Wow. I can’t believe that Matthew and I started this thing four years ago. Them’s lotsa blog posts between then and now.
So, anniversaries are natural times to reflect upon how you may have grown and what you may have learned over the years. So, what have I learned? Not much. But I have learned a few things about blogging and these have been codified in some personal guidelines. Further, there some things I have realized which I will now share.
Realization: After four years of writing whatever pops into my head, I can never ever run for elected office. The interwebs has a long memory.
Guideline: Don’t fall in love with your posts, because if others don’t, you will get bitter. If you write something you are proud of, good, now start writing your next stupid post immediately. Why because….
Realization: The attention your post will garner is inversely proportional to the actual thought you put into it. The posts of which I am most proud have disappeared quicker than cocaine at Charlie Sheen’s house.
Guideline: Never ever take yourself seriously. It will show in your writing and always-serious people are boring people. People don’t read boring people. Conversely…
Realization: If you don’t take your blog seriously, why should other people?
Guideline: No matter what you write, no matter how trivial, seemingly inoffensive, silly, or inconsequential, somebody will call you out in the combox. Typically they will scold you for something you didn’t even say. So let it go. Ignore the combox crazies that are just there to cause trouble. Let it go.
Realization: You know that saying “there are no stupid ideas?” That’s not true.
Guideline: Blogging after 3 drinks is fine. Four, not so much.
Realization: Blog hits are like love. They are only useful if you spread them around.
Realization: Write about what you care about. Don’t try to write what you think people want to read. Be yourself. Don’t try to write like anybody else. If you’re a sarcastic jerk, be a sarcastic jerk. Nobody will buy it if you pretend to be somebody else.
Guideline: Don’t argue in your own combox. But if you do, don’t write more than two comments arguing the same point or you’re now part of the problem.
Realization: If you quote GK Chesterton more than twice a month, you’re probably mailing it in.
Guideline: Bloggers (in particular Catholic bloggers) are a subset of a subset of a subset. It doesn’t matter what Statcounter says, it’s just a blog dude. Even if you manage tens of thousands of readers a day, 99.999999999% of the world will never know your name. It’s just a blog. Get over yourself.