Thank god for the amateurization of content creation – now blogging and creating youtube videos is a legitimate expansion of time. I met a writer who told me she couldn’t quit her day job to “just write” because publishing and paid reporting is too competitive and has very low margins. So why not write for free? I was advised that once the thing is on the web, you lose your copyright to it. – Huh?
If I’m not even getting paid to write in the first place why would I be worried about the money that I’m not going to get from losing the copyright to it? The way I see it, the whole beauty of blogging is that you can write for the market without the middleman telling you what the market would allow you to write.
I’ve been blogging since around 1999/2000 and never mind where those blogs are. I don’t see my actual content/archives as what’s valuable – I see the possibilities and the perfection of my perpetual flaw – editing myself for clarity – as the true value of blogging. I see my expansion of thought and the honing of my public voice as the real value behind blogging. I see my increasing boldness in allowing my thoughts to stand naked for public scrutiny as the value of blogging (and making youtube videos!).
Nevermind that I’ve lost hundreds of blogs, some I found pretty insightful because I’ve enfolded those thoughts into new thoughts, making my ability to say more with less. My recent challenge to myself is to be able to blog tightly – in under 700 words if possible and only to go until 1,200 if the expansion of thought is really crucial to the plot. I used to blog in the neighborhood of thousands but trying to do so much takes more time to write, more time to edit and clarify and more time to re-read and check. But sometimes it’s a curve you have to ride – to start off with more so you learn how to do more with less.
People who have come across me since 2000 would know that my tagline in my profiles was always this lifetime achievement wish – Editing myself for Clarity. I might just be able to achieve that.
One last thing nagging me was when the professional writer invalidated the act of blogging as marketing suicide. I couldn’t tell someone who was published and with a lot more professional and academic credentials than I do that blogging doesn’t share the same virtues of traditional publishing. People blog not because they want to increase their market value (but sometimes it happens as in the case of Jeff Jarvis, Mitch Joel and others who’ve had their books published postblogging) but because they have things to say that traditional publishing find unworthy of the cost of making it mass.
And again Seth Godin saves my imagination.