Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How blogging is like throwing stones

Blogging is like throwing stones into a calm lake
The beginning of any journey holds the promise of surprises at each opportunity. I plunged into the lake of my journey to prove a point, that blogging everyday is like throwing a pebble in the big pond. The dropping stone creates not only a momentary splash, but like the ripple of sound waves, it rolls and swells and broadcasts its influence over what has previously been a calm surface.

The first stones I dropped were boulders. These were stories too big, too large, the pile of words rocking the boat of what I could easily manage. Then, after the big rocks, I tossed smaller ones, easy cute as a kitten fishing for goldfish sized posts that were short. Succinct. Something interesting or fun I found online that I would normally simply tweet, but instead of turning to Twitter, I married it with a couple of paragraphs of thought and published it. Nothing wrong with that. I was learning craft.

I was learning the ebb and flow of words and the time I had available.

During my consecutive blogging stint, I found the lake of concepts overstocked with ideas. They were swimming everywhere. You couldn't miss them. I cast my line of opinion into the lake, hooked a few ideas, and reeled them in. If you can fish online, you can blog. If you can stay awake for an hour before bed, you can blog.

The sweet spot for a blog post is about 500 words.The 500 word vessel is easily managed within the time allotted, it's easy to edit and easy to correct after you post it and discover, for some unknown reason, you have written a smattering of sentences that make absolutely no sense.

Sometimes to make sense of it, you need to tear it apart.

Taking one blog post and breaking it up is a great option to get the most mileage out of an idea.The post I'm writing now, was originally planned as one post. I couldn't balance all the boulders and pebbles and row across the lake, the ocean of concepts too wide, the pool of thought too deep. So I drained ideas from the first post. I bailed ideas out of the second post. I siphoned words from the third and managed a series of four. No five. Who's counting? Probably only me.

I felt ridiculously proud of my accomplishment.

I wanted to find other people paddling in the blog lake and revel in our accomplishments. I searched nearby.  Dale Chumbley, a Realtor® from Washington State, made a name for himself by posting EVERYDAY for a year. His topic was 365 Things to do in Vancouver, Washington

To uncover others, I posted a question on Quora and got this response. “You can follow the blog entries done by this man - who visited 1000 bars in 1 year (go to year 2005 and read all about it). http://thousandbars.blogs. He blogged continuously!” said Faisal Khan.

Really? Blogged about bars? Since 2005? What would you say after the first five years? “I need elbow grease and a beer. Woot. I discovered bag balm and can now raise a glass to any occasion. Bring on the new year.”

I discovered Since February 2001, Heather B. Armstrong has published more than 6,000 entries. Her claim to fame is...weird. Her blog tags include: Boobs, depression, and therapy. She also wrote the book, It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita

Hmm, I thought, maybe I should blog for 365 days. Maybe I should dooce it and go for the thousands.

I checked my temperature thinking I might be ill.

No, I realized I was insane.

Finish the thirty, revel in it, I encouraged myself. The beauty of the journey will be the journey.

I threw a few more stones in the lake and threw up a few more blog posts and experienced the ripple affect. It's incredible.

If you'd like to read the other posts in the blogging series, try these:

What I learned from Jeremiah Owyang
that allowed me to take down Google*

Tips for blogging everyday

Great is the enemy of good and other
things I learned from blogging

How blogging is like throwing stones
How blogging for 30 days in a row
leads to international acclaim

'Dale Chumbley' it. What I learned
blogging everyday