Your Right to Be Wrong

For a long time I used to think being “right” was a big deal. I had to say the right thing at the right time, know the right people, read the right books, live in the right neighborhood…

I did all this not because I wanted to, but because I thought it was a prerequisite for success.

If you want other people to respect you, then you have to look and sound a certain way, right? Makes sense, if conformity is all you’ve ever been taught.

What no one tells you is the price you must pay for this. Yes, conformity gains you a certain type of approval from others, but it comes at the cost of losing your sense of self.

You have to systematically search out everything that’s a little bit “off” about you and bury it as deep as you can. You know that you can’t get rid of it — it’s a part of you, after all — but maybe you can hide it so deep that no one will ever see it, so that a world that only respects the “right” will never realize how “wrong” you really are.

Maybe, just maybe, you can fool everyone until you’re in a position of power and no one’s opinion matters anymore. Then you can be free. Right?

Umm… no. Continue reading “Your Right to Be Wrong”

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Things I Wish I Had Known About Blogging

Unlike most bloggers who experiment during their first few months to see if blogging is right for them, I had to gain traction as fast as possible.

I HAD to build a platform for my writing, to earn an income. Yes, I wanted to inspire people, to change the world, but I was also extremely passionate (and motivated) to not starve to death.

To be honest, because English was not my native language, I wasn’t sure I could express my thoughts and emotions in a way others could relate to.

Also, I wasn’t sure what to blog about, so I kept writing reviews. I then switched to writing about the creative process, about art, inspiration, writing, and self-publishing.

Fast forward seven years, and I know blog about life, motivation, self-help, and personal development. I also blog about art, the creative process, and, of course, about blogging on this neat blog called The Art of Blogging.

Of course, during this long, long journey I realized there were a lot of factors that contributed to my success.

And I only wished that I did these things early on to speed up my success on blogging.

So if you’re serious about blogging, here’s what you have to do: Continue reading “Things I Wish I Had Known About Blogging”

Do You Want More Readers? Write like Yourself

Who are you, exactly? Are you the name your parents chose for you? The house you were born in? The books you’ve read? The movies you watched as a kid? The people you spend the most time with?

Who’s you? And when is that you the most authentic you? When around other people, or when by yourself? Are you made up of the noise around you or the silence within? Or is it the other way around?

Are you your thoughts? Which ones? The ones you have early in the morning, or the ones that you have late at night?

Are you words and stardust? Are you a bit of magic, too? Or are you simply the physical manifestation of the universe trying to understand itself?

Who do you believe you are? The one staring back whenever you step in front of a mirror?

Are you who you want to be or are you who you think others want you to be?

Who are you, exactly?

Continue reading “Do You Want More Readers? Write like Yourself”

Try This Crazy Trick to Become a Better Blogger

It’s 2019, and we spend more time than ever on our smartphones, computers, and basically any kind of gadget that connects us to the web.

We’re always posting, reading, commenting, sending Tweets, taking pictures and videos, checking e-mails, messages, and notifications on half a dozen social networks.

We go on Tumblr for a few minutes before bed and stop only when the sun’s up. We find something interesting or funny, and we want to share it with the world.

This is how stuff goes viral. This is how certain YouTube channels reach millions of subscribers.

This is how we keep in touch with friends and family, with folks from around the world we’ve never even met in person. Verbal and non-verbal communication has been forgotten and replaced by…

Actually, it’s not like that. At all.


The Trick is to Keep Human

Think about the bloggers that you like most. Ever wondered why? What makes them so special?

Do you like them because they constantly share with you information that is weird or funny or useful? Or do you like them because you enjoy how they write? Because you like the style of the author, their particular sense of humor, the way they turn a phrase?

A blogger becomes popular because they have a unique style and way of thinking. Here’s the plot twist: they were like that before they ever started blogging.

We like to think that this age of technology allows people to be anti-social, asocial, socially anxious, and still get along with others. Still connect with others.

If by others you mean some 7 people who are probably weirder than you, then yeah…

If you want to become a better blogger, you need to have a style and a voice of your own — and you can’t find that on Tumblr or Instagram.

Throwback to When I Used to Have No Social Skills at All

When high-school started for me some 14 years ago, I was pretty much socially inept. Big time. It’d be hard to even breathe or swallow whenever I met people. Couldn’t look them in the eye, couldn’t control my heartbeats. It was crazy.

I had no idea how to become friends with someone.

Like, I had no idea.

I used to spend an awful lot of time on forums, I was working for a gaming magazine at the time, reading a book a week, writing short stories… yet I had no idea how to talk to people.

So, I just did what I thought was a good idea. I’d tell jokes. That was what I was kind of good at. I always liked a good joke, and I could always remember one after reading it once.

How did that go for me?

Four years later I was the rockstar at my high-school. One of the most popular kids there.

