Before You Start That Blog: Dissent

From the intro:

In the last few months of work, my coaching sessions focused on blogging more than anything else. I think I’ve hosted over a dozen blogs since 2005 even though all but three of them are no longer public. I did MySpace and Facebook notes, the Xanga thing, all of that. Because of those experiences and growing up with AOL and ICQ and email, I just assume most people know how to blog.

So we’re doing a little series of short posts on why you probably shouldn’t blog. And if you insist on blogging, this series will expose everything you should first consider. Questions welcome.

Heck, questions provoked. Bring it on.

DISSENT

Before you start that blog, don’t.

Just don’t.

Dissent against your mind’s impulse and do not start that blog.

Okay maybe you could start a blog, but in general no – you probably shouldn’t start a blog. For one, anything we humans choose to do should aspire toward the higher forms: love, beauty, honesty, courage. The War of Art by Pressfield talks about every possible barrier that opposes our high and noble callings, but those callings – that desire for greatness – should change the posture we take toward everything we do.

 

Dissent Against Blogs in General

Again, speaking generally, most blogs do not rise to the level of art, innovation, or therapy for the hurting. I’m not saying blogs can’t do that, certainly some can and do, but in general the immediacy created by that shiny blue “Publish” button negates anything good we might have, could have, would have created through reflection, care, practice, and overall time at task.

Urgency does violence to importance.

That’s why four-year elections change little in the overall trajectory of America. They’re urgent, but the truly important things stay both hidden and ignored by the general populace. We leave the fate of important issues up to a handful of people who actually keep changing the world over the long, slow haul.

Dissent Against Your Blog, Specifically

It’s the same with blogging: if you don’t have a solid end-game, some cohesive vision in mind beyond, “Hey, I think I’ll publish that,” then don’t. For all that’s good and holy, do not start a blog. It’s noisy enough around here, my blog included sometimes. It’s hard for blogs to ascend to the level of art or culture creation or innovation, harder than nearly any other medium because it’s a medium based on immediacy and disposable content. You can only hang so many urinals and trash bags and Campbell’s Soup cans on the wall before they’re not art anymore, they’re just what they were:

Junk.

If you’re thinking that a blog’s best for selling your services or book, email marketing remains the best route.

“What? Email, Lance?! That’s so 1988.”

Yeah, well, electric vehicles are so 1988 and they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

If you’re thinking you should just “get your thoughts out there,” you’re right: you should. You do need to find your voice – giving people a voice is what I try to do all day, every day. You should find your voice by writing or speaking often.

That in mind, when it comes to finding your voice: learn to whisper before you choose to shout. At this point, someone will say, “Even the fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut,” and that someone would be right. However, this is not a good reason to believe, “I need to have something to say before I can write or before I can speak or before I can create or even before I blog.” You should simply practice your craft in private or in a controlled environment like an invite-only private blog or in a critique group during a great MFA program.

A public blog makes for a rather crowded and vulnerable sandbox for the adolescent creator.

Dissent Against That Particular Blog Post

The majority of bloggers post on impulse. I’ve seen people post as a reaction to some other post, as stream-of-consciousness, as an immediate share of something they didn’t take time to digest, and even from something that happened some ten minutes before the post. Here’s my dissent against that post you’re writing:

Will the post go from conception to live in under three hours?

If so, don’t write that post. Dissent against the impulse.

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