This Long-Forgotten Technique Will Vastly Improve Your Blog2 min read

If you’ve been blogging for at least a few months, you’ve probably noticed by now that most of your success as a blogger comes from being able to sit down and punch those damn keys.

That is it.

Writing blog posts, editing them, selecting images, pitching guest posts, answering comments, and all the other tasks that require you to punch some keys on a keyboard or tap your fingers on a touchscreen.

And this thing does not change. In fact, the most successful bloggers just want it a bit more than just about everyone else, so they put a bit more time and effort into punching the damn keys.

But there’s another element to your success that you may have be neglecting with all that work and focus.

Every once in awhile, you might consider stepping out of the house and doing your best to find another human being.

I know this is a bizarre, arcane practice, but bear with me.

Before social networks were cool

Have you ever noticed that you’re not sure what a post is going to be about until you start writing it? One idea after another, and next thing you know, it’s gone in whatever direction naturally follows.

Believe it or not, you can actually replicate this phenomenon by physically locating yourself in close proximity to another person, with each of you taking turns speaking. This is called a conversation.

I know, you know all about conversation already. It’s answering blog comments, posting on your ex-girlfriend’s Facebook wall, and tweeting how upset you are that said ex didn’t even like the cute cat video you shared on her wall.

But here’s something you might not know — “conversations” actually predate the internet.

These “real world” conversations trigger the growth of new neural pathways. You come up with new ideas. You challenge your existing ideas and take them in new directions. You learn.

This phenomenon is improved by another old-school technique, called listening.

Conversation and listening can, if you let them, become awe-inspiring weapons in your blogging arsenal.

Henry Miller had a bunch of rules he used as guidelines when writing. One of them was to keep human. To go out, meet people, engage others in conversation.

What do you think? Is it important to keep human? Is it helpful when it comes to blogging?

Jordan Peters

55 thoughts on “This Long-Forgotten Technique Will Vastly Improve Your Blog2 min read

  1. How true is that! For me, this week has been all about getting out there with people and having wonderful, engaging conversations. It has taken me out of my comfort zone just enough to help me think that actually I might like it!
    Blogging content to follow!

  2. I do believe that it is needed to converse with other human beings and also learn to develop great listening skills.

    Most times I write with an intention to interact with people in mind.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. To get the most from one’s brain you have to directly engage with others. Use technology to its fullest, but don’t let it take the place of face-to-face talking. It is how one feeds the brain and one’s blog.

  4. Conversation with some people is like playing tennis on a rough pavement. You serve up a topic and the return is not at all what you expected. Sometimes it’s a backhand, sometimes a forehand, and often a lob.

  5. It’s way too easy to sit in our enclosed rooms, even if they have a great view and blog our little hearts out. We blog or assume we blog to engage with other humans in a meaningful exchange of ideas and thoughts. But, we don’t actually want or think we need to engage with them in “old world methods” like conversation and listening over a coffee at Starbucks. Sitting over that coffee with someone and talking and listening throws into gear all of our senses. What we see; how they react; how we react. What they say; what we say. All perfect medium for new thoughts and experiences to flourish and grow.

  6. I have worked from home (yes, a real job) for the past two years, and while I love the commute, I do miss the human interaction. My big outing for the week is going to Walmart for the weekly shopping. I really need to get out for a more interactive human exchange experience. I may find that I like it.

  7. It is important in my opinion. In person conversations are important for communication and language skills. Besides, you might end up getting a great topic idea from one of those conversations!

  8. I imagine (when I write) that I am actually talking to someone, I don’t know that someone but I talk to them like they have known me for years (my silly ticks and what not), I lean on that “familiar” tinge and just write that way. I don’t think about “how will the ‘reader’ read this”, I think, my ‘friends’ (fellow travelers as it were) will get it…

  9. Loved the part where you explain how to converse with another: in close proximity, taking turns speaking. I chuckled at that for a whole minute. GREAT BLOG!

