Zen and the Art of Remarkable Blogging

Zen and the Art of Remarkable Blogging

Reader Comments (109)

  1. The concept of mindfulness applies well here, too (like point #2). The best writing is when your focus is fully present – the flow of your ideas is unobstructed. Editing comes after, which leads to…

    Only doing what is necessary and nothing more. This concept works on the editing side, allowing you to get to the core and using as few words as possible. Which I believe is what good copywriting is about. Something I struggle with sometimes 🙂 .

  2. Brian,

    This was an ingenious follow-up to your previous blog on the irrelevance of the A-list. My hunch is that you took an Einstein-like “stroll” this past weekend after reviewing all the comments you received for that post. You made your point effectively and efficiently. Thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Wow! I have been sitting here in a daze, and suddenly I am struck with Inspiration.
    Yes, I do believe that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, why do you ask?

  4. I really loved number two- as for me fear is the reason I do not blog. The fear that it will be too much talking or just not good enough in terms of catchy- so how can I balance that?

    Anyway, I get my best ideas at the gym or on a bike ride along the Hudson River at sunset!!!

  5. What a great post (and beautiful headline!) Going for a walk is good advice. I often come back even just from a short walk along the canal with my fingers literally itching to write…

  6. Existential thought seems to be all over the place these days. I recently published another Buddhism inspired post titled “5 Steps To Save Money Like The Buddha.” Thanks for another great post Bryan.

  7. Truths are True whereever they are applied. Good to see that spirituality and blogging make good bedfellows.

    In Spirit,

  8. You know the most important thing I learned about blogging was that I shouldn’t be doing it. However this is really amazing advice.

  9. But, but…I thought if I just put the number 42 on my blog all would be revealed, monetized, and there would be no hard work involved! Sheesh! Now, I have to actually write interesting stuff? (You have to be a hitchhiker in the universe to get this). CNN reports that the answer was really 43, but the CIA squelched it.

  10. Great article. I’ve been practicing Buddhist principles for the past 5 years or so, and I always appreciate people who weave the simple, straightforward advice into day-to-day concerns!

  11. how is getting over your “self” attained by “focusing on your readers” – now you are thinking of what “you” are giving to “them”; you, the provider of content. that is ego

    get over your “readers” instead.

    what they want to read is their business. what you want to write is yours, unless your blog is a product you are selling – is that what is meant by “successful”?

    is writing your art or your business? if it is your art, you must do what you must do. if it is your business, you must produce what your market will consume.

    it’s ‘zen and the art’, not ‘zen and the business’

  12. “It takes two hands to clap, so there is more than one.”

    I can clap with one hand… Hit the tips of your fingers against your palm quickly. See! A one-handed clap!

    My own blog is a huge smattering of whatever interests me. I am constantly checking Google Analytics to see who has visited but really – I suppose it doesn’t matter.

    Even though I blog for myself I crave attention as well. I don’t think that’s bad. It’s just me. 😛

  13. This was an ingenious follow-up to your previous blog on the irrelevance of the A-list. My hunch is that you took an Einstein-like “stroll” this past weekend after reviewing all the comments you received for that post.

    Mike, although this post has been kicking around in my head for awhile, that’s basically right. 🙂

  14. Whew! It did not occur to me until just now that this was a perfect transmission! What could be said was said, and yet what was not said was transmitted to me.
    If only I can now pass this wisdom on…

  15. What can be blogged I have blogged to you, and what can not be blogged is here in this JPEG of a Lotus flower. Click _here_ to forward it to Mahakashyapa.

  16. I’m inspired by point #2 as well. I find I do my best thinking (or get my best ideas) when I’m working on projects other than my blog. The ideas don’t come when I’m staring that text box in the face, but if I’m working on other things and musing over possible posts I find myself with clearer revalations.

    I guess that’s my version of going for a walk.

  17. What reader(s)?

    Weird, was racking my brains yesterday to remember the name of the book (Zen/motorcyle), as if by magic it appears today.

    Also odd, as I started walking this morning I said to myself, “self, you always write when you are walking”.

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Good points, too many egoistical bloggers out there already (especially SEO bloggers who try to sound noble and honorable by commenting on their victories and trying to make it sound like they’re not tooting their own horn. Usually they prefix “I don’t want to sound conceited, but”…

    I’d add a few additional things – “Don’t Blog What’s Popular” – people feel the need to blog about what’s popular, based on ideology (just search for the #1 talked about topic on technorati – I’ll save you the trouble it’s “Bush [Bashing]” ..we get it, the world hates him..get over it.

