Writing Is Simple and So Is Guest Posting

My name is Jack and I am a dad blogger who writes about parenting, life, business and social media. Sometimes I write fiction like this post about New Year’s Eve or dreams.

I love to write and I decided a while back that it was time to get serious about writing the books that are trapped inside my head. So I started another blog so that I could focus on moving those stories from inside my melon to paper.

Blogging has been a blessing for me. It has enabled me to focus on my love for writing in ways that I never could have imagined. It has led to new friendships, business opportunities and expanded my world.

Three Paragraphs

It took three paragraphs to pass along a ton of information about who I am, what I do and what I want to do.

If I did a proper job those 117 words did more than provide you with information about who I am and what I dream about. They helped provide a connection between you and I.

I didn’t try to be clever or funny, nor did I try to impress you by demonstrating my enormous vocabulary. That is not because my vocabulary is limited because it is not. I love words and I have a much larger vocabulary than most people.

But the point of this post isn’t to let you know that I can construct an essay that would fit in an academic journal or be appropriate for publishing in legal/medical journals.

Simple is not better, it is best.

I want everyone who reads this to find it easy to follow along so there is no reason for me to write a tome. We can save that for a different day when we intentionally revisit our posts on obscure and useful vocabulary words.

Writing Is Simple

Writing is simple. You need a beginning, middle and end. The problem some writers face is they forget about the value of simplicity and unnecessarily complicate what should have been a simple story about XYZ.

The desire to go viral is a part of the problem. People have this crazy urge to create something that is going to be read by millions so they create some cockamamie photo or video and stick a bunch of words around it with the thought that their new Internet version of Frankenstein’s Monster is going to be big.

It is a mistake.

300px Frankenstein%27s monster %28Boris Karloff%29 Writing Is Simple and So Is Guest Posting

Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The funny thing about it all is that blogging provides a great opportunity to be a mad scientist. It is a perfect environment for experimenting, provided you don’t forget that sometimes your monster can turn on you. They aren’t all cute ogres with Scottish accents and talking donkeys.

But What About The Guest Posts

I am glad you asked. Guest posts are an interesting animal. In concept a guest post provides both parties with a great opportunity.

The host doesn’t have to prepare content and the guest gets the chance to show off their skills to a new audience. In theory the guest runs around promoting the host blog as a great place that everyone should visit.

And why shouldn’t they. Everyone knows that only the best writers are granted an opportunity to guest post over there.

In my head I get this image of the fox looking at the hen house. He can’t wait for the invitation he is about to receive because once he is in he knows that he is going to eat like a king.

Forgive my cynicism, but this is how I see a lot of the guest posting on the business blogs. It probably isn’t accurate for many of them, but…

What I like about guest posting is the idea that it pushes you a little bit harder to write something special. It is extra motivation for you. A chance to try to step your game up a little bit.

But that doesn’t mean that you should let go of simplicity either. This is where you try to focus on coming up with a really good topic. Pick something that feeds your fire so that when you write you feel a greater sense of interest and investment.

If you do that and you include personality and purpose good things will come of it, just keep it simple.

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end.

I am in the middle of my story. I am in the place where I have just figured out what I want to do with my life and am trying to determine how to make that happen.

How about you? Where are you at? Do you know what you want to do?

 Writing Is Simple and So Is Guest Posting

Comments

  1. says

    I really haven’t figured out exactly what but yes, I see a path I am going to be happy with and I am more than happy to be taking that path.
     
    As for writing, I try to keep it as simple as I can. I write what comes to mind, I write as it comes. Sure, I smooth the edges here and there but then that is just about it. I really don’t think too hard on trying to be smart or trying to have the best of words on my written work. 
     
    The struggle and the key is to make it interesting. Whether you are writing for yourself or for your readers. And whether it is guest posting. There is a whole new audience, you just need to believe in your writing and just keep it fun… for both! 

    • says

       @Hajra  If you see a path and are happy about being on it you have already won half the battle.
       
      It is important to keep it interesting but I think that part of the way to do that is to just write the way you described. Sometimes too much thought has an adverse affect upon the quality of our work.
       
      It is easy to overthink.
      Twitter:

  2. says

    Simple is best. I did a writing exercise once where we parsed words relentlessly. The fewer words the better.
     
    Guest posts fell into two categories for me. The first is when I ask someone to write a guest post because of their expertise in an area. The second is when someone asks me if they can write a guest post on my blog. Sometimes these are scams from strangers who are paid for backlinks, other times they are legit. The struggle is trying to tell the difference between the two.
     
    I’m glad you’ve decided what you want to do with your life, Jack. I selfishly hope that involves writing.

    • says

       @wonderoftech Hi Carolyn,
       
      Fewer words is better. I sometimes laugh about that because brevity and I are often at odds, but less can be more.
       
      The requests for guest posts from strangers is one that I am very cautious about for the very reason you mention. I get a lot of requests from people who I don’t know and who don’t present any evidence that they read my blog.
       
      That is usually a sign to me that there is something wrong. I don’t want to serve as a farm for backlinks and I don’t have a problem filling this joint with content so…
       
      I appreciate the support and can promise that I am doing my best to make writing a central part of what I do with my life. Hope you are having a great weekend.
      Twitter:

  3. rdopping says

    That’s one big melon. I agree on the simple. I just wish I could pull it off….ha. Like Bill I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. ;-)

  4. says

    Ha! With your posts, I sometimes have a problem deciding what to respond to. I swear to God, you could take 3 or 4 paragraphs, focus down, and make a separate post out of each. (I have had my own readers tell me this!)
     