  10. I agree.
    I mean, how can we even develop new ways of thinking unless we listen to other people with different opinions from our own?

  11. I agree completely. Good writing, writing that speaks to others in some way, comes from (inter)personal experience. This experience does not come from simply punching the keys. How can my writing have anything to say to other people when I’ve never gone out of my comfort zone to meet them face to face?

  12. I have been taking an online writing course for the past couple of weeks and they have been focusing so much on observations, conversations and feelings that we concur from the real world instead of the internet. So much of writing comes from reality and very little of it from fiction. I believe that’s what sets the great writers apart from the good ones.

  13. Now doubt why we were born with vocal boxes, empathy and often feel unhappy spending too much time alone, and even when we’re connecting on social media, it’s good and nice but definately something missing, perhaps it’s the never knowing if anyone is really listening, unlike face to face, where it pretty easy for most people to know if their heard, this is my take on our anyway, enjoyed your post.

  14. I’m having issues with being able to write on my blog (my computer is on the fritz and I hate formatting on my cell). I have been organizing the house and meeting up with more people as a result. I really am a recluse, and blogging actually makes it worse (see how I can “converse” with people without even leaving the house). It has been nice but I need to fix this issue or I will not have much of an audience soon.

  15. Absolutely! Most of the time when I am in a writing stump and cannot find a topic I truly want to write about, I go out and have thoughtful conversations with others. This always sparks new ideas and creativity.

  16. Yes! Yes! Yes! we need to have those conversations and listen. Not only can those conversations inspire future blog posts, but more importantly it helps us to understand others. If we don’t have these conversations, how can we learn? or truly experience what life has to offer. Yes! Yes! Yes! Have a conversation with someone new – you might just like it! 🙂

  17. You make a great point. It is so easy, just to sit and punch keys for hours on end. Writing posts, do research and editing what you’ve written that day and, all the while commenting back and forth on posts you’ve cranked out and those you read.

    The ironic thing is that we’re not commenting or writing to another computer or device. We’re writing or commenting back and forth to human beings. Actual people. The true art of conversation isn’t just the words, its everything else as well. The facial expressions; the body language; the tone of voice as it rises and fall; the environment it all happens in. How well you listen and hear what the person is saying.

    When we master that art, we can certainly pull elements of it into the “digital world.” Mastering that art though does mean that we need to get out and have actual conversations with real people. And when we do that, the skills we learn, the ideas for new posts are but one benefit of the conservation – time spent across a table at a coffee joint talking and listening.

    And if nothing else, you get out of your house or apartment and get some sun on your face. Which isn’t a bad thing after all.

  18. Lol. What a great idea! So many times, I’ll be stuck in my writing and then magically unstuck through a simple interaction with a real human being! Awesome point!!

  19. This is awesome. We tend to forget that experience and ideas come from HUMAN interaction. Knowledge doesn’t come from a vacuum.

  20. Exactly! I, too already mentioned it on my blog that though we love the idea of just sitting around while blogging, one day you’ll miss going out to chill and just relax. And who knows, you might get a blog post from there. 😊

  21. Very interesting reading. Although my blog is about my naughty cat, and most of my conversations with humans involve me apologising to them on his behalf because he’s annoyed them again.

  22. Really true, a lack of interaction also seems to impact our ability to learn, let alone create, we seem to try to do everything in a void these days.

  23. Arcane, bizarre, and yes! Definitely true, human. Oops, forgot this wasn’t a recorded modulated voice interaction who’s fav quote is, “I cannot understand you. Please call back – click.” 😊

  24. Yes, listening and conversations do spark new ideas. Sometimes I get inspired to write new posts after engaging my friends on Facebook and in most cases those turn out to be quality posts.

  25. Great angle, we have definitely forgotten the importance of a good conversation. I get so many different ideas when I am able to discuss them in person, over a glass of wine, in a relaxed setting.

Leave a Reply