Thursday, January 03, 2008

Blogaday 5 of 20

(8) Day Five, stayin' alive. (8)

Today's the first day that might break blogaday. It's a school night that is on the tails of a school morning. I can't stay up till a billion writing this baby. It's already a bit late, but I think that writing this post is important. I'm making this blogaday work. It's important to me, and I want to talk about why.

There's a quote out there that's attributed to Aristotle that says,
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
I agree with the quote. If there's one thing that I think I've done to put me where I am today, it's been the habits that I've developed. I'm not saying that I've got anything intense going on here, but I've made it a habit to brush my teeth every morning and night. I believe that this habit has been the root cause of my lack of teeth problems for the last 9 years of my life. Good habits yield good results.

Blogaday is a bit like that. I have a fairly extensive night-time routine. It has changed a bit since Christmas, due to the introduction of Crest White Strips (which I love, by the way). Blogaday has also modified it, but the concept remains the same. I take my contacts out, toss in the white strips, sit down to post, write in my journal, read my scriptures, read two other books, brush my teeth, and then go to bed. Before the break, it was just teeth brush, journal, scriptures, bed.

That's one thing I'm really excited about, the expansion on my night time routine. Yeah, it's longer, and therefore means less sleep if I do a poor job managing things. But it also means more progress for me. I have really been loving these past few weeks' nights.

I feel really good about this blogaday business because it's stretching me. It's forcing me to write something every single night, regardless of the situation. I've made the commitment, so I will write.

This sort of thing has been really successful for a lot of "artists" over the past few years, especially with new media. Jaron had a post that talked about how he's going to do something creative every single day. It's a brilliant idea, and I'm positive that it'll make him a more creative guy.

Jonathan Coulton is somewhat of a troubadour. He used to be a programmer, but quit his job and decided to do music full time instead. To make a name for himself, he started a project called "Thing a Week", whereas he'd release a new song on his website every single week. 52 songs in a year. A few of his songs went pretty big on the Internet, and by the end of the year he had made a good name for himself online. He gives a lot of his music away for free, and licenses most if not all of it under creative commons, which lets other people make stuff with it really easily. This approach to listeners has allows him to make a living doing nothing but his music. I admire the guy because he took a new approach to his industry and nailed it big time.

He's a talented artist, that's for sure. His Thing a Week project stretched him and made him a better artist, but at the same time it was getting his name out there and sending out a product. He was nailing several birds with one weekly stone.

Scott Johnson of ExtraLife has recently started his Sketch-a-day for 2008. He is going to make a basic sketch a day, and post it up. Scott's already a successful webcomic-dude and runs a very entertaining blog. His project is for himself and his community, as he's going to stretch his artistic capabilities and give all his readers something new to look at every single day. I have no doubt that his sketch-a-day will make him more popular and successful.

Looking at those two examples, one that we've seen go full circle and be successful, and another just starting, we see that both of them are giving their talents out for free. It costs people nothing. It's a brilliant business model. By getting their names out for the world to see, people will recognize their mad skills and hire them away. Popular Science commissioned Coulton to do a few songs for their sep. 2006 magazine. Scott is currently doing a lot of commission artwork for fans and all that other cool stuff. Giving out their stuff for free has been smooth for both of them. It helps the community have some fun, it helps the artists get better, and it helps the artists make money down the line. It's a smooth business model.

That's not to say that everything ought to be given away for free, that's just to say that giving some stuff away for free isn't a terrible idea.

Side note ~This post is interesting because it's pulling from three sources. Coulton's life story, Extralife, and Zenhabits, which is a very good site. Most of my posts just come straight from me. ~ End side note.

So here I am, not an artists. I recognize that I'm not an artist. I do like to think, however, that I'm a little bit of a thinker. I know that my life story isn't very similar to these other guys', but I like to think that what I'm doing here is a tiny bit similar.

I'm taking my supposed talent, thinking, and doing it once every day for at least 20 days. I'm throwing it up online, and I'm giving it away for free. Now I don't go so far as to assume I'm giving something substantial to the community like the artists do, and I don't expect this to ever come back directly to make me money.

But here I am, at my computer, stretching my limits every day. I'm hoping to become a better thinker through blogaday. I'm hoping to get my name out a little bit more. I do expect traffic to increase through blogaday. I'm hoping to entertain my very very small community, at least a little bit.

Blogaday is important for me because I see it as a tool of self improvement. I think that writing every night is going to help me better understand myself and the world that I live in. It's going to help me get better at expressing my thoughts and communicating with others.

Blogaday is everything that blogging was and is for me. I used to post very frequently, and it feels good to be back. I feel like the sophomore version of me again a little bit.

Blogging like this feels good. I'm very happy that I'm doing it. It's been doing good things for me, and I hope that it can do at least a little bit of good for the community. It's good to think.

So, here I am, signing out for the evening. I've thought a bit, and I'm about to hit the publish button. I hope that this post finds you well. Good luck with everything you guys are facing, we're gonna make it through all this. It's been a spectacular day, and I'm just as excited for tomorrow. Let's take this baby to the moon.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I do expect traffic to increase through blogaday. I'm hoping to entertain my very very small community, at least a little bit.

Well, it's working, at least as far as I'm concerned. I'm checking here every day, and I'm entertained.

I'm also commenting more because when people post less often, I read their posts but put off commenting because I know it'll still be at the top of the page later on. Then I just never get around to it. So this blogaday thing is getting you some more comments from me. 8-)

Keep up the good work, man. You can make twenty, easy!