As TMTF reaches its one hundred and fiftieth post, I wonder what would happen if I traveled back in time and visited myself. Would the resulting temporal paradox tear apart the universe, or would I merely offer my younger self a cup of tea and tell him how to write a blog?
Assuming the universe held together, here’s the advice Future Adam would give his younger self about blogging.
Keep it short
When I began this blog, I wrote way too much. Nothing discourages a reader like massive blocks of text. Instead of rambling like an academic or a drunkard, I should have written shorter paragraphs and avoided needless repetition.
Plan for the future, and write blog posts ahead of time
Only recently have I begun planning out blog posts weeks in advance. It has made all the difference. It’s easier to follow a schedule than to make rushed decisions, and simply clicking the Publish button when a post is due is much better than writing one at the last minute!
Do not, under any circumstances, give your typewriter monkeys the blog’s password
Early on, I hardly ever included pictures. That was a mistake. Illustrations entice readers to check out blog posts that would otherwise go unnoticed. Visuals also break up the monotony of black text against a white background. Finally, writing silly captions is fun.
Make it your blog, not an imitation of someone else’s
TMTF began as an imitation of Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff, except my blog was about topics other than, well, stuff Christians like. I tried to copy Acuff’s approach and style.
It took me a long time, but I finally accepted an important truth: I am not Jon Acuff. I am Adam, a guy with glasses who drinks too much coffee and writes about faith and grammar and severed human arms. Despite my faults and failures, no one does a better job of being Adam than I.
Success and popularity aren’t the same thing
When I began TMTF, I secretly hoped it would become as popular as Stuff Christians Like and other notable blogs. It hasn’t, and that’s okay. I enjoy writing this blog. I hope other people enjoy reading it. I hope it honors God. If I and others and God are all fine with TMTF, I think it’s a success.
Since I began blogging, my writing has improved so much. I’ve learned a lot, and it’s been fun despite its challenges and frustrations. For every time I wanted to bang my head against a hard, flat surface, there was a time I flung up my arms and shouted “Yes!”
Like life, faith and breaking records in Mario Kart, writing is hard.
Like life, faith and breaking records in Mario Kart, writing is totally worth it.
As we head into a new year—and as TMTF moves beyond one hundred and fifty posts—my typewriter monkeys and I would like to add just one more thing.
Thanks for reading!
Regarding point #6: A couple years ago, my sister asked “Why do you blog?” It was not directed to me specifically, but I answered “For the fame and fortune.” I was 0 for 2 at that point, and I still am. But I have a better answer now – “It’s a hobby that occupies my lunchtime.” I have 30 minutes with a lunchbag and a laptop. Success means I posted something with which I am happy, as opposed to getting 1000 comments and a book deal out of it.
Fame and fortune would be great, but lunchtime hobbies are nice too. 🙂
I hope that current future Adam and future future Adam keep on writing. I’m pretty sure that I stumbled into this blog from SCL – did you guest post? or was I just entertained by your comments and the name of your blog. I can’t really remember it was well over 100 posts ago.
On a completely unrelated note, a very scientific looking website calculated monkey years as 1.4 human years. I can only assume the conversion works the same for typewriter monkeys and blogs, making this your 210th typewriter monkey post – congratulations!
Indeed, Jon Acuff graciously featured a post I wrote about the disappointment we feel when visiting missionaries don’t look like Indiana Jones. That opportunity gave TMTF quite a boost in its early days!
My monkeys, who never pass up an opportunity to party, celebrate every blogging milestone according to both standard reckoning and monkey years. I really wish they’d choose one or the other; my banana budget can’t handle much more.
Hopefully there will be 150 more! I hadn’t read much of your blog until recently but I’ve been trying to spend more time on word press (to hopefully take and post more pictures!) and found your blog quite enjoyable. Keep it up 🙂
Thanks for your kind words!
Whether there are one hundred fifty more posts depends mostly on how long it takes before my patience snaps and I exile my typewriter monkeys to darkest Peru.
First thought: this might seem really random, but I don’t think I’d ever seen an actual picture of you until tonight. I appreciate the visual!
Second thought: gosh I long for a following like Jon Acuff too. But then it wouldn’t really be “my” following. Learning to appreciate every moment of this fulfilling exasperating blogging journey.
Third thought: I love all of your thoughts for your younger self! My current self appreciates them as well.
Looking forward to another year of your posts!
I try not to post too many pictures of myself; my scraggly sideburns tend to scare away potential readers.
Thanks for the kindly well wishes! 🙂