5 Things not to do: The Anti-Blog

#1 Let me start with a question.  Is the trendy “list topic” a passing fad that has already become vomit inducing tedium?  I, for one, will say so.  The use and abuse of this technique is as manipulative as it is banal.  Who is our target audience for this drivel anyway? Anybody breathing, I’d argue.  We can all agree that writing has its challenges.  Attracting readership is at the top of that list.  But lets all aim for better than yesterday’s marketing tricks.

#2 That’s so offensive! Trying not to offend anyone is a guarantee that you will offend just about everyone eventually, and they will get around to telling you about it.  The problem with this goal is that your self-censorship leads to avoidance of risk, a search for middle-ground , and the inevitable ‘safe’ subjects which may have more value as cures for insomnia than interesting reading.  And it doesn’t work.  Reason one is that you cannot possibly know how others think, and that means you can’t predict how what you’ve written will be interpreted.  I can be offended that you expected me to spend my precious time reading a piece that has no value to me whatsoever.  How dare you?!  Its perfectly acceptable if you set out not trying to offend, but just know not everyone else does.  Its even better if you set out trying to be different, strive to share your unique perspective, and seek to find your own voice.  Write for an audience of, one?

#3 Give Up. You give up?  I give up.  We all give up.  Let’s make a list of all the times we have given up in our lives!  Then invite all your friends to the pity party.  It’ll be such a grand time.  NOT.  To misquote Nike, Just don’t do it.

#4 Here is an idea I just thought of, so I’m sticking it in here too.  Remember, we’re all in this together, aren’t we?  As fellow scribes, encourage one another.  Make it a habit.  Call it one non-stop campaign of mutual encouragement.  We all need it.  We all deserve it.  But it ain’t gonna happen unless we make it happen.  We can do it whenever we point out some aspect of what someone wrote that helped us, inspired us, informed us, or entertained us.  Whenever you think about commenting, go ahead and do it.  One short, simple comment that won’t take you more than a few seconds to make, could be the difference that leads to a breakthrough for someone.  See #3 above.

#5 In the spirit of our theme for today, there is no #5                     Happy Blogging

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