It won’t have escaped your attention that I’ve been regularly blogging for the past few weeks (I try to make a point of sharing my work at around 7.30am GMT -- it works for me).
Over the past few years, I’ve been through lots of blogging incarnations: the platforms have varied between a standard Wordpress theme (still in operation), Typepad (again, still in operation but I need to delete one of the platforms), Blogger (I’ve done nothing with it) and more latterly a lovingly created self-hosted Wordpress blog that houses all my content and offerings. Don’t ask me why I’ve messed around so much, but, if anything, it’s taught me a lot about my craft, much more so I think than if I’d started with the same platform and stuck with it.
However, just before the turn of the year, I looked again at my blogging output/process and knew that I had to write more. I could see that Medium, Svbtle and Cowbird had been taking up my time and as delightful as I found the experience, I felt lost in a sea of content and at risk of losing my voice.
At that stage I could have chosen to write to juliansummerhayes.com but instead I looked at the one platform that I haven’t mentioned, namely Livejournal.
When I first opened my account I did so because I’d heard on the grapevine that it was where a lot of authors tended to blog. Even though at the time I didn’t undertake anything more than a cursory glance of the landscape, I could see there was a community aspect to the platform that set it apart from Wordpress and Typepad (in many ways it feels like Tumblr or Google+). Don’t ask me why but on 14 December 2014 I wrote my first Livejournal post for some considerable time, and resolved then and there that I would write something every single day, even if it was one line.
Because it helps me think. More than that, it’s an expression of who I am.
And so, since 14 December I’ve posted every single day.
And it feels wonderful. And I truly mean that.
When I started blogging I may have thought that I would write about law and my professional offering (which at the time was focused exclusively on social media) with a view, naively, to generating leads; but, nowadays, and for quite some time, I’ve had no interest in blogging as a way of generating leads. Don’t get me wrong. I’m always very grateful to anyone who takes the time and trouble to reach out and connect, but the raison d'etre is not to win work.
Having got myself into daily blogging shape (I now write enough material to schedule a couple of posts ahead of time), I feel so much better. And it’s more than a self-righteous look in the mirror type of appreciation. It’s the fact that I’m writing, and writing on subjects that are close to my heart and important. If this sounds slightly egotistical then I apologise but I no longer feel hemmed in to write about any one particular topic, although to date most of them have had a business or personal development feel.
The writing process is simple. I use Google docs and paste the copy into Livejournal. I don’t have a wordcount in mind but I do find that I end up cutting out quite a bit when editing in Google docs. I also have a spreadsheet where I keep track of the number of words written. I got this idea from reading Jamie Rubin’s blog.
Of late, I’ve downloaded the Livejournal mobile app both in iOS and Android. That way it gives it a mobile feel, although it’s no way as nice as Tumblr or Medium. (If you’re reading my blog I would recommend you download it -- if nothing else it makes viewing and making comments so much easier.)
Where does that leave juliansummerhayes.com? For me, in a good place. As I’ve said on Twitter and elsewhere, I intend to write a monthly essay which will not only be longer but will give me the chance to spread my writing wings into other areas that have remained off topic.
I recognise that this is a long-winded way of saying that I’m writing to Livejournal and I think the platform is a hit but I thought it was about time I set the record straight.