Thursday, 17 March 2011

How to Blog


"The human race is the most stupid and unfair kind of race. A lot of the runners don't even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It's not surprising a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk and shout abuse. What the human race needs is a lot more streakers."

- Image and words by Banksy

10) Go to your computer, write out a big, swishy, important blog post. The marketers and advertising networks and Important People will be happy. Then delete it. Now write what's in your heart and publish it. That will make you happy.

9) It's not a race. You may sense jostling of position ... (I'm looking at YOU, Australian blogging scene) ... a changing of the guard. Bloggers competing and crapping over other bloggers. Don't do that. Don't get involved in the politica of blogging. Stand to one side and smoke your imaginary cigar, then go home and write a post about that time you were twelve and tried to test God by setting traps in your bedroom. God failed, yet you still believe. Odd.

8) Make up your own words. I meant to write "politics" in the point above but like "politica" better. Make up your own scenery, your own language, your own pace, your own creative force. Your blog is a blank canvas. An empty page. A lump of clay. If there is a God who created mankind in His own image, then that makes you a creator too. (HINT: When you create things in life, a river trickles in your heart. If you keep doing it, it gushes into your secret underground trapdoor heart spring that you never even knew was there.)

7) If you want to build up your blog to get a lot of comments, or make money, or get famous ... that's fine. Do whatever the hell you want. It's a free world. (Is it?) Just remember that all good things take time. How connected are you to other bloggers? Do you really read their words and comment on their blogs because it resonates with you, or do you just want them to comment back? If you stop hiding and start write yourself into your blog, people will "see" you and be drawn to you. What are you so afraid of?

6) You don't owe anybody anything. Don't explain yourself ... if you haven't blogged for a while because Life Itself has torn you open and you're laying weeping on the ground - don't worry about backtracking and explaining every little thing. You don't have to! Just come to the page and open up a brand new post and start talking. About anything. People will follow wherever you lead them. It's like, you're the boss.

5) YOU'RE THE BOSS. You are in control. It's your blog, nobody elses. No rules, man.

4) At the beginning of every single blog post, picture inviting ten of your closest friends into your living room. And you say, "Now that I've gathered you all here ..." and start writing. Launch into a fantastic film you saw with your friend last night and it rained or a soliloquy on how you can't believe Japan has so many nuclear reactors or how mortified you were the first time you ever got a pedicure. Make it interesting. You must have interesting thoughts and ideas all the time. Notice them more. My sister Leigh said to me just this morning, "Eden, I often see things and think ... if I had a blog, I would take a picture of that and post it." How cool is that? She doesn't even have a blog but is seeing the world through blog-coloured glasses.

3) There will always be somebody doing it Better. Bigger. Stunning photography. Beautiful children. Getting swanky invitations to things. I get jealous of other bloggers .... mostly because I wish I were more normal and stable. (Sometimes I really wish I were a prolific, stunning Mormon blogger in Utah with a delightful etsy shop and children who I homeschool. Alas.) Somebody's got to be the unmedicated Australian lunatic who stalks Bono, writing strange things on the internet and yet somehow connecting with other people's Spirit while trying so hard to connect with her own. WHEW.

3b) Be happy for another bloggers success. If a blogger is "getting somewhere" ... it means they are raising awareness about all of us other bloggers. It's win-win. It's cool. Don't sweat it.

2) One day, you'll find that you have developed a Voice that you never knew you had. This is your very own Voice. Blogging with an open heart gave it to you. You begin to suspect that this Voice came from a deeper place - because seriously, blogging? Pfft.

You now have a duty of care to use your voice in the best possible way that you can. I can't tell you what that is, you must find that out for yourself. (HINT: Ever get the feeling that living this life with all these unanswered questions is like walking around with a treasure map but no idea where to dig? Dig inside yourself. It's the last place us humans ever look.)

1) Blog like a streaker, man. Blog like a streaker.
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