.

But that’s what blogs are: rough drafts. They’re good enough to get started.

Blogs are the blank piece of paper, a sandbox where people work out ideas. They are full of contradictions and imperfections.

The fear is that your words may be wrong or misunderstood. No one likes to be called out. But that’s also part of the excitement—the ability to catch someone’s criticism.

Bloggers are already naked. They can even blog in their underwear. Bloggers notice and give other people something to chew on and discuss. They provide a spark, not the answer.

Bloggers raise their hand before they are ready. They pick themselves, professionals, past success, or not. They have a long-term willingness to figure it out all out and mix and mash the world of ideas even if only a handful of people notice.

Categories
Blogging Writing

One never stops blogging

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The act of blogging helps solidify your thinking. Like a fine-tooth comb, all your ideas, brain farts, and other collected artifacts will come together to paint a big picture of your depth and understanding. 

One never stops blogging, as one never stops thinking. Writing and publishing daily–whether it’s 50 or 500 words–is, therefore, a practice in stretching one’s thinking while also making them vulnerable. But by showing your work, your prime the pump of confidence.

One should expect to be a better blogger five years from now than they are today. What happens over that time period is not just a bunch of words to play with, but hopefully a sense of categorization and organization. After all, blog posts make good books.

gif by @gfaught

Categories
Arts Creativity

Why you should build your own blog

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The best thing about blogs is that they offer alternative thoughts. Unlike traditional publishers, a blogger is typically an individual who presents a unique, honest, and fresh opinionated perspective unmoored from the rules and requirements of journalistic prose.

Blog posts are typically shorter, lighter, and more digestible. They can get to the point in just a few sentences and paragraphs. Blogs are longer than 280 characters but short enough to consume in a minute.

Building your own blog is like owning your own piece of land on the web. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—you own your words. You’ll also take responsibility for them, which helps increase your confidence. By showing your work, you’ll inspire yourself and prime the pump to the life you want.

Blogs also act as tools for making other stuff. They are building blocks, ensuring the well never runs dry with ideas and rough sketches abound as you keep creating up for that breakthrough. There’s no reason not to start a blog, especially when services like WordPress and Tumblr allow you to make one for free.

As we seek to do things we care about, the blog is often the backbone to fueling our efforts. You just have to give yourself permission to start one.

Categories
Blogging Funny Writing

I weighed the prose and the cons

Letters to a young poet ✍️

Follow @wellsbaum on Instagram

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Arts Creativity Culture Writing

Maria Popova: I loathe the term “content”

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Brain Pickings blogger Maria Popova sat down with WordPress in the Own Your Content series to discuss evergreen ideas and rethinking the meaning of content.

Popova writes about timeless topics. “I am drawn to ideas that remain resonant across time and space, across cultures and civilizations.” If you read her blog, you know that she excels in digging up little-known gems from primary sources and combining them in an interesting way.

Her talent reminds me of what professor Kenneth Goldsmith of the University of Pennsylvania said about education in the internet era: “an educated person in the future will be a curious person who collects better artifacts. The ability to call up and use facts is the new education. How to tap them, how to use them.”

Maria excels in making old content relevant again. Following her blog is a direct line to her insatiable curiosity.

In this sense, then, it naturally inclines toward what you call “evergreen” — which I take to mean enduring ideas that hold up across the years, decades, and centuries, and continue to solace and give meaning undiminished by time.

Yet, she also dislikes the word content as it compels merchants to race the bottom in the form of attention-seeking missiles:

I loathe the term “content” as applied to cultural material — it was foisted upon us by a commercially driven media industry that treats human beings as mindless eyeballs counted in statistics like views and likes, as currency to be traded against advertising revenue. Somehow people have been sold on the idea that the relationship between ads and “content” is a symbiotic one, but it is a parasitic one.

While tech may be the cigarette of the century,  the internet does provide space for writers like Maria Popova to demonstrate combinatorial creativity in the name of the hyperlink. If used properly, the internet can be a learning machine rather than a propaganda tool.

Categories
Arts Writing

What’s the difference between blogging and writing?

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There is no difference between blogging and writing.

Blogging is the process of writing. The only difference is that appears on a website rather than in a formal publication like a newspaper or a book.

The best part about blogging is that it’s free. You can set one up right now on WordPress in a few minutes. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Advises Andrew Chen:

“Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity. Stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down.”

Everything is a remix

You can change the world from your computer. The content doesn’t have to be original. Like a hip-hop track, you can sample but credit the source. You can share a link or a post a video and add some context. Show people what you’d think they’d like.

Blogging is the practice of writing, unpolished but still remarkable.

Blogging means more writing, more thinking, and more doing. It’s a  canvass for working out ideas but also a catalyst to building other stuff.