The Perfect Blog Post

Notebook

It is just after midnight and I am making my rounds of the blogosphere. Been by Griddy’s blog to leave more comments and battle for top commenter supremacy. Hit John’s interview with his brother and Jayme’s place as well. I am wide awake and working on developing a rhythm for my words.

Headphones on my ears my head bobs back and forth to the sweet sounds of the Doobie Brothers singing Nobody. I feel the music and search for a way to transfer that energy onto the page. My fingers dance across the keyboard and a broad smile works its way across my face.

It is part of my quest to find the perfect post. A noble journey that every blogger pure of heart and purpose takes part in. What I want is simple- a post that makes every reader respond the way that an audience responds to Bruce. I can’t say that the Boss is my favorite artist, but he is right up there. He is up there because every time I watch him perform I see him put his heart into it. That passion and single-minded purpose resonates with me. It lights a fire.

That is my goal…to light a fire inside you that makes you do more than nod your head in agreement. I want you to feel what I feel. I want you to see what I see. I am not lying when I say that I write first for me and then for you. I am not contradicting myself when I talk about the passion and purpose I attack the keyboard with. If I write with purpose and power you get caught up in the world that the words create and you add the color to it.

I want that perfect post to have so much power in it that people remember it, if not the whole thing than just one line that sticks with them forever. So every time I take my turn at bat I swing for the fences and hope that practice really does make perfect.

Why do you write?

48 Comments

  1. Pingback: I Hope You Will Be A Part of My Community - The JackB

  2. Pingback: Let’s Get This Party Started – A Guest Post by Bill Dorman « Nancy A. Davis

  3. JGreene65 August 8, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Ace post. Thanks alot!

  4. TheJackB July 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    @3HatsComm I love your answer about writing. That is as sensible and meaningful a sentiment as I have seen.

    My latest conversation: http://www.thejackb.com/2011/07/20/a-tool-is-only-as-valuable-as-its-user/

  5. 3HatsComm July 20, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Not sure I’d know perfection when I saw it, that’s an ideal I’m not sure is obtainable. Except .. maybe bacon is perfect. I write because I like the sound of my own typing; because I can reach and connect with others via words in so many ways; because it’s my voice and my business, so it’s up to me to get out there and let others know what I think and can do. Perfect? Maybe someday. FWIW.

  6. 3HatsComm July 20, 2011 at 7:36 am

    @bdorman264 Gotta add onto the baseball as well. Is it the HR, what’s the situation, is it the playoffs or just another game? Sometimes the game really isn’t won in the bottom of the 9th but in the 6th with a great catch or a sac-fly that tied the game. Perfection I think is situational, relative. Think I’m with you @TheJackB not sure I even know how to identify that pinnacle.

  7. TheJackB July 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

    @ExpatDoctorMom That is funny. I know someone from cleveland, except they would have said that they thought that everyone is Jewish.

    My latest conversation: http://www.thejackb.com/2011/07/19/tears/

  8. ExpatDoctorMom July 19, 2011 at 5:49 am

    First the inner city (43rd and Clark, scary!) and then Parma, hee hee. I thought the whole world was Polish Catholic when I was young. @TheJackB

  9. TheJackB July 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    @ExpatDoctorMom Uh oh, you grew up in the land of the burning river. Were you in the Heights, the flats or Pepper Pike. Could have been Parma. Oy, there is a whole history with the city and me.

    My latest conversation: http://www.thejackb.com/2011/07/18/she-dances/

  10. ExpatDoctorMom July 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Jack! I love the Boss too! Easy to love rock & roll growing up in the Rock and Roll hall of fame capital!

    I digress. I write for the exact reason you write. You have said it so well that I cannot add anything further thank you!

    Cheers,Rajka

  11. TheJackB July 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    @dotStaff @dotStaff I like that answer. Call me biased, but growth through writing and improved communication seems like a great reason to do it.