    On the writing is simple thing, for me, it depends on the kind of day I’m having (or in the case of my memoir, the kind of YEAR). I haven’t written a lot of fiction and the memoir genre uses most of its techniques: plotlines, hook, conflict, climax, condensing and contrasting characters, etc. Writing a blog post is much easier!
     
    On guest posting, I think it’s a great way to reach new readers if, as Bill said, it isn’t a blog that has many of the same readers yours does. I haven’t done nearly enough guest blogging and had an invitation from Copyblogger  a year ago that I totally blew. Perhaps it’s a signal to re-approach them.  : )  I’m guest posting now to get the message out about Judy Lee Dunn the writer.
     
    And, by the way, the “middle part” can be the most interesting. We are all cheering you on and waiting on the edge of our seats to see  where Jack goes next. (And that is always a sign of good storytelling.)   : )
     
     

    • says

       @JudyDunn 
       
      Sometimes writing these posts reminds me of grabbing a hunk of bed from an uncut loaf. It is a real mouthful that sometimes you force down and sometimes you break into pieces.
       
      There is so much to talk about and so little time.
       
      I have been thinking about your comment about the way memoir is constructed for a large part of the day. Been thinking in general about whether it would help or hinder me to start taking my stories apart so that I could piece them back together with the hooks, and plotlines etc.
       
      There is a part of me that says it would be beneficial and another that loves the raw nature of this…
      Twitter:

      • says

         @TheJackB This is so funny. I went in to edit out a typo and I think I screwed up and hit delete by accident. Yes, I am a technological wonder.
         
        I used to be like you. And being right-brained, I’m much worse. I thought that “deconstructing” my stories would ruin them. Make them too formulaic. But then I met Larry Brooks (storyfix.com) and Victoria Mixon. They both won a Top 10 Blogs for Writers award the year I did and that is how I met them. They are both experts at helping people take their “raw” stories and shape them according to the rules of fiction. Victoria is now my editor and writing coach and I have learned so much working with her. I am a week away from finishing the detailed plot outline and will be wasting far less time than I would have muddling through it myself. They have both also written outstanding books on the art and craft of story. Let me know if you ever want the titles.    : )

        • says

           @JudyDunn I don’t know if I am right or left brained, half brained most likely.
           
          I am concerned about formula but not overly worried. Some of them work time and time again, so that is not enough to scare me away.
           
          But I do worry about editing out the fire and passion so… At the same time I see nothing wrong with trying to learn more so I am definitely interested in the names of any books you want to suggest.
          Twitter:

  5. says

    I love how you break things down and simplify the thought process to writing and blogging; that’s actually a gift for you, considering how big your melon is!
     
    Cheers to you Mr. JackB – hope all is well in Jack’s world :)

    • says

       @Mark_Harai 
       
      Hi Mark,
       
      Life is complicated, but good. Working out the details and chasing down answers, but that is half the fun. Hope you are enjoying things too.
       
      This blogging gig really doesn’t have to be as complicated as some people make it out to be. Just write.
      Twitter:

  6. says

    When I first started blogging it was a dream. I’d much rather speak, but was thrilled to delve in to the writing world to see if I could express myself clearly.
    Then I started writing for family history.I’ll continue with it , but I also want to accomplish things with those people who want and need help.
    There’s an  interesting challenge when you work with people online. It is very difficult to hold people accountable if you can’t measure their progress or if they’re reluctant to communicate (a lot of people will read, but are they reading for entertainment, relationship, information???) .
    So, even though I could keep blogging to grow and to have fun, I’m more interested in really connecting with those people who need me.
    It’s so easy to do IRL. I love the challenge that the online world provides and the opportunities for growth I can see, too.
    Have a great weekend, Jack!

    • says

       @CrossBetsy 
      Hi Betsy,
       
      It is hard to figure out what people are doing and why. If they don’t tell you all you can do is guess and that is not easy.
       
      But it sounds like you have a definite idea about what you want to do and some what of a plan to make that happen. That is cool. 
       
      Hope you have a great weekend.
      Twitter:

  7. says

    I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. If I’m not going to get the call up to the ‘bigs’ then I guess I can still be an astronaut or a fireman I suppose….
     
    What does is say when you do guest post and eat like a king but never get an invite back? Does it mean you were too glutinous and didn’t mind your manners? 
     
    I don’t do a good job of asking, but if I never ask I guess it will never happen, huh? Early in the year I was trying to include a GP once or twice a month at my place, but after a month I ran through all of my friends.
     
    Because we share a lot of the same community, it might be somewhat redundant to GP at our places so it’s not a bad thing to ‘branch out’ and land at different places.
     
    I have about 5 GP requests of me on the table and I just need to buckle down and get them done; that is the other thing I don’t do a good job of………….yikes………. 

    • says

       @bdorman264 
       
      I don’t know if there is logic and reason behind some of these decisions. Some times I think people don’t feel comfortable asking you to write again because they see it as work for you, not because they didn’t like the job you did.
       
      I think it can be useful and effective for both parties as long as there is a mutual understanding about what is going on. Frankly I never think to ask anyone to do it here, but I probably should.
       
      I am sure you’ll bang those GPs out soon. Just make sure to tell us where to go see them.
      Twitter:

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