To Keep Writing . . . 

I’ve been writing every day for about a week now, so far. Much of what I’ve posted up until now have been things that I wrote months or years ago and am just now publishing.  
I’ve seen a few people trickle in, leave some comments, “like” some posts. It’s good to see that there are, at least, a few people who are intersted in what I write. But unlike other blogs that I’ve tried to do in the past, my main goal with this blog is not to drive a huge amount of traffic to my blog. That would be cool if it happened, but that’s not my goal.  

In order to get traffic to my site I would need to focus very much on the content of what I write. What kinds of keywords, how my posts affect SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I would need to plan out posts, have a general strategy, maybe even advertise a little bit to drive traffic.  

The problem is, the only reasons why anyone would care about driving traffic to their blog is because they want to make some ad money, or they are convinced that what they have to say is absolutely essential for people to read, or they might be promoting a brand or image of some kind.  

I don’t have ads on my site, I don’t think that what I’m writing is essential for anyone other than me, and I am not promoting anything at this time. And that’s the truth. So I can’t really blame anyone for not reading my blog. I don’t really read theirs, so there’s no hard feelings here if this isn’t a popular blog.  

I’ve read many times that if you want to be taken seriously in the “blogosphere” that you need to be part of the blog community. You need to read posts, follow people who are like-minded, comment on the work of others, be involved in the cyber world of blogging.  

Meh. I’ll pass.  

That sounds like a lot of work to me. I didn’t take up blogging so that it could be a second (or in my case third) job. I don’t want to spend time surfing the web for blogs to follow.  

I am, perhaps selfishly, writing for myself. And I could easily, and historically have, written all of my writings in my journal. But writing to publish exacts a different kind of creative process than journal writing or writing knowing that no one will ever look at it. And writing to publish also forces me to question and analyze my writing more.  

I have noticed over the last week that a question about my writing has . . . intruded on my mind, and it’s a rather revealing and probing question about what I write.  

Is what I write important? Is it important to those who read it? Is it important to me? 

The act of publishing every day has forced me to ask myself: is what I write making a difference? Or is it just something that I do just to get into the habit of writing more? Is this blog something that I believe that people should want to read, or is it more of a public place where I share private thoughts?  

I think that at this juncture I don’t know the answer to that. And there is a very real possibility that I never will.  

I suppose that question may not even be very helpful to answer. If my work is important to people it will find its way to them, or I’ll find a way to reach them over the course of time. It’s not something to worry about. My writing is obviously somewhat important to me, otherwise I wouldn’t be subjecting myself to the potential humiliation of publishing my work. But is it truly, deeply important, or is this just an exercise in writing more? 

But that first, fundamental question raises other, more pertinent questions around what I feel is important to write about. If my writing is important to me, and I suppose that this blog proves that it is, then what things are important to write about? What kinds of topics, themes? Should I post more of my creative writing, stories, songs, and poems; or should I focus on creating new content around life, business, tech, religion? . . . I don’t know. I’m kind of making this up as I go along. 

 . . . As I think about it, I realize that this post is not likely going to be a popular one. It’s got a lot of questions and very few answers. And asking nebulous, rhetorical questions in a blog post seems . . . counterintuitive and pointless. It’s not like anyone is actually going to answer any of these personal questions for me. So what is the point of this article?  

I don’t know. And at this point, I suppose that I don’t care. I’m writing, I’m posting, and that is what I set out to do. The rest I’ll figure out later. 

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To Write or Not to Write

(This is a post that I’m migrating over from my former blog on Blogspot.)

Writing in a blog is something that I’ve been wanting to do, and do more consistently for a while.

Writing that first draft is always the hardest, it’s much too easy to talk yourself out of writing at all.

I recently read an article on Fastcompany.com about this exact topic. Most of the advice was geared toward writing in business, but it was a good post.

There is one particular bit of advice that I wanted to write about. It was about overcoming the “blank page hurdle”, which is something that I’m currently working on.

The main take away that I got from the post was this quote:

“The trick to overcoming this isn’t easy, but it’s surprisingly effective: give yourself permission to write badly, and just start.”

In writing first drafts I often am too hard on myself. It doesn’t read like Tolkien or Robert Frost, so obviously it isn’t good enough. I really needed someone to tell me that’s it’s ok to suck when you’re starting out.

I think we all fall prey to the perfectionist attitude in so many aspects of our lives.  We think to ourselves that we’re not smart enough, talented enough, or whatever else we tell ourselves that convinces us not to do what we plan on doing.

The truth is that we rarely start out good at anything. The first draft is always just the beginning as we develop our ideas, just like the first practice of a sports season is just the beginning of progression; the first orchestra rehearsal of the semester is always the worst, and we shouldn’t judge how the final concert will sound based on how the first rehearsal went.

This blog is my way to “just start”. This is my way of pushing myself through the bad writing, the sometimes painful process of finding the right thing to say, and sometimes having anything to say at all. 

It is my resolution to fill this blog with great things, but first I have to begin with filling the pages with something, with anything.  I can only hope that of the many things that I plan on posting that some of it will be beneficial to whoever reads this. 

New Blog, New Life . . . OK just a new blog actually

So I’ve started a new blog.  I’ve tried this blogging thing a few different times with business ideas I had, personal blogs, and a number of different ideas.  None of them have really stuck.  I was doing pretty good with my last blog (chivsjawn.blogspot.com), but I found that I don’t really like how cumbersome Blogger is to use.  So here I am, giving WordPress a shot.

Conventional blogging wisdom says that you should pick a single topic and write on that.  This helps to gather an audience interested in hearing from an expert on that topic.  It helps with search results, and also helps to make your blog stick in people’s memories because it’s focused on one topic.

I’ve never really been big on following conventional wisdom.  I tried the “one topic” thing and found that I just really don’t care to write that frequently on one topic.  I have varied interests (as I talk about on my “My Story” page), and I rarely want to write about the same thing day in and day out.  I like to study new things, explore new horizons.  So I’ll be writing about a lot of different things on this blog.

Lest this turn into a boring travelogue of my not-so-adventurous life (I’m not much of thrill seeker) I will focus on a few different topics that interest me the most.

1. Music – I’m a musician and hope to write about music industry stuff.

2. Writing – I’m an aspiring author.  I’m working on novel #1 . . . we’ll see how long that takes me.  But I’ll write about writing and post some snippets.

3. Religion – I’m a Mormon.  Religion is a central part of my life and I’ll be sure, if not to do entire posts about Mormonism, to throw Mormon terms throughout the blog.

4. Family – I’m a family man.  I’m married with one son and another son on the way.  I love my family and love to spend time with them, so I’ll probably be writing about them as well.

This, as you have already guessed, is not an informational blog.  I am not a subject matter expert on any of the aforementioned topics.  I just like to write, and if there is something of interest in what I write then my mission has been accomplished.

So I hope you enjoy, hope you come back soon.