  12. TheJackB July 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    @deberoo2 Churchill has some great quotes. One of my favorites is:

    “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

  13. deberoo2 July 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    “they say no one is perfect. Then they tell you practise makes perfect. I wish they would make up their minds.” – Winston Churchill

  14. dotStaff LLC July 18, 2011 at 6:22 am

    At @dotStaff LLC , we write for several reasons. We write to be understood, to hear our customers, to provide insight, to learn more about other industries, and to inform our audience how quality service is founational to each of our company practices. Therefore, it is through writing that we grow.

  15. Faryna July 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    @TheJackB @bdorman264 I’m hoping that Amber Lee will find me a polar bear. I’m not ready yet, but I’ve always fancied the idea of how an old Eskimo recycles.

  16. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    @DannyBrown @AnnieAndreHacks Ah, Nebraska is one of my favorites. The man is a true poet.

  17. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    @SeattleDad Hey James.Thanks, I appreciate it. Next to writing the best part of this blogging bit is making friends. I feel very fortunate to have met so many cool people.

  18. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    @DannyBrown Somewhere on the old blog is a two word post: “I am.” That is the kind of post that we can have a lot of fun with- drives people crazy, but that is ok with me.

  19. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    @Luma Luma, I like that. I am a big fan of just laying it all out there and that is what I hear you saying in your comment. Sometimes the best part of posting is just writing to see what spills out on the keyboard.

    And if you find fulfillment in that- well that is rare and special. Something to be treasured.

  20. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    @Leon Damn, you just killed my follow up post about writing the perfect comment, or maybe I should say you inspired it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that.

    I am going to have to adopt your comment about practice teaching us to repeat our mistakes. That is good, I like it.

  21. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    @ginidietrich Sleep? What is that? I think that I did that once or twice. These rugrats of mine keep me busy during the day so I often find the midnight hour to be a great time to write. It is quiet.

  22. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    @Billy_Delaney Billy I think that the gift that you are leaving your granddaughter is wonderful. Our words hold magic, mystery and majesty in them. The chance to read through and gain a better, deeper understanding is worthwhile.

    Quality definitely trumps quantity.

  23. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    @bdorman264 Bill, for years I have said that when and if I reach a point in time where I quit I would just ride off into the sunset. (http://awhisperingsoul.blogspot.com/2006/12/whispering-soul-june-24-2005-november_15.html)

    There is something very cool about that. I like the idea of just slipping away without a lot of fanfare. But I don’t know if I’ll reach that point or even how to identify the pinnacle.

    What I do know is that some of my favorite posts are things that I didn’t recognize at the time as being meaningful. I need to think about this some more but I suspect that ultimately I’ll come back and tell you that it is definitely the journey that is most important.

  24. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    @MimiMeredith @DanCristo Hi Mimi, I am honored and appreciative of the time that you spend here. In my initial response to Dan I should have acknowledged that I am guilty of many of the bad behaviors that are tied in to instant gratification.

    But I try to be conscious of it so that I don’t get caught like that.

  25. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    @BrandonPDuncan I don’t know if I can say that I have developed a definition of perfection- but I do know that I keep trying to do better than I have done before.

  26. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    @DanCristo Hi Dan. We live in a society that has come to rely upon instant gratification. I think that it is has affected our attention spans and made us far less patient than we used to be.

    I expect that if I updated less frequently and wrote shorter posts I could probably grow my readership faster but I wouldn’t enjoy blogging as much so I’d be less likely to do it.

    I am focused on building my community around me. If people like what I write and enjoy the community that hangs out here they’ll keep coming by and if they don’t, that is ok with me too.

  27. SeattleDad July 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    You certainly get a lot of practice in. And it shows too.

    Though I haven’t identified perfect anywhere, I like your writing style.

  28. DannyBrown July 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    @TheJackB @AnnieAndreHacks I remember the only thing I knew The Boss for was Born In The USA, and I thought, meh.

