If you notice, the internet of today is basically made of a couple of big websites that try to gather every content there is. Have you ever talked to an older person that thinks Facebook IS the internet? Yes, that’s exactly what I am talking about.
“If everybody starts to create their own website, we will start the long and essential process of taking back the control of the Web: the Web is ours to use it as we like, and not to be controlled by half dozen of mega industries with their opaques algorithms.”Why you should have a blog (and write in it)
I’m trying to take more of this advice to heart. Less social media and endless streams of outrage flying by and more longer, more considered writing.
One popular trend is to implement a what I would consider a software development pipeline and not a blogging system. I love technology as much as the next nerd, but I do not understand this trend of increasing the dependencies and technical infrastructure for turning Markdown into HTML.The Modern Complexity of the Simple Blog – Macdrifter
This is why I still use WordPress despite the block editor being hostile to wanting to type words in Markdown. I look at the plain text options of the world and wonder when it became so hard to turn text into slightly different looking text.
I don’t want to be a developer or install Docker and 15 tools. Hugo, Pelican, Jekyll are all needlessly complex ways to make blog posts out of words. There’s a reason WordPress powers the blogging web outside of walled social mediums.
I want to write words.
I want to style them with Markdown.
I want to add the occasion picture.
I want to publish those words with pictures.
WordPress makes that easy.
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.
- Seth Godin Explains Why You Should Blog Daily — CJ Chilvers
- More on Blogging Daily — CJ Chilvers
- Why You Shouldn’t Blog Daily — CJ Chilvers
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:
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.
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.
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.