TagBlogging

Just keep swimming

As I may have mentioned before, books are hard. They’re hard because not only are they putting a part of yourself out into the world and saying it is worth something. But it takes a lot of work to make a book. I spent years on what would become this book. Much of it procrastinating. Self-doubting. Worrying. Second-guessing.

I could have done this years ago, but I didn’t. I wasn’t ready. I was not ready to make this book a reality. Now I am. So it’s a book now. It exists in the world. It’s out in the world and now I need people to find it and care about it enough to want it.

There’s no secret to this. I have some good friend who have tweeted about it. I sent copies to my parents, because it’s exciting to have made something with my name on the cover.

At the same time, my wife and one of her sisters launched a blog at SmartandPowerful.com. Much to my surprise, the domain name was available in 2016. But it’s shaping up to be a great project about their experiences and what they’re learned in running their own business, gardening and reinforcing women are not just pretty things. They’re Smart and Powerful!

The talk around my house this week has been about launching things into the world. I got my book done and out there. My wife got their blog up and running. Did I mention she is a self-employed art therapist, specializing in serving Seniors with dementia and an accomplished artist. Seriously, the woman puts me to shame.

As we’ve launched things, we talk about how to get people to notice them. How to get readers and customers and the only secret that keeps coming up is consistency.

Be out there. Be out there a lot and be something people can depend on. CJ Chilvers just ran a series of posts about this very topic that Seth Godin, who’s been blogging daily for years, has talked about.

That third one refutes the idea of not writing consistently. It’s the procrastination and self-doubt talking. Don’t listen to it.

The real secret isn’t so secret at all…

As James Gowans puts it:

Have you ever noticed that the secret to all the secrets is that it’s never the easy path?

Keep Writing

Doubt

Potatowire writes:

I worry about this site. I spend an average of two hours a night writing, and I’m not sure why. I am more introspective now, for sure, and I think my writing is improving, but this two-hour block represents all of my available free time. I have some other projects I would like to begin, but I don’t know how to fit them into my schedule.

Goals, Doubt, & Success

Linus writes:

We are both just flinging words into the air and hoping that maybe something happens, some stroke of luck occurs that will somehow transform our projects into something amazing. But probably not. Our blogs might just quickly fade away, these words lost to time. Maybe it’s all a learning process though, all our failures building up to finally give us enough height to see over the wall into enlightenment.


I understand all too well where both of them are coming from. We’re all flinging words into the world in hopes they’ll stick with someone. When I write, I hope someone sees my words and it touches them. Makes them laugh. Makes them cry. Makes them feel.

But it’s a struggle. We’re not big and famous bloggers. We can’t trace the lineage of our sites back across the decades. Even though my own domain reaches back 15 years, I was young and not trying to make anything out of it. It was a fun place to write and experiment.

I posted at over at The Arctic Palace from 2004-2011. Then abandoned the site, and Textpattern, for WordPress. I moved into the trenches here and have been hunkered down ever since.

I don’t have a large audience either but it doesn’t bother me. I write for myself. I write because it feels good. I write because every now and then someone else likes my words and tells me. And that feels so good.

James Gowans tweeted a good reminder. All you need is 1 I’ve got a few more than 1. And I write for them and for me.

So I say to Linus and Potatowire: Keep Writing! I read you. I value your voices. That goes for the rest of you who feel the same way. We’re out here. We’re reading you. Your voice would be missed if you stopped. So please don’t stop.

Medium over Message

The medium doesn’t matter. Ever.
You could be furiously scribbling into a notebook fueled by black lights and caffeine.You could be typing frantically into Xanga, LiveJournal, MySpace, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Textpattern, or some home-brewed app. The medium isn’t important. It’s the message.

As a geek I tend to get distracted by the newest, shiniest blogging platform. Some new way to get my thoughts out of my head and on paper to share or just to get released. To a degree I’ve cared too much about where and how I display my words.

Writing was always my release. All through school from 7th grade, where I had a teacher who introduced me to the power of my own written words. All through high school and some of college. I wrote.

I wrote poetry. Rambling prose. Techno-laced metaphor mind trips into my deepest fears. In college, humor was the refuge of my passion. I wrote an anonymous humor column for a few years. Until my time ran out as did the funny.

Nowadays, there’s such stigmas about certain places. LiveJournal is as a wasteland of whiny teens penning complaints to their peers. Xanga is practically the lower caste of writers. MySpace is… well… simultaneously the meeting place of musicians and artists and a place I actively avoid due to its eye-bleeding graphics and pages. It’s the worst of GeoCities/Xoom/Homestead 1990s reincarnated.

Then there’s Facebook, the college public square. Now infested with the same skeevy corporations who push credit cards for T-shirts online as they do on campuses.

And of course Twitter, the medium quickly becoming the goto spot for…. everything. Promotions. Announcements. News-sharing/gathering, inane breakfast lists, and anything else you can possibly think of.

It’s not where you write, it’s what you write.

I started a blog in 1998 as a badly coded HTML page on my members.xoom.com page. After NBC bought it up and turned it into nbci.com and killed the hosting I moved to Xanga where I wrote for a few years. Then LiveJournal when I was able to secure an invite. (Remember those days?)

Then I experimented with WordPress/MovableType/Textpattern/Expression Engine and a hand full of others until finally deciding to live in the Textpattern camp.

And now, I’m more in favor of Tumblr’s simplicity and ease of posting and sharing. Mix in a bit of twitter and it’s a delectable soup of inane banter and commenting.

My blog withers away while I try to find my voice and my focus. As this piece wanders haphazardly along so does my writing.

What I’m trying to say is it doesn’t matter where you write or how your words make their way into the world. Just write. Just let out the feelings and stories locked inside your head.

Find a lovely font to type in or a comfortable pen and favorite notebook and let the words flow.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the medium. It’s the message that’s important.