The Memex Method: When your commonplace book is a public database — Cory Doctorow

Cory at Medium:

I’ve been a blogger for a little more than 20 years and in that time I’ve written a little more than 20 books: novels for adults; novels for teens; short story collections; essay collections; graphic novels for adults, highschoolers and middle-schoolers; a picture-book for small children, and book-length nonfiction on various subjects. I’ve written and delivered some hundreds of speeches as well, for several kinds of technical and non-technical audience, as well as for young kids and teens.

Over that same period, I’ve published many millions of words of work in the form of blog-posts. Far from competing with my “serious” writing time, blogging has enabled me to write an objectively large quantity of well-regarded, commercially and critically successful prose that has made many readers happy enough that they were moved to tell me about it — and to inspire some readers to rethink their careers and lives based on how my work made them feel.

Cory writes about using blogging as an incubator for ideas.

This column leads me to some ideas about blogging:

  • Read and blog more of what interests me, less of what I think I should be reading (and blogging). In particular, most national, international and even state and county news won’t mean anything to my life, and I can’t do anything about it, so why let it clutter up my brain?

  • Use blogging as a guide to what I’m interested in. Follow my instincts more and my sense of duty less.

Also, I’m starting to think — again — about finding a better blogging platform. It’s no secret that I’m perpetually dissatisfied, and move Google+ to Tumblr to Microblog to WordPress. I may have to learn JavaScript and CSS to get WordPress just right. I’ll think about it between now and September, when my current WordPress subscription expires.

I hate Facebook, but it’s where everybody is, so I can’t escape it and it’s become my primary blogging platform, against my will.

Cory’s one of my blogging role models. Dave Winer and John Gruber are others. When I’m trying to figure something out about blogging, I look to their blogs to see how they’re solving the problem.