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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Ah, to be a kid again…

“Ah, to be a kid again…”

How many times have you heard that in your life?  What exactly is it about being a kid that we want to go back to, though?  The social anxiety of junior high, the numbing hours of homework?  No, probably not… but there is something about being a kid that we never really appreciated until we hadn’t been one in a while.

I think it’s that carefree attitude, that feeling of bright-eyed, future-is-wide-open possibility that we sometimes miss about being a kid, and that’s a great feeling to have… no wonder why we miss it!  But what’s stopping us from having that attitude right now?  After all, no matter where we are in life, we can always switch our mindset, really quite effortlessly, any time we actually remember to do so.

Here are just a couple of things I do to put myself in that frame of mind:

For one, I walk around barefoot- a lot.  This is a fantastic way to connect with the world around you;  your senses will be more acute, and you’ll be much more in the present moment.  Plus, it’s really tough to stomp around angrily when you’re barefoot.  It encourages you to take in the world as it is, and loosen your grip on trying to control every single little outcome in your life.  If you haven’t tried walking around barefoot, give it a shot- you’ll see what I mean.

For another, if I see a playground, I swing on the monkey bars.  Of course, I make sure that real, actual kids are not playing on the playground at the same time, because I’m a grown man.  I’m certainly not a threat to them, but it’s way outside their baseline of what’s normal, which could make them (or their parents) uncomfortable.  The last thing I want to do is ruin a real child’s carefree experience in order to enjoy the same feeling myself.  (If I’m with my own child on the playground however, I get a free pass!)  I hope I’m swinging on monkey bars when I’m eighty.

So remember, you can switch on that child-like sense of playfulness any time you want.  I hesitate to use the word “empowering” because frankly, I don’t want to sound like a woman, but I’m sure you get the point. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run barefoot to the nearest playground to swing on some monkey bars.

Fitting Things In

In this modern world of 24 hour electricity, we can be more productive than ever, yet more than ever we seem perennially out of time.  I think part of this stems from crowding too much in our life at once, as if our rampant consumerism has started to bleed into our goal-setting and self improvement.  When we get inspired, we want to do everything, and we let that desire spread our goals thin.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to accomplish a lot, but we tend not to have the patience to master one goal at a time, so we end up mastering none.

I also think that we try to fit things in our daily routine, but in their own separate compartments.  If you want to go for a run, you set aside time to do so.  Then if you need to go to the store, you put that in a separate block of time.  Blogging goes in another time, and so on.

But with a little flexibility, it doesn’t have to be that way.  When you say you are going to “run to the store”, why not actually run to the store if it’s close enough?  If you plan on running every other day, and you also need to get a couple of items from the store, then strap on an empty backpack and set out on foot!

That’s what I did this morning.  I took an opportunity to fit two things on my agenda- running and going to the store- and both tasks were enhanced from it.

For running: it gave me an opportunity to practice carrying a little weight, which is needed variety for my leg muscles.  Also, I found the bag of tortilla chips I nestled in my backpack for the way home unexpectedly rhythmic and helpful for maintaining a smooth, easy pace.

For shopping: it forced me to focus on what I truly needed for the next couple of days, because anything I purchase would need to fit in my bag, not to mention that I would have to carry it over two miles home.  This helped me avoid buying things on a whim, which saves money, which is always a good thing, because that tree next to my house still ain’t a money tree.

It was not as long a run as I often do, and it was not as much shopping as sometimes I must do, but I was able to fit in two beneficial things in different, refreshing way that kicked my day off beautifully.

Besides that, it gave me a blog post to fit in before my 9 to 5 today.

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.