As you talk or write or share concepts and come up with subjects to talk about and then you listen to yourself talk and write and share those things as posts, you find out more about yourself.
Blogging is therapy. It changes us. We find out who we are, or at least more about how we think and what we are interested in and that moves us forward
I haven’t been to therapy (probably should) but from what I gather, the therapists job is to listen to you untangle you’re own psyche – they ask questions which provoke you to question yourself
Well I can do that with blogging for free.
When we gain a bit of self knowledge, instantly, we are moving forward , learning and growing and listening to ourselves and then moving forward again based on that new information.
Mark Manson, author of bestselling The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck began as a blogger. Many famous authors do. Blogging is the best form of practice for writing.
Or it can be if you are conscientious and truly care about your writing and strive to publish the best that you can at the time. Mark freely admits he worked out all of his personal issues while blogging and now he has moved into other areas. I’m a subscriber to his patreon blog because he offers a lot of valuable insights and because I like his writing style. When I measure my own writing against his, I come up lacking and that’s why I know that there is plenty I don’t know and to keep writing.
Here are a few things that I think are valuable that I have learned – just through blogging.
I read a great deal and always have. Bad writing hurts my eyes and I can’t read it. So I’m not a bad judge of good writing. Yet if I look back on my writing from two or three years ago – I don’t like it. I think it lacks all sorts of things. Yet I wrote and posted and must have thought it worthwhile at the time or I wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t have posted it because I’m hard on myself and I would have said “well this is no good” and I would have picked it apart and rewrote it.
Which tells me a few things.
One: I’m improving. Both as a reader and as a writer.
Two: I’m probably still no good as a writer but I just don’t know enough to be able to know why or where to improve it yet. But!!! I will get there as long as I stay the course and do the work.
Three: The way I got to here was to write to the best of my ability about the things that interest me.
Four: The way to improve is to keep writing and reading and posting.
If I didn’t have a blog and write most days then I wouldn’t have a reason to write and therefore I wouldn’t be able to improve.
I could get all cocky and write a book at this point. I have been egotistical enough in the past to self publish two poetry books. But I’m not doing that again soon because I know how I’m not good enough yet. It’s that simple and that complex.
How do you know when you’re good enough if you are constantly evaluating your writing as good enough to publish daily?
Or, put another way – if you think you may be crap, then why are you punishing yourself and other people by hitting post every day?
Because I don’t know how to write any better at this point, but I know I’m improving and the only way to improve further is to keep writing.
And it’s not just about writing. It’s about being able to withstand the vicious urge to procrastinate and avoid and to override the stupid idea that the ten thousand things that could seem to be more worthy then the one thing that is (some of which include organising my wardrobe and sorting the filing cabinet, plus reconciling and paying bills and picking up the mail and watering pot plants and ..:,) there is no end to tasks and to do lists.
It’s about priorities. And I just haven’t developed that sort of capacity yet. In summary – I’m still a peanut.
I’ll be good enough when I have the mental toughness and fortitude to persist in writing a book all the way through and then through the many rounds of editing it takes to get it perfect and when I find a publisher or one finds me.
I’m not there yet. I have a publisher who has my twice edited book right now and contacts me weekly by email (thankfully) to see if I’ve finished the finer details and no, I have not.
Why? Because now I hate the book. I wrote it when I was cocky and self important about writing and now whenever I look at it I just want to burn the thing and move on. I’ve improved since then, I don’t want to publish that book even if the publisher does so there’s that. I’ve developed self respect and real pride in my work and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to editing
Because it may just be a way that I’m further defeating myself but blogging will help with that too (since I’ve wandered off subject)
And that’s another thing. Blogging helps you stick to a subject and not go all blathery and boring. I hope 😬😬🤭 let’s just not go there with this post then.
Because getting out the daily post is about a certain thing, and you stick with that thing (or mostly, or at least come back to the thing) all the way through. What I mean is you don’t go off and have a chat about the weather – although it is raining tonight and I only mention that because rainy weather is particularly good for blogging, and green tea and pasta – Vege pasta, very nice, Thermomix recipe. See what happened there, that was boring and an aside they added nothing to the post – which I’m sure I don’t need to point out except it’s perhaps a teachable moment for both of us.
Feedback. This is extremely valuable and something which blogging has the potential to provide a writer with. You get to see how people react and think about your writing. You get some praise, some criticism, a couple of pointers here and there.
Community: the WordPress community is vast. I just googled it. Sixty million. Right so I’m now going to give up as a blogger, obviously I’ll never get noticed amongst sixty million bloggers, I may as well be a piece of obscure Tupperware (or an indie book) on Amazon. Thanks for reading. Bye.
Except that luckily being “discovered” isn’t what it’s about. Alright I do have fantasies about being the next Mark Manson or Brene Brown, but I’m also a realist so I know that’s probably not going to happen. The WordPress community that I have managed to tap into is great. The blogging is teaching me and helping my writing and most of all it is giving me a reason to write and putting a big smile on my dial every day.
Blogging teaches you the art of conversation. Conversation is talking and listening and if you are with another person you should probably be doing more listening than talking because of the old adage about “you already know what you know, why not find out something new” and I didn’t even know how little I knew until I started blogging and I was a terrible listener or rather, I was a very good talker, which is the same thing but with a more positive slant I guess.
You find new music, you find new concepts, people to follow and listen to. You find people from all over the world and you get to hear their perspectives on things. I live in a small town in regional Queensland but I have instant access to someone’s mindset in say America, which was extraordinarily interesting through the Trump era and is still interesting because of the differences in perspective and opinion that two or more bloggers with opposing political ideologies during that time can deliver. And then I have to ask myself quietly (because that stuff is explosive) “well what do I think” and that is interesting too.
In addition to that, my own blog is read in a diverse range of countries, some I’ve never even thought about much. It’s interesting to wonder how someone in India or Canada or Portugal or Guana or all of these other countries that tune in to my blog think about it, because not everyone comments or can indicate even if they have liked the blog. For non bloggers – an explanation – the visit shows in the stats as a view but in order to like or comment you have to be a blogger or provide a heap of details and no one is going to take the time to do just in order to read a post.
Blogging has personalised the people of the world to me and broadened and sharpened my interest in global problems and made me aware of my responsibilities in that regard. I have developed a true global consciousness rather than a narrow small town consciousness – and that is very freeing.
Photo- mine taken in Brisbane, I was attending a conference just before the Covid shut downs – came across these wonderful characters on the way back to my hotel. We are all different, and everyone has something they are passionate about – that’s another thing that blogging has taught me.
But I gave up numbering at four because I don’t like lists of things much and this was turning into a list.
Have a great day, and if you feel like it, let me know what blogging is doing for you.