10:40 a.m. - April 06, 2006
This site has allowed me to read all sorts of blog sites, essay sites and what not. Itís a good way to kill even more time during the day, when Iím not reading here or messing around in MySpace, or Television Without Pity, Speed Network, ESPN, Deadspin or setting my fantasy baseball rosters.
(Yeah, I have a job. No, really!)
There are a veritable plethora of sites there. Some are very specific blogs about very specific issues. Some are political blogs that make me want to shout hallelujah or make me want to hurl.
It is interesting to see what is out there in the blogging / essay / diary / journal world, whether it be views on technology by five Jordanian brothers, (not quite an REM song like ď7 Chinese BrothersĒ, butÖ) or beauty tips (like I need them!) people are putting things out there for people to read. Thatís great! The free exchange of ideas is the paramount of a free society.
However, one site gave me pause. I canít recall the title of the blog, but the big article was
ďTips On BloggingĒ
It gave advice for the neophyte blogger, but it seemed some of the advice was a bit misplaced, at least in my eyes.
It talked about making money in your blog, finding a specific subject matter, making sure thereís unique content and that no one else is covering what you are covering, etc. etc.
That struck me as odd.
For one, I know I didnít get into this to make money, and I doubt that any of my readers are writing journals, blogs and diaries to make extra money. There are a few money makers, of course, like the Gawker network, Daily Kos, etc. (No, Iím not counting the blogs that are showing up at newspaper and media web sites. Those are just daily columns moved to the Ďnet to be edgy and hipÖ)
For two, I started writing this to find my voice, to write about things I wanted to write about, and to talk about various and sundry things going on in my life, like anyone cares about a big olí dope in a big olí house in BFE land.
(I now have found out they DO careÖ)
I know me, and I canít concentrate on one subject. Iíd find that way too limiting. Sure, I could probably do an all-music blog, but Iíd get bored of that quickly. When I did my 150 albums series in December (check the archives) I almost had to force myself to finish it, because I had other things I wanted to write about.
I also wanted to write essays, because Iím windy, and I feel my junk fits better in a bigger trunk, as it were. So here I am. I have found that my MySpace blog can be used to clear out the cobwebs, and to post little bits on my mind. When I started that, my essay ideas for this site increased, because my creative juices are flowing.
And finally, for three, I think that giving anyone Ďtipsí on a form that is basically free-form expression of ideas is a bit odd. What, do you want blogs and diaries to be all-conforming?
So I thought about MY rules, about writing essays and blogs and reading them, and, of course, I had to share. (Like you had to ask if I was going to share. HehÖ)
Write! Ė Make it a regular habit. I see a lot of my buddies here go into lapses where they donít write for a while, and then others complaining they have nothing to write about. Sure, lives are busy and jampacked, and I donít think you have to write every day, or even every other day. But make it a semi-regular habit.
It doesnít matter if itís not perfectly constructed prose, or full of the mundane. What I have found that if you write about the mundane, it doesnít become so mundane anymore.
Itís like that Seinfeld episode where they are pitching the pilot to NBC. ďWhat did you do this morning? Thatís it, thatís the show!Ē
I like reading about the mundane as well, because thatís how life is really lead for most of us, and I like reading about life. (Iím either nosy or an amateur sociologist. You decide!)
I like the Diaryland format because it gives people an opportunity to stretch out and really go to town once in a while, and it gives each entry a weight of its own without crowding for space with the other entries youíve written. But thatís just my opinion.
If you want to focus on a particular subject matter, then by all means do so. Just be sure you have enough to write about on a regular basis. I could do a Formula One racing blog, but the off season would be slow for me, and Iíd probably struggle to come up with writing on a regular basis.
I do like to avoid the memeís that go around from time to time, at least here. Oh sure, theyíre fun, and once in a while they are cool to do, but a blog or diary full of them gets old. Thatís what MySpace is for!
Read! - Read others! Comment if itís warranted, or even if itís not. See what they are writing about, and appropriate it for your site. Of course, donít plagiarize, but if someone writes about something, and you think itís an interesting topic, by all means, write about it.
But you canít find the ideas without reading others work. So go onto others buddy lists of people you like and read who theyíre reading!
I am happy that over 110 people here have decided to make me a regular read. I am thrilled that my list of 75 is full to the brim with people who write interesting things on a regular basis. And for those who are not on my list, do not fret. At least twice a week I go down the list of people who have buddied me and click on their site, and read what I may have missed. (I really would like a 150 person buddy list, but I do what I can. I want to reciprocate all of my buddies and feel bad that I canít Ė no really, I do feel bad that I canít!)
I also have Notify lists for people and have others bookmarked at home and the office, so I read a lot of things on a daily basis. And yes, I have appropriated a couple of ideas.
(Once again, people Ė I HAVE a job. A lot of times I am waiting for reports to compile or have 5 minutes to kill before a meeting, so I use my time by reading, browsing, writing, reflecting, thinking, blah, blah, blahÖ)
Have Fun - This is supposed to be fun. Itís a release. Itís a catharsis. Itís a lot of things. But mostly, itís for fun. Enjoy it. Donít be too hung up that no one is reading you Ė because people will find you, especially if you read.
You should be doing this for yourself Ė for your pleasure Ė for your peace of mind and well being.
I have readers, sure, and I try to make my essays a top value amongst all free reads on the internet, but the main reason I do this is for me. I like to write Ė it helps me think and express myself. It also helps me focus.
So you donít need to worry about tips or anything. Just read, write and have fun, because thatís what itís all about.
Well, it is for me, until that book deal comes through! Then itíll all be about the Benjamins (and the Hamiltons and the JacksonsÖ)!