12.29.2008

7 Necessary Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post

Step 1: There are way too many posts with headings like this one. Its a tempting idea that you could take seven simple steps and become a great (fill in the blank). Despite the appeal I don’t think that this is the way people learn anything. I can’t think of a single worthwhile skill I've learned that after making a few simple changes I experienced a jump from mediocrity to proficiency. "Success made easy" posts appeal to those hoping to find a secret short cut to arrive at skill with out all of the annoying hard work. This way of thinking is naive at best. In fact it doesn't take much of leap to find this same kind of thought process in those that believe that buying lottery tickets is the way to become wealthy or that there is a magic infomercial pill out there that can help you lose weight instantly. Becoming good at something is a process that involves exploration, trial and error and persistence. Furthermore, the steps given in these articles typically don't represent the actual process the person went through to attain excellence, they represent the reflections of that person looking back at some important things they learned along the way. These bits of information can be a helpful supplement but they don't replace the journey it takes to arrive at skill and if they could the skill probably wouldn't be worth much anyway.

Mr. Incredible: You mean you killed off real heroes so that you could *pretend* to be one?
Syndrome: Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone's super--
Syndrome: --no one will be.