My Best Blogging Practices

My thoughts on the matter are a direct result of the thought-provoking blog from Eric at MakeItUltra.  In it, he shares some of the rules he’s set up to maintain a healthy balance between blogging and the rest of his life.

I was interested to read his personal blogging rules, and even more interested to realize the difference in how he approached the question from what I would have, though I would see myself adopting any of his guidelines.  This gives me great satisfaction; it reminds us that we can get insights from others but ultimately we all walk in our own unique way.  My own list, like his, lays forth the path in which I choose to travel as bloggers.

1. Consistency is king.  It’s more effective to have the deliberate pace of the tortoise than to have the hare’s feckless dashes to nowhere.

2. Produce.  Write a lot.  Writing, like any creation, multiplies exponentially as it becomes more prolific.  Writing down as much as possible is just like sowing a lot of seeds in a garden.  The more I write, the more I till my mind and plant ideas.  I don’t know which will grow, but I know the more I plant, the better the harvest.

3. Nurture your community, both in and outside of the blogosphere.  First, there are thousands of other bloggers out there.  A vast number of them are more experienced than you or I, but there’s plenty of room for everyone to be respected and prosperous in their own communities if they have an honest work ethic and compassion for others.

Second, isn’t that the fundamental reason we blog?  To connect with others, swap ideas, share what you’ve spent so much of your life learning?  So I can’t just post something once a week, pretend I’m the J.D. Salinger of blogging and never talk to anyone.  Well, I could, but why would anyone engage with me if I don’t engage with them?  I guess the Golden Rule is the only rule I’d apply here.  Do unto others as you would want  them to do unto you, or put another way, I’ll get only as much engagement from others that they’ll will have first received from me.

What personal guidelines do you use when it comes to your blogging?  What paths do you take to keep on track?  I’d be much honored to hear some of your own ideas in the comments, or point me to your own blog post.

-Andrew

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Silence is Golden

I used to wear headphones just about every run I took.  I remember the runs that pre-dated my MP3 player, when I would run with a bulky Discman.  Unless I held it perfectly flat and stable, the music hiccupped with every plodding step.  I might as well have been trying to run with a miniature Victrola.
Admittedly, Walkmans worked better, but the only cassettes I could ever find were some Wayne Dyer audiobooks from the mid-eighties.  MP3 players worked the best for running of course, but those were only slightly less of a distraction than the Discman. I found I still devoted as much attention to the music as to my run.  I was either fiddling with the volume or trying to find just the right song for the moment, or trying to keep the ear buds from flopping out of my ears.
I didn’t like my dependence on music, yet still, I never went on any runs without it.  Just like shoes, it was simply part of my running equipment.
And then I started running barefoot, and I haven’t worn headphones since.
For one thing, the sound of my footsteps helps coach my running form: the quieter my stride, the better my form.  Also, I discovered that the primary reason I run barefoot is to connect with both my surroundings and myself, so cranking up music masks too much of that connection.  It’s like spending an entire camping trip watching YouTube on your smartphone.  Sure, you’re still in nature, but you’re simply not getting the full benefit.
Besides, I found that I didn’t need headphones to listen to music.  Our minds have a remarkable ability to play whichever song we want to hear, and it is often more interesting to watch where your thoughts take you.  It’s more meditative, more ‘go with the flow’.
Wearing headphones became an unnecessary issue of control, however minor.  I wanted to choose the right song, at the right volume, and keep those ear buds in my ears.  Of course, I would come to a song I didn’t want to listen to at that moment, or the volume would be too high or low for the circumstances, or those ear buds would fall out of my ears.  I wasn’t sure whether I was controlling the music or the music was controlling me. When I left the headphones at home, I found that I was watching my thoughts, but not trying to control them.  are an impartial observer of your thoughts, there’s much less to frustrate you.

So if you like running with headphones; do so- whatever helps you run is a good thing!  But you may be surprised how much music is out in nature, and within you, and how freeing it can be to let go of your headphones!

Not a Guru

I’m not a guru.  Pretending to be something you’re not just gets you in trouble.  I’m an average guy with a good family.  Like the majority of free people in mankind’s long existence, we get by alright but we know that true security is like an enchanted deer in the woods that lets you get close but then bounds away just out of reach.

But I’m happy.

That’s in part why I’m sharing my thoughts.  Not because I’m a scientist, doctor or guru.  No- it’s because I’m like you.   I will never be the best at anything, but I want to try my best at everything. I want to take care of my family, get along with my neighbors, and thrive in a crazy world.  And, along the way, I keep my eye out for interesting tactics to live a life of abundance, no matter how much I have to work with.  So, for fun and posterity, I write about my journey and what I learn along the way.  And perhaps you’ll find something entertaining, and maybe even useful too.  Either way, thanks for reading, liking or commenting on my posts.  I’m honored you stopped by.