I’m not sure whether to start this post with ‘fight the resistance’ or ‘resistance is futile.’ My outlook changes from one minute to the next.
Let me explain.
See, if I go with ‘fight the resistance’ what that translates to in my head is this – everything I’m finding in my research about turning pro as a blogger says pick a subject that you’re passionate about, a topic, a theme, that has a narrow focus, which translates to a target market for you’re blog. Universally, every pro-blogger out there shares this same advice to aspiring pro-bloggers.
The problem is, I have spent my most of my life resisting “boxes” that neatly define me. That’s fine as a personal philosophy, so I’m told, but it doesn’t work as a commercially viable option. Consumers – and that’s consumers of products as well as consumers of information – want to know what something is and how it’s going to benefit them before they invest their time and/or money. The question looming in the subtext of their thoughts is “what’s in it for me” to listen to what you have to say or to buy your product or service.
A few blog posts ago I mentioned that I had a couple of independent testers evaluate my blog and sure enough, the question on both of their minds right from the start was what is this blog about? And what’s in it for me to stick around, and more importantly for any blogger, what’s in it for me to come back? One tester had even started asking herself the questions before she came to the blog. In her commentary, she said she was hesitant about coming to the site because of the web URL of soulcruzer. From the name, she imagined it to be a religious site!
I have resisted being neatly defined most of my life. As a kid I resisted this notion. My mom and dad thought I was weird because I didn’t roll like the other kids. I was a loner, a lone wolf – fiercely independent, beholden to none. I didn’t belong to a clique. I got along with all the cliques – the jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the popular, the stoners and the weird. I was able to float amongst them without being one of them.
You’ve been watching this battle unfold on the pages of this blog. My constant vision and re-vision of the blog is me resisting the notion of defining this blog just to make it easier for others to label it, put in in a box, and decide whether they want to be a part of it by the definition, not by the exploration of the posts. Labels only please. Who has time to explore the content without first knowing the context? Time is, after all, a precious commodity.
Which leads me to ‘resistance is futile.’ Why resist the tide? If all of the other pro-blogs out there have narrow topics and those narrow topics have helped them to gain an audience, a tribe, and therefore a chance at commercial success in the blogosphere, well then, who am I to resist the prevailing wisdom?
Perhaps the answer lies in Zen philosophy, which I have dabbled in from time to time. “To know one thing, is to know 10,000 things.” Hence you get Zen in the Art of Archery or Zen and the Art of Tea Making, or Zen and the Art of Calligraphy. For you see, in the world of Zen, it’s all about self-mastery. Life is about self-mastery, and you choose the vehicle to facilitate your journey to self-mastery. To master archery is to master self. The archer, the bow, the arrow and the target become one and the same.
Drift 001: Southam – Harbury – Ufton
today, countryside drift under a blue sky and warm temp…a lot of families out walking, enjoying each others company and the spring-like conditions…on my mind are directions, both my physical direction and my metaphorical life direction…northwest seems as good a direction as any, that’s take me toward the landfill and Upton Village. This morning, i rummaged through some of the psychogeography literature…Debord, Sinclair, Wordsworth, Self…there’s mileage to be gained from the past and present practitioners of the subject, the terminology certainly is helpful, note walk is drift…a random, playful drift through the landscapes of one’s immediate environment…the French Marxist writer Guy Debord described what i’m attempting to do as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.” i have to take the journey in order to understand what it means…