On Blogging

As of the moment I am writing this post I have  120,531 followers. Almost five years of daily blogging.

If you expect some how-to guide on blogging, some shortcut, some secret, it’s not going to happen. It’s all hard work. It’s all in the energy and time you invest.

Which is why the number one rule when it comes to blogging is passion. As in, write about what you want, as long as it’s something that fascinates you. It can be art, it can be photography, travel, food, make-up, relationships, psychology, quantum physics… it doesn’t matter. Why? Because if you feel strongly about something, sure as hell someone else is going to feel the same way.

The number two rule? Have fun. I mean it. Enjoy typing words on a computer, enjoy the feedback, enjoy every moment of it. Just write what you feel like, when you feel like, and don’t ever feel ashamed or afraid or sorry. You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.

The third rule is this: lower your expectations.

You know, there’s a great difference between watching a great athlete on a TV screen and doing the thing yourself. It may seem simple. And it is. Anyone can run, anyone can paint, anyone can write.

But to be good at it is another thing entirely.

What does it all mean?

You’ll probably suck. It’ll feel like your brain is empty. What you put down on paper will be different from what you’d like to, and that is either going to stop you or motivate you. It’s up to you.

Also, you’re probably not going to get hundreds of likes and comments from the get go. It’s going to take longer than you expect. You’re going to fail more often than you think you will..

It’s probably ten times more difficult than you can imagine. And not even close to being as pretty as you can imagine it.

Fourth rule?

Persistence.

Discipline is the ability to do what you said you would long after you lost the mood.

Inspiration is a fairy tale imagined into existence by folks whose ambition is handicapped by laziness.

If you write daily, then write daily. If not, write every other day, or once a week. But keep to the schedule, if you feel like it or not.

It’s not magic, folks. It’s all about habits.

Once you get used to posting according to a certain schedule, ideas will simply pop out of nowhere. You’ll instinctively sit down at your desk and start typing.

Most people are afraid of public speaking. You know, just the idea of you on a stage is enough to make you shiver. Well, it’s the same for every new endeavor, actually.

It takes some time to get used to anything outside your comfort zone, but there’s no other way.

Odds are you’ll find a million pretenses why you shouldn’t be blogging. It’s either the lack of feedback, or not enough feedback, or some ludicrous idea that you can’t write.

To all this I say: have patience. IT takes time. It always does. There’s no way to avoid it.

The blogging world is not some land disconnected from reality. It’s not fairies and elves and whatnot. Your personality? It’s got to be there, in every post you write, in your replies, in everything.

What makes you you? Write about that. Don’t, and you won’t get too far.

Newsflash: it’s not about the readers. It really isn’t. It’s about you, and what you want to write. It’s about you and what makes your heart beat faster. It’s about your ideas and your stories and your hobbies and your voice.

In life, in blogging, in love, in business, in absolutely everything, there’s something beautiful about someone who’s unapologetically himself. If you don’t believe me, try it.

***

I am struggling to raise funds to pay for dental work I badly need. The cost of the treatment is around $8,000. If you’d like to help me out, you can donate any amount you see fit here.

You can also purchase advertising here.

Any amount matters. Any amount helps.

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19 thoughts on “On Blogging

  1. “It’s not magic, folks. It’s all about habits.
    Once you get used to posting according to a certain schedule, ideas will simply pop out of nowhere. You’ll instinctively sit down at your desk and start typing.”

    This line in particular struck a chord with me. Thank you for reminding me that the habit is what helps me make my blog the best that it can possibly be. Thankfully, I’m starting to experience that reflexive conceptualization of ideas with my “Lessons to Practice” series. Even when I don’t think out each week’s topic very well before I write, I’m finding that the topic usually comes to me fairly quickly. Posting every Tuesday also helps my brain establish that creative routine.

    Cheers to you Cristian, and may you continue to receive more and more donations.

    -RMC

  2. The best how-to on blogging I’ve read. Your description of the passion, fun, lowered expectations, persistence and “It’s not about the readers” each struck my heart as I read it. It’s so truly and beautifully written I hate to cite more out of context. Yet, the following was me this morning – and most mornings – as I sat down to write:

    “You’ll probably suck. It’ll feel like your brain is empty. What you put down on paper will be different from what you’d like to, and that is either going to stop you or motivate you. It’s up to you.” At those time I respect the mystery of writing and am so curious what the muse may reveal I write anyway. Now, remembering it’s not about the readers may allow me to be a better listener.

    Thank you.

    • There’s a quote by Andy Warhol I like very much. “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

      I think this applies to blogging as well.

      • Yes. I like that quote. Met him once introduced him to a friend who was more eager to interview him than I. We sat on the beach at sunset. I watched watching the sunset as my friend interviewed as best he could. I concluded I may be more introverted than he was…or shy. Writing helps with this…it’s being included in my comfort zone.

  3. Insightful. I once heard it said 90% of success is showing up. That is so true. Great blog post. I found it very encouraging. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for writing and more specifically for writing the best how-to on blogging I’ve read.

    “You’ll probably suck. It’ll feel like your brain is empty. What you put down on paper will be different from what you’d like to, and that is either going to stop you or motivate you. It’s up to you.” This was me this morning and most mornings as I sit down to write.

    Curious what the muse will reveal, I begin. “it’s not about the readers.” is now a reminder to assist should my respect for the mystery of writing falter. It also returns me to the innocence before readers showed when I thought I was writing just for the fun of it, waiting for the passion to strengthen.

    Thank you!

  5. Cristian; Thank you. Well from everything you have so eloquently laid out here, I seem to be doing exactly what you have suggested, by instinct. I have zero expectations, as I did not start this for any other reason than to write what was emerging from my spirit naturally. I do wish I had some resources to contribute to your dental treatment. I am in need of some myself. I have faith that following my intuition and desire to express myself, all will be well.

  6. Very well stated, in all the information I have read recently on ‘blogging’, this one gives the best advice, because its straight forward. You’ve hit he nail on the head, I had to start a Blog as part of my studies, one I was not very happy about, but the more I got into starting it, the more I felt ‘excited’. Now, I am constantly thinking of what my next blog or article is going to be.
    You write nicely.

  7. Great advice. And it’s so true: if you don’t feel happy about doing it, then that will come through and you won’t get the results you want and that alone will send you in a downward spiral making you hate everything.

  8. “You’ll probably suck. It’ll feel like your brain is empty. What you put down on paper will be different from what you’d like to, and that is either going to stop you or motivate you. It’s up to you. Also, you’re probably not going to get hundreds of likes and comments from the get go. It’s going to take longer than you expect. You’re going to fail more often than you think you will”
    I already felt this, sometimes I feel I suck, sometimes I stuck in writers’ block, and knowing get followers and likes and comments take lots of work than I could ever imagined. but I am not going to let it stop me from blogging. I love it and it is the best job I have ever had. Thanks for sharing your inspirational tips and your thoughts. – Julie

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