Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Start blogging. Again.

A few weeks ago, I picked up my copy of Hugh MacLeod's Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity for some inspiration getting back in the swing of blogging.

Here I am blogging, so of course it worked, just like when I first read the book a few years ago. Here are a couple "keys" that particularly stood out in this re-read, and some thoughts on them:

#18 Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
"Wanting to change the world is not a noble calling, it's a primal calling"
THIS. So much this. It's so hard to explain to someone that I don't care about working long hours and getting paid less than my market value if I know I'm playing a part, big or small, in changing the world. I don't work for non-profits because it makes me feel like a better (or more noble) person, or even because I think it's the right thing to do, but I do it because there is a voice in me that says this is the best shot I have at changing the world. I'm not going to invent the next Facebook or find a cure to anything--that's just not me--but that doesn't mean I still can't change the world. My primal calling figured out what I was good at, and figured out that I could use those skills to change the world by helping people... then kept bothering me until the rest of me figured it out and started to do it.

#27 Write from the heart
"You can't love a crowd the same way you can love a person. And a crowd can't love you the way a single person can love you."
What I love about this is that Hugh isn't talking about social media or online communications, but he might as well be, right? So often I see brands and social media managers focus on the collective, forgetting that that collective (or what some of us like to call community) is made up of individuals. I'm never going to write something that everyone in the world loves, but if I think about the individuals, the persons that make up my community, and try to write for them, well, chances are I'll stay more true to myself (or to my brand, whichever the case) and I'll relate better to most of them.

#37 Start blogging
"The ease with which a blog (or whatever social medium you prefer) can circumvent the gatekeepers is staggering."
So, this wasn't revolutionary, and if you read the old blog post I linked above, you know that this key was meaningful four years ago. Blogging is where I try to balance writing for work and writing for pleasure. Part of it is a time balance--I don't give myself time to do the things I love, writing being one of them. So here we are. Blogging.

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