43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Blogs: Watching passionate thoughts evolve (in public)

cover of 'The Blogging Church' by Brian Bailey

The Blogging Church
by Brian Bailey

A few months back, Brian Bailey asked me to contribute a short essay for his new book, The Blogging Church: Sharing the Story of Your Church Through Blogs (neat idea for a book).

As I'm sure Brian realized at some point, a lot of the advice in the book (creating an online image, deciding who the blog's for, and improving your blog over time) will also be of interest to small business and garden-variety bloggers. I enjoy Brian's writing and think he has a sound grasp on what makes blogs work (or not). Good stuff, and red meat for anyone thinking of taking their church (or their business or their kittens) to the web.

Here's an excerpt from what I sent him.

The most exciting and difficult time for a new blogger is the barn-raising period after the new blog is launched and the daily dash for new and interesting content begins. As perhaps thousands of ostensible bloggers discover -- sometimes as early as their site's inaugural week -- this can be surprisingly hard work.

It's hard not simply for the obvious reasons -- that regularly-scheduled writing (or photography or even just linking) takes time, preparation, and care. You may also have days where you just have nothing to say and are tempted to meta-whine about how you have nothing to say. You may find yourself padding pages with the results of online personality tests or the latest funny-once meme du jour. Resist this with extreme prejudice.

Remember that your blog is only incidentally a publishing system or a public website. At its heart, your blog represents the evolving expression of your most passionately held ideas. It's a conversation you're holding up with the world and with yourself -- a place where you can watch your own thoughts take different shapes and occasionally surprise you with where they end up...

That last fact is something I learn and re-learn every single week, and it's still the most surprising and illuminating dividend of thinking and writing in public.

[MacStansbury]'s picture

Thanks. No.... Now, be sure and...

Thanks. No....

Now, be sure and email this story to 10 of your friends and you will have incredible luck for the next year!...




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »