How do you feel about blogs?
Did you have a blog when you were young? I did! And if you didn't, we cannot be friends anymore, bye. No, come back, i'm kidding :( I'm like.. super interested in them, maybe because it reminds me of my teenage years, getting to know the internet and its endless endeavors.
I loved to write in my blog. It was a calming, introspective moment, but at the same time i knew i was gonna send it to a few friends, so it couldn't exactly be my top-secret stuff (those were the diaries, huh?). So it was a like having this part of me that i didn't really talk about normally, but that actually served as conversation starters for those who read. I carefully picked fonts, colors, i wanted it to be packed with links, images and that good old reference baggage. I wanted to replicate the feeling of reading my favorite posts or websites, where i start with an article and it shows me so many things that i end up with 243 new tabs to check out. Like when you google "best crochet needle" and end up checking out 20 facts of the abyssal zone. I loved that! And guess what, teenager me hasn't changed at all in that sense. I think blogs are really good friends with newsletters now, and i pick exactly those that fill me up with curated references, cute design and, of course, content and people that i really enjoy reading about.
So this is what having a blog means to me. It was with really old tumblr posts (around 10, 15 years ago? wow!) that i found specific drawing tutorials (i didn't really feel any inspiration with those manga magazines, although i loved anime) and learned about styles. I'll never forget Chichi's posts at littlemisspaintbrush, she actually showed me the digital painting world, she helped me buy my first graphics tablet and she captivated me so much with cute, kawaii, simple but adorable illustration. She was the queen of a productive, artsy girl. Then i figured i could track down her recommendations and fellow tumblr-artist friends, what a great feeling! I guess it's what we feel with instagram nowadays :) i'm glad we have so many ways of finding and developing our interests and personal taste!
When i think about the crazy variety of things you can be deeply motivated to write about, the care you can choose to put into showing the process of something you make, or simply wondering how specific a niche can be (blogging about gardening, music production, scientific illustration, learning a language, DIYs).. i believe this is truly humbling. Blogs have taught me how to fertilize my plants, record my own album at home, troubleshoot my filmmaking gears, learn english and french, make stickers, posters, notebooks, stamps, pins.. anything you like and enjoy doing, you're gonna find a community around that, and you're also gonna find blogs. Do you remember blogs you read growing up? What did they make you feel? Did they help you or inspire you to make something?
In one of Austin Kleon's newsletter (you know him, the mind behind Steal Like an Artist, Show Me Your Work and Keep Going, a few of my favorite books that... feel like physical versions of blogs), he recommended this article. By the way, i could totally make a whole article just to talk about Kleon's books. I re-read them from time to time, and it's like a never-ending source of inspiration. He is a pond of good resources, good thoughts and good ideas. He also has a blog where he writes daily (seth godin too, just to add one more of my favorite inspirational human beings), and he always mentions how having a little corner of the internet for your thoughts help you in so many ways. You organize your ideas better (we are so silly, always thinking we know what we think.. until we try to put it out on paper), learn how to develop a thought, practice and expand your vocabulary and, of course, get better at writing, which is such an underrated skill! We use writing every day, but we forget how important it is to be clear, concise and simple; given that's the main and fastest way of connecting with lots of people on the internet, for example. (youtube videos can get quite popular, but they require time and place to watch, instagram captions don't)
"Algorithms existed before computers."
"It’s different today, but also no different."
Isn't it funny how we love to blame codes, machines and spend time crafting reasons why our messages are not being well delivered? Yes, getting your message across is important, but even if you wanna blame algorithms, we are in the best area to be heard. We are so blinded by always trying to make the most out of our work, that we forget the most important thing.. to develop and take care of ourselves. "Writing is a process of discovery", "You’ll find your voice as you make your way". The more you write, the better you write. The better you write, the better you comunnicate. And comunnication is, well.. everything. :)