I had developed a style, so to speak. I knew who I was, what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it. I also had the guts to do that.

Blogging is Simple…

We just tend to make it seem like this incredibly complicated and terrifying process.

It’s not.

Blogging is all about knowing who you are.

But there’s a catch. It’s really that simple, but it’s not easy. In life, people will always tell you who to be, and how to behave. And there’s an awful lot of poison being passed around as honey.

Like being told to “be nice.” It’s not the same as being kind, or good, or brave, or anything actually. It’s just pretending to be something you’re not, and you’re encouraged to do that for something called social harmony, which is one of the building blocks of what we call civilization.

Want to know the big paradox?

If you behave in the way that others tell you to behave, and you follow all the rules, and you act nice, and polite, and never disrupt the status quo, and you never raise your voice, and you never talk without being talked to, and you….

You’re not going to be much, really.

If you do the exact opposite, guess what?

Other people will pay your price. Will love you. Will laugh at your jokes. Will admire your swagger, your style, will listen to you.

Personality is what develops when you decide to break the rules, when you decide to be who you want to be, no matter who approves or not.

The stuff you should blog about is the kind of things that set your soul on fire.

What interests you?

What would you like to be if you could be anything at all?

What would you do if you could not fail?

Close your eyes and imagine the best version of yourself. Stand up, eyes still closed, and imagine that you are wearing a cape on your shoulders. An actual cape. Like all other superheroes. Imagine walking around with that cape, imagine people’s reactions, imagine your smile, imagine how you’d hold your head high, how you’d talk to others, how you’d act… how you’d treat others.

How would you act if you were the hero of your own story? The main character in the novel of your life?

That’s how you can be a better blogger.

Walk away from that smartphone/computer (after you comment on this post, of course). Go out. Have some fun. Make some friends. Sit on a bench and just watch life happening to other people.  Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but fear kept you from doing it.

Then write a blog post like only you can.

Warning: Signs You’ve Become a Verbal Narcissist

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You sit down at your desk, hoping to write up a quick blog post. Then an idea hits you. It’s vague at first, but you recognize the distinct voice of possibility: this could be really good. So you start writing a post, becoming more convinced with every word that you’re onto something.

The feeling grows and grows until your fingers are flying across the keyboard.

You’re really punching those damn keys.

The words are flowing, and you’re saying exactly what you want to say, exactly the way you want to say it. You bring the post to a close with an ending that you can only describe as, “Perfect,” and then pause to read what you’ve just written.

A smile spreads across your face. It’s clever, original… brilliant. Not even a second of hesitation before publishing it on your blog. “I can’t wait to see what they say about that,” you think. You walk away from the computer, sure you’ve written a masterpiece.

A couple of hours pass and you come back to reread your post. Uhm… this post isn’t brilliant. It’s arrogant, disconnected, and desperate for attention.

“What was I thinking?” you ask yourself. And I’ll tell you: you weren’t thinking. You were drunk on your own words. Continue reading “Warning: Signs You’ve Become a Verbal Narcissist”

What Blogging is all About

Blogging has many benefits. And it can be a great way to earn a living, to inspire others, to change the world.

Blogging is also about problem-solving. Helping others to fix certain issues, to grow and evolve, to overcome obstacles in their lives, to become more productive, etc.

But, ultimately, and if we are completely honest with ourselves, blogging is simply about people.

That’s it. Continue reading “What Blogging is all About”

Why You Should Use Quotes in Your Blog Posts

“Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.” – Alfred North Whitehead

If you follow my main blog, you probably noticed that most of my posts start with a quote.

A great quote is gold to a perceptive writer. You can instantly boost reader engagement with the right bit of wisdom or wit. And when writing to persuade, you can bolster your arguments by using the words of the rich and famous.

In other words, author Anatole France nailed it with this:

When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.

Continue reading “Why You Should Use Quotes in Your Blog Posts”

What the F$#K? Should You Swear or Not in Your Blog Posts?

Odds are you guessed this terribly, terribly wrong.

And if you guessed “Luck be in the air tonight” maybe this blog post won’t help you much anyways…

Blogging using some cuss words has become quite trendy among some incredibly popular bloggers and social media users, but I’m wondering if it’s really worth it? Or beneficial?

Today’s post is all about the good and the bad of swearing in your blog posts. Continue reading “What the F$#K? Should You Swear or Not in Your Blog Posts?”

Blogging is All About People

Imagine meeting your favorite actor. Someone you admire; you’d very much like to take advantage of this opportunity and tell them how much you appreciate their work. You’d also want an autograph or maybe take a photo with them.

Instead of obliging, they start lecturing you on how stupid it all is. How stupid you are for asking for an autograph. They want to be free of this kind of stress in their free time. They do not want to be bothered by crazy fans.

How would that make you feel?

Now, let’s take a look at your blog. Continue reading “Blogging is All About People”