Writing Principles

I think of this weblog as a small place for me to write. The reason I write is because I have this innate implicit belief that I learn only by teaching. In hindsight, that’s why I wrote those books and that’s why I keep writing in this space.

The “head fake” is that if I don’t have something interesting to write once in a while, it means I’m not doing anything creative or worthwhile in my life. And as a wise man once said “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”

There are four reasons why I believe that my weblog has actually been useful or at least interesting to other people.

First was finding out that it was ranked No. 6 in India according to Indiblogger ranking (as of July 23, 2009). I never imagined this writing space to be part of any listing mostly because I don’t write about a niche topic or write about news or tech tips, which are the recipes for a popular website. My interest was in only writing some of my own thoughts, not talking about what others are doing.

Second was finding out that it was ranked No. 5 in India according to Invesp Ultimate BlogRank listing (as of August 17, 2009). And this was ahead of veteran/famous people like Rajesh Jain, FoneArena and others. I was quite surprised.

invesp listing snapshot on August 17, 2009

When I expressed this on twitter, two of my good friends replied saying I shouldn’t be surprised…

@t3rmin4t0r reply
@vinayakh reply

(I hope they don’t mind me quoting them, I wanted to record this just to prove I’m not making this up ;-))

That kind of made me believe that this blog is actually bigger than I tend to think about it. But don’t worry, I’m not going to let it get to my head. Nothing’s going to change. I will continue to write about my observations and this just happens to be one of them :)

I thought I’d jot down some of the writing principles that I’ve absorbed over the years, for those who have asked me this question before:

  • “Blog about your passions. Don’t blog about what you think your audience wants. Post because you have something you are dying to write about.” — Mark Cuban
  • “One doesn’t make art for other people, even though I am very concerned with the viewer.” — Anish Kapoor
  • “I love encouraging people to live a little more consciously. I like challenging people to consider different perspectives. I know that many people think such pursuits are lame, naive, or pointless. I don’t care. This path inspires me. The more I think about it, the better I feel. It wouldn’t matter if the whole world disagreed with me.” — Steve Pavlina
  • The point is not to show up on a list, the point is to start a conversation that spreads, to share ideas and to chronicle your thinking. That’s the work of an author. — Seth Godin
  • Thoughtful comments and feedback are what keeps me still writing, such as those comments by Sridhar Ratna and others, although I usually don’t have something clever to say to continue the conversation, I just listen to others’ perspectives and learn. Intellectual stimulation is/should be one of the basic necessities in life.
  • Every post has to be consistent and of the highest quality (learned this the hard way) — Darren Rowse
  • Have a regular posting habit as much as possible — Darren Rowse
  • 69 Questions to Ask to Review Your Blog — Darren Rowse
  • Don’t write about anything that you wouldn’t discuss with a room full of people.

Thanks for reading.

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Jamie Larson