    Then I listened to Nebraska…

  29. DannyBrown July 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    “I write first for me and then for you.”

    Damn, but that is the perfect blog post right there, mate. Okay, it’s a tad short – but still… 😉

  30. Luma July 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    For me, perfection lies in digging deep within myself to see what truly wants to come out. Commit to it whole heartedly so that I must transform in order to deliver the goods. Looking back and realizing I let go of my past identity and gave my body, heart and soul to this creation is perfection. Feeling no conflict within me as I look upon what has come through me is perfection. When I recognize this I feel deeply fulfilled. Thanks Jack, for the inspiration.

  31. Leon July 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    G’Day Jack

    Years ago, I used to irritate my boss. He liked to say, “experience is the best teacher.” To which I’d reply, “Yes: it teaches you to repeat your mistakes.” Contrary to popular belief, practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. It’s why I keep writing comments all over the place.

    You want to write the perfect post. I want to write the perfect comment. I just knew we had something in common…..

    Regards

    Leon

  32. ginidietrich July 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I’m impressed you can write that late. I was sound asleep!

  33. Billy_Delaney July 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    It is an accumulative thing to me.

    If over a period of time, someone comes to my blogsite and examines the content and from it gets something they want, then that is the effect of all my posts in a moment.

    So it’s not just the quantity, but the content that supports the quantity.

    I’d like my granddaughter to read my stuff down the road when I’m gone and hit a home run at that moment for her.

    Billy

  34. bdorman264 July 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    And to follow up with your baseball analogy, is the perfect post like a walk off home run; do you reach the pinnacle and walk away knowing you can do no better? OR, is it just a journey in the quest for the perfect post and maybe you don’t recognize it when it happens……………just sayin’………

  35. MimiMeredith July 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Jack, I know that when I read your posts, I read every word. To @DanCristo ‘s point, that is power in today’s culture (though I hope I’m always willing to invest the time to being just a little closer to perfect than the assessment of our attention spans would suggest.) I enjoy reading writers who communicate with a sense of purpose and who surprise me. I’d say something nice about you in both those regards but it would just sound trite, predictable and gooey.

    Here’s to awakening the best in muses.

  36. BrandonPDuncan July 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    The perfect post… I don’t know, man, that’s lofty. I think everyone strives for it, but just like what they talked about in The Matrix – would it be accepted if it was perfect? Something to chew on. 🙂

  37. columbiarose July 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    @DanCristo Ohhh, but yes, perfect exists. Be in the presence of a virtuoso’s tears after a performance of a lifetime, and tell me there is no perfection. Share a knowing smile with a grateful stranger who doesn’t share your language, but needed your hand, and tell me there are no universal connections perfected in that moment. People have been creating strong impact in a short time since the beginning of time, since before the first palm left a purposeful imprint on the first cave wall. Want short perfection? Read poetry. Write poetry. Set it to music and sing. Tell me there is not perfection there. Be the Genesis. Bereshit. Begin. Show me that you can be perfection.

  38. Faryna July 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

    @TheJackB I got my eye on you, Ajax. And I’m hoping to learn a thing or two!

  39. Faryna July 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

    @DanCristo It’s good to see you out here, Dan. I know you’re buried in the code most of the time and I’m grateful to you for that. But it’s still nice to see you out here.

  40. DanCristo July 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I’m reading a book on cultures and in the American mindset, the notion of “perfect” doesn’t truly exist. Sure it does in theory, but not in practice.

    Other cultures are different, but if you want your writing to resonate with Americans, you may want to scratch the notion of perfection and instead focus on how to make the strong impact on readers in the shortest amount of time – that’s what Americans want more than a perfect post. At least, that’s what I got from the book.

  41. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:24 am

    @Faryna Hi Stan,

    You are right the best of us don’t hit home runs or write perfect posts every time. There is much to be said about the merits of taking time to write, edit and rewrite our blog posts.

    I think about all that. I think about how much more punch and fire can be poured into a single post. I think about how taking more time to find great photos to accompany it can be of benefit too.

    The quest to achieve greatness is arduous and requires much work. But I see all of the time I invest on all of my writing as being beneficial. Every time I sit down at the keyboard I take one more step towards learning how to eliminate mistakes and creating methods of making my muse work a bit harder.

