Anil Dash: 15 Years of Blogging post

Am I an artist?

I Know You Are
The Bad Chemicals, used by permission
About six years ago, my friend Dan sent me a link to 15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging by a guy named Anil Dash. Now that I’ve hit that milestone, I want to see if he was correct.

I Typos in posts don’t reveal themselves until you’ve published. “If you schedule a post to publish in the future, the typos will be revealed then. This is an absolute, inviolable rule of blogging.” Heck, yeah. It’ll be something that I KNOW how to spell. Of COURSE, I know the difference between two, to, and two. But my fingers, apparently, do not.

II Link to everything you create elsewhere on the web. That’s a good idea. I should do that, but I don’t. I’m counting on the Wayback Machine. Not incidentally, I became sad to note the disappearance of the Dustbury blog by Charles G. Hill. Fortunately, it is still archived.

III Always write with the idea that what you’re sharing will live for months and years and decades. Yes, I find that I get requests for information about my late friend Raoul Vezina years after I wrote about him.

IV Always write for the moment you’re in. That IS something I try to do.

Better luck next time

V The scroll is your friend. I love maybe half of what I write. But there’s tomorrow. If I labor over a piece too long, in general, the more paralyzed I am as a writer. I try not to do this.

VI Your blog can change your life in a month. People find me at this blog regularly, and they tell me things about my relatives and friends that I never knew before. It can be powerful stuff.

VII There is absolutely no pattern to which blog posts people will like. This is SO true. If you Google “Spaulding krullers” (a doughnut), guess what is #1? My 2014 post.

VIII The personal blog is an important, under-respected art form. I’m an artist! Someone said that to me at some point in the last couple of years. I poo-pooed it because I can’t draw a lick. But I do SOMETHING here. Some people think I’m a good writer. I cannot judge that, but I AM persistent, at least.

This post is a blogging sin

IX Meta-writing about a blog is generally super boring. “(That probably includes this post.)” I do tend to avoid them, unlike in my early blogging period when I’d note every lunaversary. This is true: “Certainly the world doesn’t need any more ‘sorry I haven’t written in a while’ posts.” Fortunately, I’ve never written one.

X The tools for blogging have been extraordinarily stagnant. I dunno. My WordPress plugins are always doing something, but they use terms I don’t understand. And the great innovation of the WordPress block editor escapes me. (And if you don’t understand that, well, neither do I.)

XI If your comments are full of @$$4013$, it’s your fault. On this blog, I’ve only regularly had one post that regularly generates the schmucks, and I’ve shut ’em down. (It was me writing a response post over three years ago, and the racists comments STILL show up, but I reject them.

XII The most meaningful feedback happens on a very slow timeframe. I’ve said it before: blogging is like slow cooking,

XIII It’s still early. If you have a voice, use it.

XIV Leave them wanting more. I never think, “I have to capture all my thoughts on this idea and write it about it definitively once and for all.” And I might change my mind. So, thanks, Anil Dash.

Blogging is hard – 15 years


By kind permiission of SMBC Comics. “Fixing Social Media”
Even I have a difficult time believing this. I have posted a blog item every day since May 2, 2005. 15 years! Tough to believe because blogging is hard.

I enjoyed this story. “Media executives sometimes operate under the impression that writers are interchangeable, or that they could even do the job themselves. Now we get to watch how that turns out.” This was culled from a bigger article that also serves as a link dump on the subject.

Blogging is hard, especially if you are trying to make a living at it, which, fortunately, I’m not. There are new bloggers who don’t know why they haven’t gotten thousands of followers and hundreds of dollars per day.

As someone said, “To make money you gotta have a niche, and you damn well better like that niche. ‘“This blog is about portraits of Abraham Lincoln molded from earwax. Our community is scattered around the globe but very dedicated.'”

bloguer est difficile

Blogging is hard because the blog is, ideally, a dialogue with your audience. Some of my best commenters have, to put it gently, been going through stuff. And one, Dustbury, died last year. Uncomfortably, on 09/09/2019, my blog received 1703 views, 1479 specifically about his death.

One of his fellow acolytes, Fillyjonk, who has had recent troubles of her own, has been blogging over 18 years.

If you don’t want to write about COVID-19 every single day – and I don’t – blogging is particularly hard. I can’t write about the plays and movies I saw because I didn’t see them. Because my wife and daughter are home, I’m not able to carve out as much Roger time as the retiree had gotten used to having.

Perhaps there are folks out there watching videos, bingeing on TV series, and devouring books. To quote the poet, I ain’t me, babe.

So why do it? Why blog? Because there are things I wouldn’t know if I didn’t blog intermittently. In fact, there are things I’d forget in five minutes if I hadn’t blogged about it. Admittedly, there are few things I blogged about and still forget about.

And I blog to maintain my sanity (if any), my equilibrium. I try to keep my mind working trying to find the next subject.

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