not that im any freakin expert

but im going to try on fridays to post some tips on blogging and writing and stuff that will help your blog get better.

todays topic is writers block and how to defeat it.

people sometimes talk about writers block. i had a teacher who said that writers block is a way of the universe and nature to tell you to read a book instead. i never liked that teacher and he never liked me, so we’re even. however he does have my dream job of being a professor at a cool university on the beach surrounded by hot young women and im sitting here … not being that.

anyways i dont believe in writers block and in four and a half years of writing this blog ive never had it, so clearly it doesnt believe in me neither.

to me writers block happens when you are afraid to say the things that you want to say. it happens when you self edit yourself before you start writing or while you are writing. it happens when youre trying to be a perfectionist. when youre trying to write to one hard-to-reach person instead of to a willing and wide audience. and it happens when youre confused as to who your audience is.

to me writers block is the devil whispering “you suck, this sucks, you cant write, nobody cares, so and so has said this before and better, bloggings dumb, your blogs dumb, youre dumb,” and you listen to those whispers as opposed to the siren song of your muse.

i have a harem of muses, and another one on the side just in case. that doesnt mean that the devil still doesnt have season tickets right in the front row. fucker. it just means that over the years ive learned how to write in such a way that i can turn his volume down.

one of the best ways to confound the devil is to acknowledge him right away and move on while he’s basking in the attention. look at my first line of this post. thats me shaking off the hisses of the devil as i step into the batters box. i knew i was going to write a post giving advice and the first thing the devil said was who the fuck are you to give advice. so i acknowledged him and moved on.

now the devils not gonna shut up just because you winked at him before you tapped home plate, so you have to confuse him some more. one way to do that is write so fast that he doesnt have any time to sink his teeth into what youre saying. thus the 15 minutes with Tony excercise was born.

if you write fast the devil can still call bullshit fast but sometimes your brain and your fingers and your thoughts can take the lead and the devil cant catch up. some jockies do this with horses during long races. they know their horse isnt as good as the others so they get them off to a long lead and see if the horse can hold the lead.

run fast out of the gates my friends and dont look back.

and while youre there, write from your heart. the devil is not in your heart. the devil is in your head. the heart is where good things live and bad things cant thrive. tell the truth as you know it. write plainly. keep it simple. speak from your own experience. dont get caught up in length or style or what other people are doing.

get caught up in your own tale and watch it blossom.

finally, write every day in every circumstance and at every time of day. eventually you will form a belief about what the best time of day is for you to be creative. when youve convinced yourself of this, make sure to write during that part of the day. my belief is im best in the morning. thats why im writing this now. in fact every morning i write something.

it doesnt matter what it is that you write, just write every day. and when youre done send some shout outs to your peeps, right click > select all > right click > copy and then Publish Post.

then look at it on your page and tell the devil that he still aint shit.

the best way to defeat writers block is to write and never stop.

hey im famous!

before i flew off to amsterdam the austin chronicle asked me to write a few words about attending the SXSW interactive annual week-of-fun. because i was so fixated on going to holland and kissing my best friend goodbye who was moving to africa for two and a half years i totally forgot what i had written.

well tonight Hugh Forrest, the man in charge, who has now invited me two years in a row to speak there emailed me at midnight my time which is i think 2am texas time to let me know that my thing was in the paper.

so thanks Hugh for letting me know.

heres some of what i wrote you can read the rest here

for some reason they edited out the part where i said that i liked that a lot of the people look like they play in Pavement. i thought it was funny


Austin Chronicle
March 3, 2006

The Summit

We asked some of the loudest, clearest, and leading voices in cyberspace why they’re coming to SXSW Interactive, what they bring to the proceedings, and who they want to encounter. Here are their responses.

Tony Pierce,

I’ll be going to SXSW Interactive for three reasons. The first is because I’m speaking on two panels. You have no idea how flattering it is for me to be asked to speak on any panels, let alone two.

One of the panels is one that I was on last year: “Blogging While Black,” which got a really good turnout. I can’t wait to meet up with all of the panelists again because they’re all super-cool people from very different backgrounds, and, together on one stage, we’re pretty much nothing like what people probably expect.

Another reason I’m going is to speak on a panel about creativity and finding one’s voice, and I’m very nervous about that one, because hell if I know how to explain my creative process or finding my voice. I have a feeling my voice found me, or, probably more accurately, settled on me after striking out with cooler people.

I’m also going to SXSW because I’m a big giant nerd and a fanboy of so many of the other bloggers and innovators who will be there. Last year, I felt like a kid at an all-star weekend. I wanted everyone’s autograph and, this year, I’m actually going to get them.

A long time ago, I realized that I had all of these baseballs signed by people whom I didn’t really know, so why not get autographs of my friends and lovers? Then, I figured, why stop at that? Why not get autographs of people I really appreciated? So, this year, I’ll hopefully have my baseballs signed by people like Ev Williams, Doc Searls, Craig Newmark, Jason Kottke, Heather Armstrong, and Nick Denton.

Last year, I got to meet Ana Marie Cox, and I pretty much died. Not only was she super hot, but also really really nice and laid-back – but shorter than I thought she’d be … exactly like how movie stars are. I got to buy her a beer and watch her be surrounded by tons of other dudes like me who just smiled like goofballs and said, “Uh, yer purty.”

I also got to have lunch with Jason Goldberg, Eric Case, and Biz Stone from the Blogger/Google team. I had e-mailed them and talked to them on the phone over the years, but to actually sit down and thank them for all their work on Blogger and pick their brains and have them ask me questions was one of the best lunches I ever had, and I didn’t have to pay for my burger!

top picture of mc brown + because my girl cathy at city rag said i should have more pics of dudes + photo credit the incredible azalea