“By This Axe I Rule!”- Kull, Exile of Atlantis (Robert E. Howard)
Although it began with chisels and quills, writing has since been championed by the keyboard in case you haven’t noticed (Get out from under your rock, I mean really.) Never mind that though, the medium is not what matters, but what comes from it. Since we have invented writing (Be it traditional English, Cyrillic, or some type of cuneiform) you still need to follow the same general rules in order to interest people. Can you use grammar, can you spell? Use correct punctuation? If you can’t do any of these, your writing career is no doubt a short lived one. However after that, you choose how you play the game. Be it a visceral style like Robert E. Howard, or the excruciating details of JRR Tolkien, statistically, you have to find someone who doesn’t think your writing sucks.
But that may be going in the wrong direction, for I digress. If I may, this here is a blog for the fellow bloggers once more. Just as it works for a sword, the keyboard is only as good as the one wielding it, sure you can create a handi-cap to make your faults less visible, such as a hand guard for your blade (Ergonomic design, or Spell-check in terms of the keyboard). But frankly, if you’re bad, there’s really no getting around that with just some nifty tools.
In a previous blog, I did indeed mention that its good to get your name out there by talking on other people’s blogs and contributing, however I now feel I must clarify this further. Imagine, if you will, someone who is a complete shut-in, anti-social, the works. Now in order to improve on this person you want to convince them to just talk to people more, else they will never know the light of progress. Now, by some form of deus ex machina they have blossomed into a social butterfly and are talking to everyone. One problem though, they never shut up, and talk about the most absurd things (ie, he’s trying to pick up the hot blond with his l337 skills in World of Warcraft). You now fear that your previously anti-social friend will find their head jammed in a locker or toilet (High school still isn’t a pretty place). And so you now must explain the concept of moderation.
Moderation is important to all things of course, too many video games, too many candy bars, even working out too much can be unhealthy if you’re not careful. That said, let’s assume you have a blog now and are getting used to working with other bloggers plenty, great! Now imagine you’re the imaginary friend who is about to have his face broken in for not shutting up. Bad. To translate this analogy, it’s good to get out there, but just like in real life you need to be wary of what you’re saying. Much as we want to say we can, there is no walking into someone else’s blog and getting all buddy-buddy with them like you’re a big-time blogging vet like him. If this person is blogging about how much RMTs are the work of Satan, even though you may think you’re a great blogger (And you might be), the odds of you being able to show the heathen your amazingly enlightening views so that they completely re-think their opinion and, impressed by your fantastic writing prowess, talk about you on their blog nearly every post and now have you on their blog roll…is remarkably small.
This is not to discourage people from getting to know the community, but is a reminder on perspective for the ambitious of us. You won’t hit fame right from the start, and it won’t go any faster (Quite the opposite really) if you try to compensate for time lost by commenting that much more. Most importantly though, while a blogger might not agree with you right from the start, you do have the potential to rub off on these guys if you keep at it. Have a thoughtful comment every week or so, but don’t hammer them with your thoughts every day. Fast forward a few months or a year later? Now you’re one of the big boys too, so hop to it!