Why Breaking The Rules Of Blogging Makes You Smarter

You can blame Bob Dylan for this post and it is not because I once spent time with him at a children’s birthday party. No really, I did and I don’t share that to name drop but because it really does make for a great story.

How many times have you stood in your socks at a kid’s indoor playground next to a music legend singing Happy Birthday to a three year-old boy wondering if the reason said legend is singing slightly off key and off beat is because he is Bob Dylan or if he really took that many drugs.

Anyway one day I was listening to the lyrics of Subterranean Homesick Blues with a few friends and someone talked about how they are genius.

What Makes Them Genius

When I asked the question I was told about all of the metaphors and hidden meanings and then I got irritated which led to a long discussion about why the most effective method of communication is to mean what you say and say what you mean in simple terms that cannot be misinterpreted.

Sometimes I think people like Dylan get credit for meaning they didn’t intend and leeway to create/say and do things that critics laud strictly because of the name of the creator and not because the work deserves that kind of praise.

But I do enjoy the song and the video that goes with it and appreciate the push to be different, intended or otherwise because in a world that often pushes us to be clones of each other it is good to go against the grain.

Why Breaking The Rules Of Blogging Makes You Smarter

It is almost a full year since I wrote How To Break The Rules of Blogging so it is probably time to share why breaking the rules makes you smarter.

Surf through the wild and woolly blogosphere and you’ll find a million posts telling you how to blog. They’ll tell you what to write about, how to write, when you should write and what commenting system you should use.

You’ll find posts about every kind of trend and words from people like myself who tell you there is no single path to success.

So how does breaking rules that may or may not exist make you smarter?

The answer is if you take the time to understand what these mythological rules are and why they are in place you gain useful knowledge about how things really work.

You’ll get new insight that you can use to build and create something that isn’t a shallow duplicate of something that everyone else is doing and when you are trying to break through the chaos and clutter that is worth something.

Your Voice Is The Difference

Your voice is what distinguishes you from everyone else. Anyone can write a post about what happened to flight 370. There is no skill in saying it took off, flew for a while and then disappeared.

Doesn’t take much effort to share the facts we know but when you can add some color and insight that doesn’t sound like it came from the echo chamber that is worth something.

If there is one rule in blogging you should rarely if ever break it is not using own voice as a writer

And for my long lost friend in college who told me I was the only one who had these thoughts about Dylan I share the following:

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2 Comments

  1. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes April 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Mary Stephenson My thoughts exactly. Funny to see how it all plays out, the things people see…

  2. Mary Stephenson April 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Hidden messages…that is as silly as when they try to say the meaning of a “poor” painting.  What?  Maybe they just flung some paint on a canvas and gave it a profound name and then you are just supposed to see “IT”.    I suppose for that you hang out in the right circles and they will think you are a genius and surprise…you fooled them!
    Okay maybe that is what a real genius is (fooling everybody into believing you are brilliant).

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