Just Blog

Putting your work out into the world can intimidate even the most creative and confident of artists. You do that when you blog, but many fail to put it on the same scale as writing a novel or painting a landscape, for example. Why is it so hard to just blog? A number of reasons come to mind, and I’ve encountered most of them during my career as a writer and my hobby as a blogger. I wanted to share some advice to help make hitting the publish button easier.

Jellyfish

Consume What Inspires You

We all have passions that make us glow from the inside out. Gravitate toward those, and consume them in whatever way possible. They can serve as fuel for your blogging. It can be anything from reading or taking photos to cooking or building classic cars. You get the idea. Don’t feel guilty about consuming because it’s part of the creative process.

For me, in the past year, I’ve read a lot of blog posts about the open Web, accessibility, video games and parenting. That’s reflected in my content here.

A writer’s quote about this that I love:

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
– Samuel Johnson

Man overlooking canyon

Blogging Helps You Process

Writing or blogging makes you a clear thinker. It gets you to the other side of hard problems, in any part of life. It’s a creative process, so you’ll naturally find new sparks that give way to new insights. In the last year of blogging, many of my shorter posts have helped me form better, more complete posts on the same subject in the future. Even though I may have considered the shorter posts incomplete, it moved my thinking forward in a way that wouldn’t have happened without hitting “Publish”.

A writer’s thoughts on this topic:

“Writers live twice.”
– Natalie Goldberg

Curvy road with fog

Start Over Now and Then

Life is one giant work-in-progress. Every day, you wake up and iterate on the day before. Creative activities are much the same. Embrace that. I’ve deleted blogs, combined blogs, reworked categories and tags and changed my permalink structure multiple times. Sometimes a fresh start gives you a new outlook.

As a writer once said:

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
– Philip Roth

Blowfish

Be You

My favorite thing about the Internet is clicking a link and landing on someone’s personal site. Your blogs are extensions of you, let them be that. I stopped from hitting publish a lot because I felt the idea wasn’t full baked, someone else said it better, or no one cared. But in reality, when you are you, and you blog about your career, your life, your passions, amazing stuff happens. It becomes unique. It’s less about what you want people to see and more about what you see in the mirror. Unique. Real.

One of my favorite thoughts on writing:

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
– Allen Ginsberg

I hope this helps you hit “Publish” more often. Trust the process.

Writing quotes from Reader’s Digest. Images courtesy of Unsplash.

Blogging Dreams

I’ve blogged for 26 straight days. It has reaffirmed my love for writing, and I’ve had fun watching what has happened as a result. I’m going to write more about this later, but one thing I realized a few days ago centers on impact.

As a writer, you always want to make a difference with your words – be helpful. In the last month or so I’ve had a handful of people I really respect link to my posts or call attention to them on Twitter. One teacher even used one post in a college class.

I’m writing every day and making an impact. Call me a writer. 🙂

Writing Stories and Code

When I first started writing, I wrote stories for my middle-school journalism class longhand at my desk and then typed them onto a computer, editing as I went. I loved the physical act of writing that much – feeling the ink and paper blend. Beside wanting to fly jets in the Air Force when I was about six, all I ever wanted to do was to write.

So I wrote, working as a journalist, then copywriter. I loved bringing things to life with words, putting the pieces of stories together. When the journalism world evolved into something different with the rise of the web, I looked toward changing paths. I loved blogging, creating sites and building things… That’s where the coding comes in.

I earned my master’s degree in interactive media, thinking I would go into strategy or social media. I do both of those things at my day job and have a blast with it. But the more I build sites – writing HTML, CSS and Javascript – the more I realize that bringing a site to life, putting the pieces of code together, is just like writing stories.

Writing is art. And I’m learning that coding can be art too.

Note: This post first appeared on one of my discontinued blogs – WRPG. I salvaged this good post, and shared it here.