Over on Mike Banks’ blog The REAL Writing Life, I came across an excerpt from an interview he did with Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of the paradigm-rocking The Long Tail. Chris was talking about how much time he spends blogging daily, which transformed into a commentary on why he blogs:

Basically I devote an hour a day to blogging-related functions. That is, either writing posts, or editing other people’s posts, composing drafts, or thinking about or pulling together research that will go into drafts. I wish it were three hours a day. I’d love to spend more time. It’s a really satisfying process. I think I do my best thinking via my blogs. Because that is really what a blog is about: a blog is a scratch-pad, and a discipline to collect your thoughts, compose your thoughts, advance your thoughts, and do it in public in a way that can amplify your thoughts by not only reaching an audience, but also getting feedback on your thoughts. Blogging for me is really largely a way to make myself smarter.
I’m really heartened by this comment. One of the reasons I decided to start this blog was that I was reading dozens of blogs daily, especially on publishing trends and the future for authors, but feeling like I had no output for the questions and ideas they prompted in me. Making comments on other authors’ blogs is one way to participate in the conversation, and it’s a great way, but for those ideas that would marinate for a while, sometimes months, I wanted a place I could publish them and refine them through community feedback. Basically, I’m betting on the millions of people smarter than me who can spot the flaws in my reasoning. I’m looking forward to that process and to a regular practice of critical writing.
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