Preliminary Lessons: Blogging my Butt Off

Last week I declared a desire to

until the end of August just to see what happened. This desire was kindled by a realization that I missed having [frequent conversations][conversation] with people, and that at one time I’d done a lot more of this through sharing my thoughts through blogging.

It’s been a week now, and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far!

Breaking with Common Wisdom

This is the first time in quite a while that I’ve allowed myself to write about anything that was on my mind in an attempt to be more disciplined. I think that this website is perceived by many as a productivity/personal development blog, and I had been trying to contain my subject matter to those areas. I find that it’s been difficult to break myself of the habit, because of the underlying reasons for constraining the subject matter in the first place: I was concerned about traffic.

The common wisdom in successful blogging is to pick a niche and write a lot of targeted 250-500 word articles that reinforces that niche every day. Use a good photographic lead. Write short lists that get to the point, mindful of a person’s available time. I have never been very good about following this advice because I’ve been more interested in expanding, not shrinking, my interests.

It occurs to me today that the common wisdom doesn’t apply to me because my underlying goal is different. I’m not interested in building a productivity coaching practice or tool store, though I suppose there are elements of that in what I do. What I think I’m really interested in is the conversation, which brings with it new ideas and opportunities for sharing. I like it when I get together with my friends and share the stories of the week, sprinkled with tips and observations that we all find useful. If conversation is my goal, then that suggests that the central organizing principle of my blogging isn’t to adhere to a set of closely-related subjects so I can reach a targeted audience. It really is centered around me as an accessible participant within a circle of friends with shared interests, values, and experiences. The central organizing principle is, as corny as this may sound, to meet like-minded, eclectic, somewhat weird and obsessive people that find my peculiar way of looking at the world interesting.

The path of “friendship blogging” is not the quick path to riches, but I prefer it because it is more about one-to-one conversations sharing our experiences as equals, finding the common connection points together and benefiting equally. Of course, that doesn’t preclude me from using some of the machinery of ecommerce to bring in additional revenue, and I still plan to do a lot to strengthen that side of my business operations. Profits are for the support of my blogging mission, not as the primary motivator!


Last week was a busy week, and I did the majority of my blogging for 90 minutes before going to bed. I tried to keep the posts shorter with a single subject; I’ll have to go back and reread them to see if they make sense. All writing benefits from a few revision passes, but in blogging I’m not used to polishing my drafts before posting them because, well, I’m super impatient and want to get them up as soon as possible. Polishing will come when I do a different kind of writing, probably some kind of short book or long article.

Anyway, one surprise was that I was writing way more about what was on my mind than, for example, the various hobby and eating activities that would be excellent for visual blog posts. Why haven’t I? Collecting all the photos in one place and then sorting and processing them is a tedious task, and so I put it off. It’s a lot easier to push out a post like this. That said, I think what I can do is just post single-photo posts instead of the epic multi-image galleries that I tend to want to make.

It’s also possible that I just am in a more writerly mood than visual mood these days. There’s a ton of outside responsibilities that are weighing on me right now, and I tend to find this puts me into a contemplative state of mind. I just don’t feel free enough to make the time for more than writing, which helps me stay level-headed and optimistic.

That’s what I’ve found so far. We’ll wrap it up on Sept 1, then evaluate how much of blogging everyday makes sense!