I found myself writing instinctively this morning, via a quickly typed blog response, to a young professional man, J.R., whom I met about 7 years ago. He seems to have a lot that he wants to say to and about the world as his career and family life unfold, particularly on spirituality themes and leadership topics.
In that J.R. produces a lot of blog and other content at his age, he truly reminds me of what I was like back then. After publishing 8 books, contributing pieces to many more, and publishing over 250 articles, essays, commentaries, and reviews, now I maintain two blogs actively. The first is a professional blog on the labors of my office and the projects of my work colleagues. Kind of a ho-hum, it's Thursday and tomorrow promises to be Friday kind of mission.
The other blog is a different kind of animal. It is personal -- and you have discovered it somehow (I don't really publicize it much or actively seek followers), if you are reading this paragraph. The second is called A Big MonstEr Blog. (You'll see that that's for various reasons, but mainly because the possibility -- and now the reality -- of expedited, immediate self-expression to and with others will not shut up and leave me alone. The temptation to bridge the gap is always there -- prodding me to get busy, tell a story, make a point, even on some of my lower than low days.)
Fundamentally, what I wrote to my young blogging friend today was that the wisdom on which he had drawn for his blogpost today was insightful and cogent. Here was the gist of it:
The main reason reason a blog lives and grows is that . . . the person producing the blog productively mines the fruits of his or her (or their) experiences. Then they write something interesting about these experiences.
The chief reason why a blog falls apart or dies is that . . . . the process of creating compelling content that flows from honest and unflinching reflection on life experience is a heck of a challenge. As my young friend admits in his understated way, "It can be difficult to keep up."
Speaking of challenges. During recent years, I have found that the most fruitful and meaningful ways by which I can process life, issues, questions, worries, etc., is to write about them symbolically -- in fictional stories. As is often the case with Stephen King and others, from my purview, the right kind of story or the novel should never be what it seems to be about at all.
Almost an Afterthought (but Significant)
The ability to give your blog pieces attractive names is an important skill to cultivate. I really work on it. Maybe I am improving at this, but I wonder. Like the clever and snappy term or phrase that sums up an advertisement or a commercial, the title has a make or break kind of quality. Make it if you can an inviting doorway thru which potential readers will want to walk, rather than a come-on to a fresh but boring Hell ('Sigh, here ya go') or a poly-syllabic buzzkill that suggests, 'Go away, not anything of value for you to see here.'