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Some Unexpected Benefits of Blogging

Josh Hanagarne | June 23, 2009 | 9 Comments
Blogging 101
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Josh HanagarneI am often asked why I write World’s cialis price Strongest Librarian.

Why do I write?

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Background, Botox

Most people get Botox shots in their foreheads.

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For three years, every five weeks I got Botox injections in my vocal cords. This was a lame-o workaround treatment to deal with an increasingly awful case of Tourette’s Syndrome (TS). At the time, my disorder was causing me to scream hard enough every 2-3 seconds that I got a hernia from it. I couldn’t go out in public much, given the public’s disapproval of a 6’8”, 260 pound giant who stumbled around barking, drooling, and scratching himself to pieces.

The shots made it possible for me to get out there again. With my vocal cords paralyzed, I couldn’t scream anymore. But I couldn’t talk either. I could whisper a little bit, but not enough to be heard on the phone.

Writing: A Gift to Yourself

It was a time with few silver linings. One of the positives was my mother’s suggestion:

“You know, you’re going to have a lot of weird stories to tell. You should be writing this stuff down.”

Oh man, she was more right than she knew. So for years, I wrote things down while I couldn’t speak. Turns out, I loved it. The process itself was something very healthy for me. Later, when my symptoms became more manageable, the writing was something that I still needed… just for different reasons.

Soon I had a pretty cool diary going. Nothing official, but something dear to me.

The process of writing is good for you, especially if you hate it. You’ll flex areas of your mind that haven’t twitched in ages.

What do you think? Do you really know?

One of the benefits of writing was this realization: sometimes I didn’t know what I thought about something until I wrote it down. This was hard for me to admit. Like most insecure men, I like to think of myself as quick on my feet and apocalyptically powerful, mentally speaking. I rarely proved myself wrong by writing out my thoughts – but I did gain some clarity and insight that I couldn’t gain on the fly.

If you ever wrestle with something and really need to reason it out, try writing it down. Sketch your thoughts out in broad strokes and then revisit and refine them later. The results might surprise you.

Be Creative: Boredom Kills

Too many people think that boredom is just part and parcel of being alive. I say to hell with that: don’t turn your back. Keep your guard up and stay engaged.

Boredom is sinister. It adds cumulative frustration to your overworked brain and indicates a lack of satisfaction and passion in our lives.

There’s a cure.

If you are making progress at something you care about, you won’t be bored. If you have goals you really care about, then you’ll care enough to go after them. If you go after them and you really are passionate about them, then you’ll knock them out. Refuse to accept drudgery as the cost of living. That’s when you turn off your brain and quit fighting for your mind.

Blogs are a great cure for boredom. If you give it some thought, you’re going to produce something that did not exist before you. My humble (for now) little blog gives me a lot of pleasure. My conversations with other bloggers lead me to believe that this feeling is widespread – it’s fun to create… regardless of what you create.

But What Would I Write About?

Depending on who you ask, there are approximately 500 kerwillion blogs out there, with an additional 20 bajillion added every second. Some of those blogs are run by glamorous geniuses like Keller. She’s going to help you make money.

I’m not. I’m just a big twitchy nerd who’s in love with the sound of his own voice (now that I have it back). I do my own thing, but Keller and I have a lot in common because we both write our sites for similar reasons – we like to do it.

So there’s the short answer, which I suspect you’ve already heard – write about something you love, whatever your reasons for blogging. Want to make a million dollars blogging about your cat? Better love that cat or we’ll know you’re a phony.

Think you can build a following writing about the need for some manatee Olympics in the United States? You’re right you can, provided you’re not the only one in the universe who feels that way. (That never happens, by the way. There is always someone else. Usually many “someones”).

Three Birds, One Stone

There are three things everyone should do every day.

  1. Read something
  2. Write something
  3. Interact with people

Blogging gives you a way to do all of these things. We talked about boredom and progress earlier. Daily reading will improve your mind, even if you only read the blog of a colleague. I’m not talking about the content, but the process of reading.

Writing gets your brain firing on all cylinders. It will wake you up and teach you about yourself.

Interacting with people is fun and rewarding. Whether you’re blogging to make money or you just want to keep a diary online, like-minded people will find you if you are genuine.

I started World’s Strongest Librarian 9 weeks ago. I had no idea what I was going to do. The response has been huge, humbling, and incredibly satisfying. It has led to many opportunities and successes, both financial and personal. It will lead to more, because I’m having too much fun to stop and that is what always draws people: sincerity and enthusiasm.

Keller obviously feels the same. You’re in good hands here. Take what she gives you and use it to go your own way.

  • Pick a goal.
  • Make a plan.
  • Commit.
  • Don’t look back.

You’re going to have a blast if you decide to. Might even make some money along the way.

I’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions, comments, snorts of disbelief… whatever you’ve got. Give it to me and I’ll give it back.

Josh Hanagarne is the author of World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog to help you get Stronger, Smarter, and Live Better… Every Day. If you know someone with Tourette’s Syndrome, please tell them about WSL. They’ll appreciate it. Please go say hi to Josh and sign up for his RSS updates so we can all keep track of each other.
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