It has been a long time since I stopped blogging. In the age of 30-second videos and 140 characters, writing long-form seems like an old man’s game. However, blogging has always had a special place in my heart because it has brought me many great things. The company I co-founded would probably not exist if not for a random comment I left on a stranger’s blog. He ended up to become one of my best friends, and we co-founded Rock Content together.
This post is my way of convincing myself that it is still worth having a personal blog in 2020. It’s strongly based on my personal journal.
Books are one of the most magical things in the world. Reading great books is like having access to the brightest minds not only of today but of all time. I have been an avid reader since I was a child, and it’s a vital part of my identity. From my love of reading, I grew a profound admiration for those who can write not only books but other mediums as well.
I always avoided writing because I thought I didn’t have anything new to add to the vast pool of human knowledge. Writing to get views always seemed like a game that I didn’t want to play. My thinking was that my only alternatives: were Write profound new things or write for views. Since I didn’t feel capable of writing anything significant and writing for views didn’t interest me, I ended up not writing that much.
1. YOU WILL MAKE FRIENDS
The loneliness epidemic is a real phenomenon of the modern age. It seems like a paradox because people are more connected than ever, but they feel more lonely than ever. My pet theory is that the wealth of information available on the internet allow us to develop interests that are not entirely aligned with the ones around us and thus alienating part of ourselves. If you have a deep interest in something that is not shared across your circle of friends (online and offline), you will end up developing one public persona and another meaningful but lonely one.
There is no better way to find other people that share your interests than actually writing about them and publishing it online. You never know where this can lead you. I met my co-founder and some of my best friends because I created a blog more than a decade ago.
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, and you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence.
Trust your instincts.
Do the unexpected.
Find the others…Timothy Leary
2. You WILL THINK BETTER
Writing is one of the most powerful technologies we have. It allowed the human race to communicate through space and time. Through writing, we can communicate with people half planet away, or that died ages ago. We can use writing to teach and convey complex ideas, entertain and even create art. One aspect of writing is not talked about as much as it should: Writing is a form of thinking as well.
Montaigne is considered the father of the essay. His now-classic book “Essays” started a writing revolution. The term essay comes from the french word “to try”. When you write an essay, you are trying to answer a question, the act of writing itself is a way to come up with a solution. The process of writing can illuminate your thoughts in a way that is just thinking alone can’t do.
Write to understand before you write to communicate.
3. YOU WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF
Communicating great ideas and getting an audience are not the only reasons for writing. One of my favourite books of all time was not written to be read, it was a collection of reflections from a man trying to teach himself how to be a better person. Writing to yourself is a powerful way to clarify your ideas and a beautiful method for self-expression.
Understanding oneself is a life long journey and writing is one of the best weapons you can have. Men far more wise and powerful than you and I have been using writing as a tool for self-discovery for millennia. If it were good enough for them, it would be to you too.
Maybe it’s possible that your own experience can touch another person as well and even if it’s only an individual, even if it’s only a possibility, it’s worth the effort.
This session is an effort that I make to be more intellectually honest. Here I try to list how everything that I just told you could be wrong.
- If you want to improve your career or business, the reasons stated above are close to useless or even harmful. In order to gain an online audience, the first step is to think about your target audience and NOT about yourself. Marketing is about delivering what OTHER PEOPLE need and not what YOU want.
- Writing is not for everybody. Maybe you could do the same making videos or with any other medium format. Don’t force yourself to write just because some random thing you read on the internet.
If you have read until here probably, you care enough to help me. I want to become a better writer, and it would mean a lot to me if you:
- Recommend me an Article
- Introduce me to someone
- Ex: Ed is interested in X, and you should talk because of Y
- Follow me on Twitter
- Recommend this article to a friend