Blog Like an Artist

“When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. He sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.

When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *academical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on.

But the moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it.

And Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care. ”― Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

What if the next blog post you write is your last? What if, for whatever reason, you never get a chance to punch those damn keys, to share your thoughts and ideas with the world?

What would you choose to write about? Continue reading “Blog Like an Artist”

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10 Rules to Help You Punch Those Damn Keys

The blank page tends to scare people into a state of inactivity. The possibilities are endless, the desire to create perfection so intense that it is easier to do anything else.

Perfectionism and procrastination have an awful lot in common, and the truth is that most bloggers waste an insane amount of time thinking about writing. Weeks go by like this, and then they start wishing they have written when they had the chance, but now… they’ll just write a short post apologizing to their readers for not posting anything.

And then the cycle resumes.

The essential part of writing is to punch those damn keys. Don’t think, just write. You’ll be able to rewrite, one, twice, as many times as it’s necessary.

Today you focus on writing like a lunatic.

Today, you’re going to punch those damn keys…

And the best way to do that is to follow a few simple rules. Ten, in fact … Continue reading “10 Rules to Help You Punch Those Damn Keys”

How to Find Your Blogging Muse

A blank page.

There’s nothing more terrifying for a writer. Not an actual blank page, of course, but a Word Document with no words on it, that mysterious absence of words that is amplified by us staring at the white screen of death for so long that we feel our brains exploding.

You think and think and think, but nothing is happening, no matter how hard you try.

It makes you feel… powerless. Frustrated. Angry. Sad. Bitter. Sure, it’s your mind, your thoughts, your words, but there’s a bit of magic to writing, like Tinkerbell sprinkling lost boys with pixie dust and enabling them to fly.

No amount of happy thoughts will help you fly without the pixie dust. You need that extra bit of magic, that spark that makes your words take flight.

Where does that magic come from?

Well, from your blogging muse, of course. Continue reading “How to Find Your Blogging Muse”

[Blogging Mindset] A Balancing Act

The first rule of writing anything worth reading?

Write what you want.

Write what you know.

Write about stuff that sets your soul on fire.

No matter how you word it, the truth is that one should write about the stuff they’re passionate about.

But…

There are at least a dozen articles on this blog alone that urge you to always think of the reader, and what such person might want to read from you.

So, what is one supposed to do?

Read on to find out. Continue reading “[Blogging Mindset] A Balancing Act”

Want More Traffic? Here’s How.

Sometimes I ask myself if there’s more to this blogging thing than being addicted to traffic.

You start a blog, or a YouTube channel, create a podcast, whatever your passion may be. You put some content out there, and a few people stop by and compliment your work.

That’s when the madness starts.

You start to go online for traffic strategies, going to webinars instead of movies, and even studying blogs like the Art of Blogging. Hehehe.

But you know what?

I feel you. And because I went through this myself, I am going to share a few strategies with you. Continue reading “Want More Traffic? Here’s How.”

8 Blogging Mistakes that Waste Your Readers’ Time

The Internet has made it possible for us to live in a world of “information overload.” A few clicks, a few swipes on a smartphone, and we have access to more ideas, blog posts, and news stories than we could ever possibly consume.

It’s hard to remember — or imagine, if you’re that young — when information was a scarce resource. But time is still a scarce resource. And with this much information easily available, you must treat your readers’ time with respect when they give it to you.

Especially if you want to build trust with your audience so they give you more of their time in the future.

The curious paradox is that even though it doesn’t cost anything to publish blog posts, send emails, share our life with others through social media updates, if you’re not adding value with those pixels, you’re wasting the time of your readers.

And time is an irreplaceable resource. Time is precious. We all know it.

So avoid these eight common blogging mistakes below at all costs. At all costs. Continue reading “8 Blogging Mistakes that Waste Your Readers’ Time”

10 Questions Every Blogger Should Ask Themselves

The truth about writing is that it’s 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration; a good writer starts with a quick burst of creativity and spends the rest of their time refining and editing those initial ideas.

This ratio of creating vs. editing time helps clarify your ideas so your audience understands your point of view.

To help you in these crucial editing stages, I think that it’s important to ask yourself some questions so you can make an honest, constructive and critical appraisal of a blog post work before publishing it.

Asking these simple questions could mean the difference between a hastily written blog article that remains obscure and a well-written, influential, and engaging blog that courts a loyal audience with ease. Continue reading “10 Questions Every Blogger Should Ask Themselves”

What Do You Do When You Run Out of Words?

Even though you do not want to think about it, there will come a time when you simply run out of inspiration for your blog.

You’ve been writing blog posts about the same topics for way too long.

You’re exhausted.

You just don’t know what to write anymore.
Not that you’re one to give up easily. You try to unblock your creativity. You start going back over old blog posts, rewriting them, trying to find new angles and new ways of talking about the same old thing.

You’ve talked about everything you know how to talk about four times over, from every conceivable angle. You’ve reworked all the posts you can. You are done. Finished. Finito. Really freakin’ tired.

Time to quit blogging and become a Starbucks barista, right?

Wrong.

Continue reading “What Do You Do When You Run Out of Words?”