Matt Webb’s Rules for Blogging

Posting here regularly is hard. Matt Webb’s personal rules for blogging are a hand on my shoulder and a push out the door:

No hedging, no nuance. If I’m getting in a twist about a sentence, take it out. […] Give up on attempting to be right. […] Give up on trying to be popular. […] Only write what’s in my head at that exact moment. It’s 10x faster. […] If it’s taking too long to write, stop.

The dream of the post beloved by all is a regular nemesis of mine. Individual posts to any online platform—even to one with an audience of exactly one—carry the twin weights of permanence and exposure. If I don’t bury any idea I share in qualifiers, won’t opinions be affixed to me forever, assumed to be held with complete certainty? Neither my genuine inquisitiveness nor my unfortunate craving for the approval of others makes me comfortable with strong, potentially controversial, statements. And so, without care, every other sentence begins with “But” or “That said”.

Lots of Matt’s rules are around giving yourself permission to take an inchoate idea, run with it for awhile, then just publish it and move on. Like many people, I write to think, but doing so for myself and doing so when I think there’s an audience yields very different writing styles. A blog should be somewhere in between, but closer to the former. A place to loosely and regularly process ideas, but also a place where this is done in the open on the off-chance that a kindred spirit may some day pass through and find value.