Writing a Blog Again

I had no problem blogging, er… writing back in 2005. That was before Twitter!

Maybe you’re thinking about blogging again on the open web, and have difficulty in getting started.

My advice – instead of retweeting something on Twitter, write about it on your website.

Copy and paste a nice quote, provide a link, and offer your take. We all come from a different angle, show yours. Fill in the gaps with your unique experience, maybe it’ll resonate with someone else, and you never know where that could lead.

Blogging More

As I spend less time on social media networks, I find I’m reading more of the open web.

If you are frustrated with the state of social networks, I recommend blogging more.

Manton Reece

I miss the tiny updates from friends of course, because I’m not refreshing Twitter as much as I have in the past, but it’s why I’ve been saving my own tiny updates and forming them into blog posts here.

Instead of reaching for Twitter whenever I have a quick idea, I’ll throw it into WordPress, which then give me more space to stretch my legs. Before I know it, I’ve written a paragraph or two, and now that quick update has become something bigger.

Maybe not better, but it’s bigger. A little more heft. And maybe somebody gets something from that, or maybe I look back at it two years from now and wonder what the heck I was thinking.

I just know that two years from now I’m probably not going to remember that quick update on Twitter, and will definitely not ever find it, really.

Please, Just Blog

https://twitter.com/mollylambert/status/1189229640692518912

Social media gave us LIKES, a quick number to show that people saw, they clicked, the engaged. But remember, the LIKE or FAVE is simple. It’s not a of effort.

So now we set up our blogs again, after years of neglecting them. Of course the traffic isn’t there. Why write a 200 word blog post when a Tweet can get 10,000 likes?

Why? Because that Tweet will be “gone” tomorrow. Another Tweet will come along, and we’ll keep feeding the Twitter beast, pouring our work and our attention into a social media website filled with nazis and trolls and Russian operatives.

Just write, share, blog, whatever. It’s yours. Get a few people and write about music. Congrats, you’re now a music blog (and we can honestly use some more of those these days)!

Why Even Bother?

From 2001 to 2018 I published something every day. From Buzzgrinder to Noise Creep to Skull Toaster, I was always putting something out, publishing something, scheduling something.

Up to 20 posts a day with Noise Creep (sometimes more), a nightly email newsletter with Skull Toaster.

Now I can go weeks without writing anything, or posting anything to Twitter.

What’s the point, though? Why even write this? Why hit publish?

Because there are other writers, artists, photographers, videographers struggling with the same thing.

Why post? Why “ship?”

And I think it’s my old thinking about street art. I used to think what’s the point? There’s no URL attached for more info! Why even bother?

It all comes back to permission.

Being a weird band like Presidents of the United States of America “gave permission” for other bands to be weird.

This meandering writing I’m doing right now is just kindling, a conversation starter. It’s energy that isn’t fully formed or captured, but it can go somewhere.

Podcasts and Blog Posts

I wish more podcasts had blogs, and vice versa.

It doesn’t have to be a site with 14 updates a day, but it’d so nice to read some of the highlights of an episode before diving in.

I’m thinking beyond “show notes,” too. Podcasts are hidden and out of sight. It’s hard to stumble into an episode, whereas social media makes it easy to randomly find interesting ideas, or stories.

It would make sense, too, for weekly shows to post daily, because that just builds the brand. What news items do you cover? Maybe reviews, or instructional posts? Blogs get sticky, and when you have repeat visitors, whammo, you have a new episode up, and people click play (especially people who aren’t quite into podcasts, yet, and that’s a lot of people).

And how many quotable items are inside a podcast? The stories and insider information are just tucked away in an audio file, and maybe the episode gets one post of like, “hey, here’s our new episode.”

Pull out two items, that’s two more posts, that’s two more items to post to socials, and include in your email newsletter. One podcast could practically get you five posts that you can spread out over 2-3 weeks.

Call Yourself an Artist

Yes, yes, a million times yes.

