25 Books Every Blogger Should Read

Oscar Wilde once said that, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

There’s a lot of truth in that statement, and I do strenuously believe that we must experience blogging ourselves, try and fail and develop our own frameworks and strategies, but at the same time we must understand that someone else’s rules can also help us on our journey.

There are no maps to guide us, but some of these books may point you in the right direction.

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[short story] hiraeth

There’s this mostly unknown writer who is found in a cafe with a former lover of his. From the way he talks, he seems to be made of words and sadness and little else. A suffering face, clothes a bit out of style. Legs crossed. He listens to her talk about what was what while she was no longer his.

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Instead of Killing Myself, I Wrote a Story

The very surreal feeling of wanting to end your life, especially in the loud chaos of a bustling city — a city with people and lights and billboards and cars chasing one another all day and night, headed for nowhere in particular.

The burning sensation that crawls up and down your skin as you contemplate not having to hold the world on your shoulders anymore.

The chaos, the commotion, all these perfect strangers. Motion, commotion. Emotion.

I wanted to kill myself, but instead, I sat down to write:

I keep a small revolver tucked under my pillow. Every morning, I wake up and grab the little device and turn it on all sides. I inspect it as if its power of destruction could be easily comprehended.

Sometimes I press the barrel to my right temple. My index finger curled around the trigger, I close my eyes and count to ten. Of course, the gun’s never loaded.

Nevertheless, it makes you think.

You see, this is the only power we have. True freedom, as I like to say, comes from the realization that you can kill yourself any time you want.

Sunlight slipping through the heavy curtains, casting red dots on the walls, I can feel my blood boiling inside my body. My heart beats like a fist inside my chest; the metallic coolness of the gun infects my skin.

Loaded or not, it doesn’t matter.

I’m ready to pull the trigger. I want to see God and ask Him a million questions. I press the gun to my chest and take a deep breath. “This is not my life.”

We all die and there’s nothing terrifying or great about it.

“This isn’t a life worth living.”

The gun pressed hard against my chest, right where the heart should be, I pull the trigger. That’s when I can open my eyes. That’s when I can smile. When I can feel alive just because I could’ve and yet I didn’t.

Every morning I wake up and die.

“True freedom, as I like to say, comes from the realization that you can kill yourself any time you want.”

My character’s name was Paul. A painter. An artist. The burden of his own creative genius, the pain of ideas and dreams and hopes turning to rust and stardust.

That’s why I called this story, Dream City. We often forget that nightmares are dreams too.

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The Extremely Shocking Story of How I Self-Published a Novel And Sold Two Copies in Four Months

It was November 2010. Maybe it was a dark and stormy night, I don’t recall. But I was going through a dark night of the soul, that’s for sure.

You know, a proper dark night of the soul, when you feel your chest being crushed under the weight of so many dying dreams that nothing can offer even a bit of comfort.

When the usual hack of, “Well, others have lost empires,” doesn’t help at all.

That’s when I found out about NaNoWriMo. I found out that I could self-publish stories. On Amazon. And sell those stories to people for money, which I could then use to purchase various goods that are needed for one’s survival.

I thought it to be the best thing ever, and so I dropped out of college and started punching those damn keys.

There were a couple of things that I hadn’t thought through though:

  1. I had never written a novel.
  2. I had never written a novel in English.
  3. I had no idea what it took to actually self-publish a book.
  4. I had no one to sell the damn thing to.

But, as I’m so fond of saying, we sometimes need a lot of courage to do something. Other times, we just need to be so dumb that we have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into.

And I was never brave…

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Celebrating 9 Years of Blogging

Nine years ago I launched this blog. And each year, for the past nine years, I’ve been celebrating, congratulating myself, offering folks all sorts of discounts, free downloads, and the likes.

I think I wrote and published well over a million words by now. Probably even more. Who knows? Who cares?

After all, the blank page that I have to fill right now with words doesn’t care about my previous articles, short stories, or novels. All it cares is that I transform its emptiness into something worth someone’s time.

This is what being creative means: to turn the white page, the blank canvas, the empty document into something by sheer power of will, which is, at times at least, quite a painful process.

And don’t believe anyone who tells you that being creative can be effortless. They are trying to sell you something, whether it’s an e-book or e-course.

After nine years as a full-time blogger, and sixteen as a writer, I can tell you that there’s no shortcut for hard work.

That’s why today I’m sharing with you nine tips that… well… I’m not even going to pretend these tips are going to make the process effortless, but they are going to give you a bit of clarity, which I found to be extremely useful, especially when you’d much rather bang your head against your keyboard than struggle to string words together in a coherent manner.

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