I’m here at a desk with an open notepad. What should I write for you?
I don’t think Craig Miller-Randle asked himself that when he started up an Instagram account that landed him on national TV.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been collecting, growing, and loving plants,” Craig told Gardening Australia recently.
He didn’t expect his plants to make much of an impact online.
“At the time I thought it was quite unusual to be a plant freak, and a plant addict.” He was right. But, his Instagram posts connected him with of thousands of plant enthusiasts across the world.
Importantly, Craig feels there’s a greater purpose for his posts. “There’s a growing wave of the young generation who don’t have the ability to have a big backyard or a large area for gardens, and it makes so much sense that they want their homes to be a green paradise.
I’m enjoying passing on that kind of knowledge that I’ve gained over the years to them, who are becoming the plant people of today and tomorrow.”
Isn’t this similar to blogging? Craig is bringing his niche to people, showing them a different possibility for indoor spaces, and making their day.
Blogging requires us to remain curious and pay attention; to discover stories, and travel further with life-arisen musings.
Blogs are Curations
“Books are the original internet,” says Maria Popova in Dumbofeather magazine. For Maria, reading a book is like reading a Wikipedia article: it links her to more and more and more on her tangent of interest. The result is her blog brainpickings, which connects thousands of followers to the gems among centuries of printed pages. The US Library of Congress has archived it.
If you’re subscribed to brainpickings you might get a quote from, say, Sir Francis Bacon in your inbox:
“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” — Sir Francis Bacon
Maria does this digesting for us...
No, that’s not a pretty metaphor. Let’s stick with gems.
What Else Are Blogs?
I wonder what blogging advice Sir Bacon would have for us? In his absence, here are some quotes from actual bloggers:
“Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘Blog’ is a fool’s errand.” — Michael Conniff
That said, Seth Godin hits on blogging’s essence.
“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.” — Seth Godin
So, basically, keep following your instinct for the remarkable. Got it!
I like that idea rather more than this one:
“Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.” — Sufia Tippu
So, is a business blog a different, serious sort of species that sucks the life out of its writer? I don’t think so. Seth Godin is a marketing and publishing guru. At the same time, his understanding of blogging as the domain of the remarkable suits niche content like brainpickings and Craig’s Instagram. Blogging works because people want to be intrigued and inspired.
How to Have an Instinct for the Remarkable
It seems we’re all specially inclined to appreciate certain aspects of experience, such as indoor plants or the gems of literature. Bloggers put in the effort to give readers the keys to those aspects.
Importantly, blogging requires us to remain curious and pay attention; to discover stories, and travel further with life-arisen musings.In blogging, enthusiasm makes it easy to stay interesting and relevant.
Someone might not pick up a book with your work in it (if Maria does, you’re in luck), but they could catch your ideas on Medium.
Or Gardening Australia.
Hopefully they thank you for it.
So go, be a nerd (aka an extraordinarily enthusiastic person). Blog.