Take the Risk…Start a Blog!

Every now and then I have people ask me about blogging. They want to get into it themselves but they have some reservations. They are either intimidated, unsure, or clueless. I like to talk to these people and hear what their vision is for their potential blog. I then ask them what their concerns are. From there I usually tell them to calm their fears and really invest on a blogging adventure.

Listen to me right now: If you are committed and you got something to say, you can start a blog! I am serious. Although please note that the first requirement I pointed out is more important than the second.

If you want to write a blog I say go for it but you must dedicate yourself to it. You have to make a promise to yourself that you will write at least four times a week. You have to condition yourself to the point where if you miss a day of writing you feel sick to your stomach. Missing a day of blogging for me is on par with missing a day at the gym.

If you are in it to win it you are going in the right direction. If you have lots of things to say and you can articulate yourself in a fair enough manner you are golden. Quite frequently people will say to me “I am boring. I have nothing interesting to say.” Okay, but substitute the word “nothing interesting” for “something” and now read what you got. You see, you still have something to say and that fits my second requirement.

Take myself for example. I write entire blog posts on losing my keys, naps, and cemeteries. Talk about lame, worthless topics. However, I still have a large readership that grows by the day. What gives? People don’t mind if you talk about the most mundane things because in most cases they can relate. Majority of us out there live ordinary lives. We go through the same things and share the same experiences. What you term boring is exactly what the rest of us live each day. Relate your ordinary, common dealings in life 80% of the time in your blog and splash some experiences unique to you the other 20% of the time and you will have engaging content.

The key is to just have a voice. If you can express your personality in print you are good to go. Although I encourage most people I chat with to take the big step and author a blog don’t kid yourself…if you can’t write yourself out of a paper bag than save yourself the time, frustration, and embarrassment and bypass the blog idea. I have zero artistic talent…I am not starting a website for my paintings. I don’t know how to cook…I am not submitting recipes or dishes. Play to your strengths.

But if you do have basic writing skills and you meet my two requirements of commitment and content don’t let little things stop you from starting your blog. Don’t feel like you are a copying a friend, millions of people had blogs long before your friend did. Don’t worry about sounding stupid, if you are articulating something in a clear fashion people aren’t laughing at you. Don’t worry about the technical requirements of maintaining a blog, it is super easy. Don’t worry about whether anyone will read your blog, if you put effort into it and you are consistent people will take notice.

If you have any questions on starting a blog please let me know. I would be more than happy to help you out. To know that I had an influence in helping someone start something as meaningful as an electronic memoir we refer to as a blog is very fulfilling to me. Give it a try! Don’t Blink.

Before I Had My Blog

I just finished work for the night as the Lady Griz soundly defeated Idaho State 67-48 in Dahlberg Arena to cap off a 14 hour day. As I am a little fatigued I don’t feel like putting the energy into writing a regular post. Instead I much rather take the much less demanding route and provide all of you a true Throwback Thursday to my first ever “published” piece of writing.

The year was 1998 and I was a fourth grader at Farwell Elementary in Spokane, Washington. My class of exceptional writers (sarcasm) put together a compilation of our best work into an 8.5 by 11 inch spiral-bound booklet. We called our masterpiece “It’s Funny, It’s Tall Taley, It’s Animally and Cook Bookie”. We then sold copies as a class fundraiser for $5 each. My contribution fell under the “Animally” part of the book.


Would you pay $5 for this?

Would you pay $5 for this?


For your reading pleasure, here is a photo of my entry with the text typed out underneath it:

Not my best work ever.

Not my best work ever.

By Brent

Hi, I’m Brent and I’m going to tell you about a trip to the zoo I will never forget.

One hot summer day I was walking by the monkey cage when I saw a grizzly bear in the monkey cage. I quickly opened the cage and took the monkeys out. There were only three. Their names were Jake, Alex, and Peanut. I quickly scared the bear away, But then something horrible happened. The cage was locked shut. I would have to find the zoo keeper, but I couldn’t find him. Right away the monkeys were trouble. Alex started teasing the elephant, and Peanut took cotton candy from the tourists, and Jake squirted people with the hose. But then something good actually happened. The zoo keeper came by. I tried to stop him but he got away. But luckily the zoo keeper had bananas in his hands. The monkeys went over to the zoo keeper. Now those troublesome monkeys are all locked up. The end.

Just five quick thoughts:

1. Even by fourth grade standards, my writing was awful.
2. Obviously I always knew I would one day become a Griz as I couldn’t help but feature one in “Monkeying Around”.
3. Don’t you love my repetition?….One hot summer day I was walking by the monkey cage when I saw a grizzly bear in the monkey cage.
4. Why couldn’t I stop the zoo keeper? Was he sprinting? Maybe deaf? Did I really even try to stop him in the first place?
5. While my writing improved, my drawing skills never did. If you gave me a piece of paper and a pencil I would be lucky to come up with something better than that sunglass-wearing monkey.

I apologize to anyone who got swindled out of $5 to buy our fourth grade disaster. Don’t Blink.

Trying Not to Settle For My Subpar Work

Tonight I got home and after I had some dinner and got caught up on the MLB playoffs I sat down to write a blog post surrounding an idea that came to me a couple days ago. I labored through the post, trying to make each sentence flow perfectly and working to make sure I crafted the passage in such a way that it would really drive my point home. I spent more than a couple periods just staring at my computer screen contemplating what words I should add next. I struggled through the whole thing. Compared to my average post, I spent much more time and wrote much more on this one. I then made a decision:

I decided not to publish it.

After taking about as much time to scrutinize and think about the post I had just written as it had taken me to draft it in the first place, I decided that I would not publish it to Don’t Blink. I came to the conclusion that it just didn’t fit my brand and that it probably wasn’t my best work. Yep, even though I did spend a lot of time on it that toil didn’t quite translate to Grade A quality.

I am glad I have come to the point where I can recognize work that is subpar and then not go with it. I definitely have not always had this discipline. I can glance through my almost 400 posts in Don’t Blink and see pieces that are garbage. Either my topic sucked, my writing lacked substance, the structure was off, my voice wasn’t coming through, or all the above. But my desire to “get something out there” that particular night led me to publish it. I have a plan in the near future to go through my blog and delete some of the dead wood that I should have never of put my name to.

I think in this day and age we as a society have this conception that we must get “stuff” out there. I am sure most of you have heard someone say or said yourself “we just need some content.” Without even thinking about quality many of us just want the mediocre feature or the lackluster post to take up space. As I just admitted with my blog, I have triumphed this thinking too many times myself. But I am trying to get better and tonight was a good step.

Just because we work on something doesn’t necessarily mean that what we created was a success. We need to be honest with ourselves and honest with who we are. If we create something that doesn’t sound like us or that doesn’t reflect who we are and we go through and make it live we are deeply damaging our personal brand. No amount of time spent on a project that doesn’t meet standards could ever justify posting it at the expense of the reputation that we have worked so hard to build. Don’t Blink.