    Not harder in the sense of creating more work for myself but harder at learning how to improve, to become more effective and efficient.

  42. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 9:01 am

    @MSchechter The nod is easy and I am certainly guilty of pumping out posts that do that, but there is more to be found so I figure I should push harder. If I don’t have the fire in my belly to try and write the perfect post than I just don’t want to do this anymore.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  43. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

    @AnnieAndreHacks Blogging is a subjective art and as such the definition relies upon our own thoughts/feelings. When it comes to personal blogs I figure that if I think it is successful than it is.

    I won’t bite your head off for not liking Bruce. There are three basic reasons why I am a fan of his.

    1) He writes songs that tell stories that I can relate to.

    2) I like the music he sets the songs to.

    3) The passion. Every time I see him perform he gives all he has got or so it appears to me. that sort of energy is contagious.

    Anyhoo, we agree on all of the important stuff and that is good enough for me.

  44. TheJackB July 17, 2011 at 8:51 am

    @StartYourNovel Hi John. I don’t disagree with anything you have written. Perfect is the ideal and the ultimate goal. When it comes to writing I know that I am good enough at it to produce work that is “good enough.”

    I can only speak for me, but if I don’t set higher goals it is easier for me to live in “good enough” and I just can’t let that happen. So, here is to working together to reach Polaris an beyond.

  45. Faryna July 17, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Having written two or three perfect blog posts last week, I know where you are coming from. [grin]

    But rockstars, Bruce Almighty or just Bruce Springstein, don’t smack out the homeruns everyday. An album with 10 songs can take a year to create, produce, market. Adrian Klein, who is producing my podcasts, worked with the famous rock band, Linkin Park on their album, A Thousand Suns. He blogs about it here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150192061127225

    Anyway, Adrian told me that it took Linkin Park more than a year to produce the album. And the label almost canceled it because it was taking so long. Apparently, they got lucky. Because the album did a lot better than the Label had expected. It even did better than previous albums. At least, coming out of the gate.

    You and I want to hit a home run two or three times a week. That’s not going to happen. Not even Shakespeare could have lived up to that kind of turn around. If you put the power you put into four good blog posts into one great blog post per week, I’d like to imagine that you’ll kick things up a notch. Maybe, two.

    Not to mention, we just don’t have the marketing we need to reach the world. Our audience. Our resonant field. But we could get lucky. The stars may align for us. Or, perhaps, at least a comet’s alignment with the earth. [grin]

    Comments, of course, are something else. But I can tell you that 100+ comments per blog post is not going to change the game for you- except make you work twice as hard at keeping the comments going and going.

    That said, I wish you a million dollars a year. After taxes, of course.

  46. MSchechter July 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Man did you nail it with your goal! It’s one of my pet peeves lately, we all seem better at getting people to nod than we do at getting them to stop and think for just a moment. Something I’ve certainly felt guilty of in the past (and knowing me will likely be guilty of in the future), going for the cheap nod.

  47. AnnieAndreHacks July 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Is there really a perfect blog post? I’m not sure there is. I think a great blog post can do as you said, make people respond the way they do to BRUCE. Some may say it’s damn right perfect and others will hate it. I don’t like Bruce’s songs. I know, i know, i’ve tried to like him. I really have. I’m embarassed to tell people anymore because i practically get stoned when i say it. No kidding. But i don’t. And blog posts are the same. I personally really enjoy your posts and think they come pretty close to perfect because i can relate to what you are saying and i often find myself nodding my head to what you write. So isn’t the perfect blog post subjective?

    This is me trying to be the devils advocate. don’t bite my head off ok. I already got chastised for not likeing BRUCE. LOL

    Cheers,

    Annie

  48. StartYourNovel July 17, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Isn’t that the whole point of writing? Lighting a fire within the reader?

    As for “perfect” – I’d rather say “practice makes powerful,” because “perfect” is an ideal. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. Like the North Star, it gives you a heading, points the way. You’re never going to reach Polaris on your own, but trying makes you better every passing day.

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