Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Can't find a guru blog? Then make one up.

Don't you hate it when you want a blog on a certain topic, something to give you daily insights, motivation, and inspiration to continue pursuing that area of interest, but no such blog exists? Either the experts and the gurus have chosen not to blog or are unaware of what blogging is. Bottom line is, you're stuck without a blog on your favourite topic X, and there's nothing you can do about it.

No. There is something you can do about it. Pretend to be a guru in this topic and start a blog on it.

It's perfectly legitimate. You don't have to lie, saying that you have X number of books when you really don't. But there's nothing wrong with writing confidently, with writing authoritatively, despite not being a recognized authority. My violin teacher once told me, "If you want to play really well, just pretend you are a professional. Imagine that you are one of the best violin players in the world. And you will immediately play better." My thesis is that by writing with the authority of a recognized guru, the "missing" blog you are seeking will appear on the net ... and it will come from your hands.

For example, I am trying footbag (hacky sack) for regular exercise, and I so wish that someone -- a good footbag player -- had a blog that I could turn to daily for inspiration and motivation and tips. But a Google search for "footbag blog" reveals nothing. I suppose I could do nothing but sulk. Or I could start the world's first footbag blog, written with the forcefulness and conviction of an expert, while being an honest expression of my novice attempts at this sport. Nobody's made a footbag blog and somebody's gotta do it!

The hope is that pretending will evolve into becoming -- by pretending to be an expert for a while, you eventually become an expert, by osmosis. Aren't experts human like us? Then are we not human like experts?
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank among those timid souls who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. (Theodore Roosevelt)
* * *

As a child I would pretend I was narrating my imaginary basketball training video -- describing and demonstrating various techniques for slam dunks, passing, dribbling, shooting. That is the sort of imagination required to do a guru blog.


  • What you say rings absolutely true. When I started my game industry blog a mere month ago, I did not imagine that I would have my first "celebrity" comment as early as last week! Furthermore, I legitimize what I say simply by starting conversations with a single somewhat insightful comment. Then the conversations turn into material for my next post, and before I know it, I'm on a serious roll, and what I'm writing sounds legitimate even to me. It is truly amazing.

    By Blogger Darius Kazemi, at 4/08/2005 11:08 p.m.  

  • Darius - I'm delighted to hear the idea validated by real experience. Yeah!

    Congrats on your celebrity comments! May they be lengthy and often!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/08/2005 11:10 p.m.  

  • It's neat to hear how comments become material for future posts. Sounds like a self-feeding machine!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/08/2005 11:11 p.m.  

  • I don't know about the machine, but there's definitely a positive feedback loop in action.

    I've been trying to convince many of my (particularly intelligent and thoughtful) friends to start a blog or pick-back-up the one they've all but abandoned.
    My favorite things about blogs are that they give you a great place to just start writing for goodness sake and they open up doors for meeting so many new, cool people.

    You're definitely right, I believe, about blogs being a great place to practice faking-it-until-you've-got-it. After all, no one has to read your blog if they don't want to. It's not taking up any significant space; you're not squelching anyone else; you have no responsibility to meet. So why not start a blog?

    Sure, you might not want to fill the Internet with more and more garbage (as well all know it has enough), but:
    1.) If you're worrying about the issue, you're probably not going to contribute to it anyway
    2.) You have to believe in yourself and know that even if you end up mostly talking to yourself, it's got to still be worth it!

    I heartily second this recommendation! =)

    By Blogger Darren Torpey, at 4/13/2005 9:25 p.m.  

  • "Faking-it-until-you've-got-it". That is a succinct way to put it. As you say, "You have to believe in yourself and know that even if you end up mostly talking to yourself, it's got to still be worth it!"

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/13/2005 9:29 p.m.  

  • now comes up second to you for a "footbag blog" google search :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/04/2005 12:07 p.m.  

  • Hi Anonymous - Brutal! The world needs more footbag blogs!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/04/2005 9:02 p.m.  

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