Writing (in the form of blog posts) has been on my mind a considerable amount lately.
Perhaps the short-form, rapid-fire spray of communication that is emitting from the mouth of Twitter is starting to wear me down. Maybe the dumbed-down (in my opinion) nature of Facebook is failing to stimulate any truly positive feelings. Essentially, social networks are a depressing cacophony of egos, all seeking attention. Which is sort of the point of what they do, but there’s not much inspiration there.
Whatever the cause, the effect is the same: I miss reading the blog posts of those who have turned to social networks for their communicative release. Being guilty of this myself, I also miss writing my thoughts in a form where I can choose my words with tact; challenge myself to be more eloquent with each entry.
I also suspect that I am by far not alone in having these feelings. That perhaps even you, dear reader, miss reading (and possibly writing) ideas that fuel more ideas. The sparks that ignite the desire to do more with this format.
“Why on Earth should I write anything at all?”
This is a ridiculous question. The world needs writers like you, and you, and especially you. Many, in fact, are considerably brilliant writers, and yet you have wandered off into the land of social media *cough, cough*, where you are seen cavorting about talking about everything, yet saying nothing. We need you, because good writing inspires us to be more creative. And creativity is slowly dying due to the constant desire to be more social. It is a dire loop, and things need to change before things become worse.
“But, I have nothing to say!”
This is the ridiculous lie that many of you have tricked yourselves into believing. Truly, if you had nothing to say, would you be so active as to post hundreds, even thousands of entries online in short-form? You likely have more things to say than you might realize. The problem is that you are spitting these ideas out like so many watermelon seeds, when you could easily take a dozen, spend some time, and publish the brief ideas into something that has more substance. An article that has value. A post that has life, and legacy. The whole damn watermelon, if you will.
“Where should I begin?”
The question of where to start when it comes to writing a fresh entry might seem difficult. The feeling can sink into you while staring at a blank page as if it’s school homework. You are tasked with creating an essay, and it’s due Tomorrow. What the hell will you do? The answer is simple, and (almost) right in front of you: Begin at the beginning.
“‘Begin at the beginning,’, the King said, very gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’”
– Lewis Carroll
This post, for example began with an idea that I could have easily Tweeted: “I wish people would get back into the habit of writing”. And nearly doing that created a pause to think, “What’s better than wishing, but doing?”. Thus, a page was opened, and the sentences were allowed to flow out, untapped. The building of paragraph after paragraph was enjoyable. The editing, satisfying. “Surely if I can do this, there are other out there who would find pleasure in a post or three?” I asked myself.
“Yes, of course there are. And don’t call me Shirley.”
R.I.P. Project 52.
I once had an idea that I hoped would inspire this sort of thing. A few notable people even thought it was a decent idea. It gained a modest bit of traction and grew into something kind of cool. But my own lack of leadership malnourished the project into starvation. Hindsight is 20/20, and I take full responsibility for the failure of P52.
So, why bring it up here? Because… I want to try it again, but with a different perspective. A fresh approach to avoid previous weaknesses.
There is a order of magnitude difference in requiring someone to do something, rather than inspiring them to. We all need inspiration. We all need to want more. In the coming weeks, I will be consulting with a chosen few on what steps can be taken to revive the desire to write online. Until then, I encourage you to write about your own thoughts on the subject.
I choose you, Pikachu!
Your time is now, sunshine. Before you post something new on whatever social network you’re using, consider what you are about to type, and ask yourself “Is this idea something that people care enough about that would warrant a more detailed post?”
If the answer is remotely close to being “yes”, then switch over to your favorite text editor, and start drafting your next big post.
Be an inspiration.