You can be a writer and not have a published book. You can be a song writer and not have an album.

There’s no requirement to beat end-level bosses and clear chronological checkpoints to be anything.

Sure, having published by-lines and music on Bandcamp helps you get to other levels down the road, but again, they are not required check boxes on your creative journey.

Dealing with Writers Block

Reading a handful of books by Steven Pressfield sort of kicked my ass in this department, the main point being this; sit down and work.

Don’t wait for inspiration to show up, that’s for amateurs. Turn pro (the title of another one of his books), and get to work. Work on your craft by working on your craft, not reading more tips on Medium or scrolling for inspiration on Instagram (or watching my videos).

My best work comes at an almost unconscious level. I sit down, usually completely uninspired to do anything, and start, let’s say, recording a dumb bass riff.

Before I know it, I’ve layered a few lines, maybe added in some keys, and now I’m dancing in front of my computer. There was no plan, no agenda, it just happened.

By showing up, being available, these energies can flow. Again, not by looking up more hints and tips on using a particular program, or downloading another book on the Kindle, or watching more YouTube videos – no – just putting in the work to get somewhere.

Jocelyn Aucoin Makes Good Words

I met Jocelyn Aucoin years ago when running my first music blog (Buzzgrinder), and she was co-running Lujo Records. We lost touch as our paths drifted, but we started talking again in the past year and it’s been fantastic.

There is just something to this internet thing, when you meet other creative folk from far away places, and you don’t talk for years but you pick up right where you left off. Like magic.

That’s what Jocelyn creates, magic. With words. It takes engineers and programmers and designers to make all the amazing apps and services and brands we see everyday, but it still takes words to create magic.

It takes words to make compelling slides for presentations. It takes words to write all those amazing videos we see everyday. It takes words to make people feel something, fall for something, buy something.

If you need words for something you’re working on – paragraphs, articles, planning – you should speak with Jocelyn Aucoin at Jawbone Creative.

Starting is the Easy Part

Lots of people start email newsletters.

Starting is the easy part.

Running an email newsletter, well, that’s serious work. But really it’s not.

Everyday we read, consume, have thoughts, conversations, take photos – there is never a reason to sit down at our computers and not have anything to write about.

It’s just that sitting at computer can be paralyzing.

I’m telling you – if we took half of our flippant Tweets and just threw them into a draft folder (text file, Bear, WordPress), we’d never run out of material.

The allure of tossing these ideas and pondering to Twitter is strong, I get it. You’ll get four likes, and you’ll recognize some of the faces, and maybe one or two people will reply. But four hours later that Tweet is gone, pretty much forever.

But if you put that on a blog, or in your newsletter, it has a home. It can have a life now.

The fun part? You can do both.

You can Tweet it, than flesh out your thought even more in a bigger piece. The people that don’t use Twitter (which is a lot of people), they can read it now, too. And three years from now, your blog post or newsletter has more of a chance of coming back to life that that Tweet.

Do Your Thing

There isn’t one true way to win this internet thing.

You can hustle and post 902,832 things a day, and live stream, and do all the conferences.

Or you can keep a simple email list, and set up at local flea markets.

Neither are right or wrong, and you don’t have to be in one camp or the next. You, your brand, whatever you do or whatever you make – it doesn’t have to align with something that’s already in existence.

I used to fight this with Skull Toaster – metal is supposed to be aggressive! In your face! Extreme! But ummm..

I didn’t get the memo, I guess.

Now, doing your own thing doesn’t always mean riches and speaking gigs and book deals. But over time you attract the people who’ve been seeking you out. You didn’t know who they were, and they don’t even know who you are, or what you do. That’s why you just keep showing up, doing the work. Because there are amazing people out there, with amazing potential. All destined to make the world a better place.

And sometimes that person is yourself, and being surrounded by other like-minded people pushes you to keep making, and creating. So keep doing your work.