Monday, May 23, 2011

An Example, a Commitment and a Plan

Cinder blocks dreaming of being apartment buildings.

I have talked time and time again about the importance of little blocks and working on one stage of a project at a time. Today I want to share an example of how it is working in my life.

Since I started “Up From The Ashes” I have been very concerned with producing a quantity of writing. Sticking to this posting schedule has been a little block. It is where my focus has been when writing. I create five posts a week and sometimes the quality has suffered.

Quality is the next little block I need to work on. This does not mean that I will be sacrificing quantity for quality but instead raise the bar of quality while maintaining the quantity I already have. This is how little blocks work, you keep the ones you have finished allowing them to be a foundation for the next row of little blocks.

This does raise the question “what does quality look like in a blog?”

Quality is different from one blog to the next based in part on what the author is trying to do. At Pen vs. Paper Jeffrey has gotten fed up with doing what he is told to do to be a good blogger and has really become almost a curator of interesting information and thought. Almost every time I check in there he has something to share that makes me stop and think, that inspires me or that makes me think, you know that is true but…. For him that is quality.

For “Up From The Ashes” that would not work since this is a discussion of my personal journey, my learning how to be successful and ultimately of my growing up. In my mind there are three things that make Up what it is: personal honesty, exploration of abstract concepts, and an understanding that we must grow in the world. The last one may not be as evident to my readers as it is to me, however, as I sit to write every day I do not want to find ways I can leave society behind but rather ways in which I can maintain my own identity while being successful in society.

To create quality here I need to cultivate these three things and make them the core of what I write about. To do that I need to change my approach to writing the blog; I should not think of this as fire and forget writing, throwing words into the data stream just to do it. Instead this must have the reason, the research and the work put into them that I do with my professional writing.

The pace will be hard to keep up but it can be done. To start I am going to shoot for longer, more well reasoned posts at least twice a week. As that gains traction I will push for three of these better crafted pieces. I will not say that on these days I will produce good writing and on the others slack off, but as topics that warrant more attention come up I will give it to them.

So there it is an example, a commitment and a plan. That is the way little blocks work: build one, finish it, set it in place and find the next one.


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