  19. I wrote specifically on #4 on my blog earlier in the week. The act of doing is extremely important. Read, learn, but ACTING will teach you more than anything. Don’t be afraid to get bruised up a bit, it is part of life!

  20. “Zen” you are ready it is time to blog when you are not, it is time to read other blogs.

    I appreciate the noble blogging truths here.

    I have always loved the line from Alan Watts: “If you make where you are going more important than where you are there may be no point in going.”

    And I think Gertrude Stein said: “When you get there, you find there is not there, there.”

    It seems so many of us click away in search of the next “smack” of words to give us a reader high.

    Thanks for the perspective.


  21. Ha, excellent post – your ending was brilliant! Parables are difficult for a lot of folks, and your post is a great lead in.

  22. Good stuff—if you get a chance take a look at my photoblog with a touch of eastern philosophical elements. Let me know what you think.

  23. Brian – always a pleasure to read your posts, but this one is stellar. It triggered ideas for about 112 posts. Got to go start writing.

  24. #4, “It’s Up to You”, was my fav.

    In one fell swoop, it speaks admonishingly to “copycat” bloggers (who only refer to other people’s discoveries, rather than processing their own) and also the importance of action in the recipe of success.

    As an incorporator of the spiritual in the worldly, I figured I was bound to love this post, just by the headline… and I was right.

  25. Thanks for this post. It sums up many of the issues I encounter month after month.

    I find Point No. 3 to be particularly relevant. Numbers are a double-edged sword. When they’re up, you feel great, when they’re down, you feel bad — but are numbers why most of us got into this game? I know *I* need to work harder to keep my priorities in line. It’s about the content, not about the outcome.

  26. Blog-blond – http://blog-blond.blogspot.com/ had this link on her website. First time there for me, as well as first time here.

    I don’t blog and no, I didn’t “get it”. But I loved your blog nonetheless.

    All of my friends blog and blog really really well. I want to blog but have no mission, no burning desire to share with the world what only I know. I haven’t discovered what that is yet. Maybe your tips will be a start for me.

    Why are most of your readers men?

  27. This post gives real feed for thought… Quite interesting angle, thank you for sharing the results of midnight meditations… 🙂

  28. I’m revealing my inadequate mental aptitude, but I don’t get it. I don’t get it. Get over your “self”? What does that mean?

    Anyone, please help me understand because this post is/was freakin’ fantastic, or remarkable – whatever. I just don’t understand what is meant by getting over your “self.”

    Does it mean to write with no regard for the way you appear in print, no sense of self, and just let the words out? If that’s it, then how do we do that while still keeping the writing focussed on one topic at a time?

  29. It means get over your own ego and start satisfying the needs of others. Ironically, you’ll find that your own goals will be met as well.

  30. Brian that was another fantastic article, I just came across your blog and I must admit I am hooked on. Anyway keep them coming.
    BTW: really liked the use of the analogy of the Zen and the art of …

  31. My favorite is Number One: “get over yourself.”

    The best gift any of us can give ourselves is to find a way to align our own SweetSpot with the SweetSpot of those who will benefit from what we have to say.

    Thanks for the post!

  32. Do not focus on the “self” and do not focus on the “readers”. instead, write as if you are not writing at all. Be like the wind that knows not where it is headed, but one can feel its presence. Be like the wind. Make your presence known, period. do not make your presence known for the sake of yourself or others, just do it for the sake of doing and being. 🙂 you write very well.

  33. this is so inspiring…. and much much discoveries! i have always refined nature to be able to come out with the most natural juices!

  34. Freeing your mind is the most important because direct thinking tends to get in the way of truly percieving REALITY. You can’t see REALITY because your mind is too busy trying to find the right “label” for things.

    When you talk to your friends,you don’t do this as much so there is great spontaneity making for a more interesting converstaion. This is what we want in our blogging.

    Like Morpheus told Neo: “just let go…free your mind!”

  35. A subpoint could be Persig’s reference to frustration while removing a frozen nut, leading to yelling and banging it with your tools resulting in a stripped nut.

    Emotional attachments can slow intended results.

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