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Friday, October 21, 2016

A Blogging Tale

I can't tell you how many people have written blogs about getting rich, or popular, or even to make a difference. Hell I just crossed the eleven year mark last July, and rich hasn't been an option, popularity has been here and there, and the only difference I have made is steering other bloggers away from the blogs that talk about being rich, getting popular and making a difference. Looking back on my first blog all I wanted to do was make sure there was no open spaces on my Yahoo profile. Everything between that point and this point has either been gravy or sour grapes, but as you can all see, I am still doing it. Tenacity has made me stand the test of time for the most part, and having a lot to write about has kept the blogs on the top of a few lists.

I think any reason to write down your thoughts and experiences is a good thing. There appear to be a few people out there that agree with me, and the few that disagree with me, at least give me the occasional chuckle that they are explaining to a perfect stranger how they are wasting their time, all the while demonstrating what a waste of time looks like. Think about that for a moment. In reality the best bloggers are the people who somewhere along the line lose the need to be read, understood or even tolerated. Any time you see a blog that seems like a waste of time, you are probably missing out on some real gems. Anytime you aren't sharing your thoughts and experiences you are simply hoarding gems, and that doesn't do anyone any good, including yourself.

Blogging of course also makes a great place to escape into your own thoughts. It is a place to simply start writing and see where it goes. I can't tell you how many times I have started running away at the fingers, just to click "post" with no rhyme or reason for anything I have typed, just to have it be pretty damn popular, and heralded as a masterpiece. Most of the time I can't even see it after the third or fourth re-read, and the fifth never happens because I am sick of it, and a little shocked that others aren't. For example my biggest blog entry week in, week out is in my Tech Whacko blog and it was a very badly written review of a very cheap tablet. It has garnered a thousand hits a week for over a year now, and I still don't get it. The good news is that I started writing it, let it fly, and clicked "post" or else I would have lost thousands of hits a week for over a year.

Of course as I was forced to shut down the old blogging machine that is Jeremy for a couple of months, doing very little blogging, and watching my audience wane a bit, I didn't complain about it. The fact of the matter was when I had way too much on my mind and couldn't logically get any words out of me that made sense, I just slowed down. I didn't worry about money, or popularity, or making a difference. No I worried about other things a bit closer to home, and I got through them. I then did what I always do, and I came back to the keyboard and I started up again as I always do, and my thoughts and experience were there for me. Think about that the next time you ask yourself, "Why do I do this?" Chances are pretty good that you are doing it for the same reason I do. It's just what I do.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Blogging, Writing, and Art, They Are All One

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a writer. Over the course of my life I have dreamed of worlds, apocalypses, space ships, all filled with people, all on a collision course with unavoidable destiny. Every single one of them ended up escaping disaster, narrowly, and ignoring the difficult lessons. It is kind of my view, kind of my belief, kind of how I see things happening around me all the time.

So, to become a writer, I became a blogger. They may not be the same thing, they might, that is kind of a personal belief and I can live with either opinion. But, one thing is completely inarguable. Writing a blog is great practice. I like to write blog posts in Word, because it will check grammar and not just spelling. Though, sometimes I just ignore the critique. Creative license, you know.

However, like any craft, or art, writing requires practice. And that is where I view blogging as being a writer. It is the act of writing. Coordinating words into thoughts, and sentences. Sentences into thoughts and paragraphs, paragraphs into thoughts and posts. Finding themes and moving through them.

Recently I had an article published in a newspaper, it is called Street Speech, and it is sold by people trying to battle their way out of homelessness. It didn't pay, in fact it cost me $10.00 (I have included a scan because I adore you, the Whacko Nation) because I was so geeked about seeing my name in print I bought out two vendors supply.

But, it has spurred me to bigger dreams, I have started querying magazines and websites with ideas I am fleshing out. I am working on my book. And I continue to write for Street Speech.

All of this because I thought I could write a blog. So what is the lesson. The lesson is if you blog, you are an artist, and if you have aspirations beyond blogging I am proud of you. And if you want to know more about what I think, stay tuned, I just can't stop writing, it is like eating peanuts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blogging, A Gateway Drug?

