This might be the most important tip of them all. Take advantage of this blaugust experience and get involved in the blogging community. Make some new friends. Exchange ideas. Read each others blogs. Comment on each other’s blogs. Share each other’s blogs on social media. It’s a great way to keep the blogging community going, and it’s a fantastic way to come up with post ideas of your own!
Personal experience proved to me that blogging is at its best when bloggers are able to “riff off” of one another. Read a friend’s blog, formulate your own opinion and put your own spin on a post of the same topic. Apart from enhancing your own blog and the greater blogging community, idea exchanges challenge us to grow as individuals. Many of us begin the blogging journey with the simplistic (and somewhat arrogant) idea that our enlightened words will change other people’s minds. Strangely, what I found is that I grew to understand differing viewpoints, resulting in my own attitudes being shaped and adjusted. My mind wasn’t always changed, but at least I was better able to understand my own position and that of my friends.
Too often, social media sound bytes encourage us to categorize the scrolling avatars we see before us. Conservative. Liberal. Snowflake. Fascist. Subsequently, we curate our feeds into giant echo chambers in the name of preserving our own sanity. In reality, the people behind those avatars are much more complex than the retweets would indicate. Blogging, and the complicated ideas communicated in the form of long-form text and conversational exchanges, is a much better medium for understanding our fellow humans. Bloggers very seldom “block” other bloggers because they disagree on a few issues.
Lastly, this tip is incredibly important because, unlike my other tips in this series, if you do happen to fall out of the blogging realm, it’s likely that you’ll continue to stay in touch with the friends you made along the way. I can think of several ex-bloggers with whom I still interact somewhat regularly. Even after I stopped posting to this space, I was still greeted enthusiastically online by some of the very bloggers serving as mentors for blaugust, and who I consider my friends. Some even goad me from time to time to start pecking on the keyboard again. It’s a lasting benefit that has far outlived my ability to create consistent quality reading material.