Archive for the ‘ Quick Thoughts ’ Category

The Daily Ups and Downs of Writing a Blog

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not an expert at public / social / blog writing.

I’ve been doing it for a month. By all sense of the definition, I am a total beginner.

As such, I have no experience in this, yet I do have an opinion.

And man, sometimes writing a blog is hard work!

Coming up with ideas is typically easy – there’s always something running through my mind. Something I want to get “down on paper”, something that I want to share with the small amount of people that are willing to listen to me.

The work begins once I have an idea. Usually I start off with a bit of research, which then leads to more research, which leads to reading, which leads to thinking, which leads to finding a creative spark .. and on and on the cycle goes.

Sometimes I find that “spark” rather quickly, other times I’m staring at a blank screen with what I’m ashamed to call writers block because a) I’m by no means a “writer” and b) I don’t believe I truly know what writer’s block is (like George R. R. Martin knows what writer’s block is).

When I do find the spark and words start to come out, it’s fulfilling. Letters form words, words connect into sentences, sentences create paragraphs. And usually after about an hour of focus I find myself proofing reading a decently sized entry.

I crop, caption and format pictures, upload them, and fit them where I think they make the most aesthetic sense. I add external links – then test them (afterall, broken links suck) through countless clicks of the “Preview” button.

Once all of that is done and I’m sitting here proud of what I wrote, a dark cloud of doubt casts a shadow over my creative efforts.

Who the hell is going to read this anyway?

It’s odd – I probably shouldn’t care. This is supposed to be as much a soapbox for myself as it is for the few people interested enough in what I have to say. But I do care – I want people to read my thoughts, ideas, and share them with other people.

Afterall, my mom finds me interesting. Maybe other people will too.

I battle the self doubt long enough to schedule my post and hit the “Publish” button. And then I wait. I wait as twitterfeed picks up the post and publishes it to Facebook and Twitter. And then I wait some more. And then I refresh some more.

I watch as the WordPress visitor graph slowly begins to live again (it’s probably been about 24 hours since my last post, right?).

Oh wait, I just got an email. Someone in Texas is now following me on Twitter? That’s pretty cool.

My friend just retweeted my post to 435 followers? Also pretty cool.

Whoa, an old co-worker that follows my blog just sent me an email asking me if I tried a beer I never heard of?!

And that’s when all of that previously felt doubt dissipates. It seems that, albeit small in numbers, there are people reading what I have to say about one of my favorite hobbies and they’re slowly participating in this community.

Here are two examples of what my friends sent me – welcome to the Craft Beer Community guys.

From Nate C – An email titled “craft beer enthusiasm”, Nate shared two links:

iTunes App
Thrillist Manhattan/BK Craft beer crawls

From Adam S – Asked me if I tried Mjolnir Beer yet.. Tried it? I never even heard of it!

So cool that these guys actually took time out of their day to share something craft beer related with me.

These are the types of things that will keep this blog going .. for at least another 24 hours 🙂

What has your experience been with writing a blog?

Craft Beer Aggression! (via @twitter…)

Did you notice that people were a little aggravated on twitter today? I did. And I liked it (but I have one piece of advice which I’ll get to in a few sentences).

Over the course of the day, I saw a number of strong arguments cloud up my feed, and again, I enjoyed them (with all the passive aggressiveness that twitter offers).

There were no right or wrong comments made in the few conversations that I followed – both sides “presented” valid arguments. Maybe this sort of thing happens often and being new to the craft beer blog sphere, I’m just now noticing.

As healthy as a good argument can be, it’s important to remember that we’re all on the same side, promoting the same movement, enjoying the same community.

At the end of the day, you don’t need to declare a winner, hold a grudge, or resort to more passive aggression via your chosen social media outlet. Simply remember what fueled the initial fire and keep on doing what you do – with civility always in mind.

Have you ever engaged in a healthy social media “argument” with a fellow blogger?