Blogging is a community. As much as it may seem solitary, a lonely typist, lost, and confused, having suffered enough solitude takes a chance at being heard. And in some cases it might start that way. Sooner or later, though, if you stick with it long enough, you will find kindred spirits. And then blogging will change, and so will you.

For years I wanted to write a novel. I had the seeds, of a weedy, rambling story rolling around in my head. A beginning, a middle and an end, characters, scenes. But, putting them together was daunting, frightening. But, as my blogging circle grew, and I "met" some real authors, I learned, by reading their posts that much of writing is a nuts and bolts craft. And I wrote a novel, and it stunk!

So, I am rewriting it, with the same story, just a little more emphasis on the story, and less on the words. And, to me, it seems a lot better, though, there may be too many explosions, if that is possible.

From +Adele Archer+S. Bradley Stoner, and +Richard G. Stevens and others I learned that writing is more about telling a story, more about communicating with a reader. It is a bargain you strike with a stranger. An agreement to entertain. Not a series of typed words..

There is an art, yes. And if you read any of their blogs or books, you see that. But, more important to them is the craft of telling a good story.

So, I say to all of you, in my circle of bloggers, thank you, for reading my words over the years, and forgiving my self indulgences. You have all been family. And to those of you with an idea. Fire up your keyboard and let it roll, we are all waiting to hear it.

Until next time, don't forget to drink water, eat your vegetables, and floss. Trust me on this.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Blogging, a Chance To Start Again

Blogging has changed the way I look at the world. It has made me approach things as potential fodder for a blog post. It has made the world a happier place, it has made everything seem a little goofy, that is the whole approach of my blog. It has made me a happier person.

Before blogging everything seemed to be conspiring against me, everything was dark and dangerous. Any meeting at work was an ambush, any meeting I was not invited to was a plot. Of course, it did not take long for the company to quit inviting me to meetings, which was a seditious act of prejudicial elitism. But, now I realize how lucky I am not to set through an awful round of performance art.

Now, even the worst things are approached more clinically, more analytically. When an article about the release of methane once trapped under permafrost still troubles me, but I want to tell others about this. In a futile attempt to force concern on an apathetic population.

My drive to work is filled with the opportunity to view mankind at its aggressive, monstrous, human
best. Weaving in and out of traffic, cutting perilously close to the front of other cars. Dodging, darting, risking death just to shave a few seconds off their drive to work. This madness used to drive me crazy. Now they are all just actors in the play of life. And I am still working them into a story, or post or novel.

Life is a great place, there are countless chances to enjoy the show. But, you have to look at it as a series of separate events. A sequence of opportunities to view the absurd drama that is life. Blogging has helped me reach that point.

Give it a shot. You will find your voice, you will find yourself, and the world will find you. And everybody will be happier. Isn't that enough?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blogging it ain't for everyone, Yes it is.

I read an article recently that talked about starting a blog. The premise was it was ok to be a little cautious, but don't be afraid. It brought powerful memories of the first timid steps into the world of blogging. Post, shut down the internet and not look for a couple of days. Honestly, I was terrified. Nobody even noticed though. All that sweat and fear for nothing. Blogging is a "victimless crime."

Sometimes you will get lucky and somebody will notice, and sometimes you will get very lucky and somebody will react. Maybe a share, maybe a thumbs up, possibly even a comment. Most times it is only for the thrill of writing something that can be seen around the world, though.

In the article it suggested starting with your Linked In page. It is free and requires no formatting, plus it has a built in audience. I have a Linked In page, but hardly ever visit it. I may try to write something and post it there, if I can find the right tab.

But, the main point is, if you have something to say, this is your chance, your soapbox, your pedestal, your mountain top. Stand tall, stand proud, and say what you have to say. Maybe somebody will listen, maybe not. For me, though, it is too much fun to stop.

You will "meet" some amazing people and you will learn a little something occasionally. There is no good reason not to start a blog, and so many good reasons to start a blog that I lost count. So, I will see you around, right.