One thing that is increasingly fascinating to me is how much writers of all stripes and mediums enjoy writing and reading about the process of writing and the importance that reading plays in this process — especially when the medium being examined is their own. I certainly am no exception. It is for this reason that I have found reading about the origin and processes of several of my online publishing compatriots so compelling.
Ian Hines recently interviewed a number of these folks but, due to circumstances I can’t yet surmise, was never able to actually post them. I am so very thankful that did not result in a treasure lost but, instead, it allowed these fine writers of some of my favorite blogs to post the interviews on their own sites, thus making the peek behind the curtain even more compelling than any “about” page ever could ever do.
I urge you to read each one of these posts, in their full original context, one after another, as they almost form a single narrative around the question of “Why bloggers blog”. Here they are with a favorite takeaway line each:
Pat Dryburgh – “I also want to quickly touch on this: I am hesitant to use terms like “real” or “real world” friends when speaking about friends I know offline. I have had real, heart to heart conversations with some great people that I count as good friends even though I’ve never met them in person. To me, that is just as real as someone I’ve shaken hands with”
Shawn Blanc – “Publishing a weblog has been the best thing I could have done for my writing. It is a format that really works for me: I enjoy it, I’m challenged by it, inspired by it, and frustrated by it. I love it and I hate it. Some days I cannot wait to sit down at my keyboard, while other days I consider quitting altogether and spending all that new free time building furniture. And but so the blend of emotion is sort of my proof that I ought to keep growing and writing.”
Jorge Quinteros – “Maintaining a log of opinions and imagery seemed like the ideal way to hoard memories. There’s nothing like reading back on your own words or viewing your photographs and being able to recall exactly what you felt when creating any of them.”
Kyle Baxter – “Whatever it is you find yourself reading about constantly, and thinking about when you should be thinking about something else; that thing that just grabs your attention like nothing else does, and leaves you terribly excited… That’s what you need to write about.”
Seriously, go read each one. Nothing but gold past this rainbow. It’s a shame there are not more of these. I’d like to buy the book.
The only way I can fairly review Rework, the new book by 37 Signals founders Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson is to break it into two separate reviews – one for each audience. Therefore, decide which one you fit into and read on from there.
Fans, True Believers, and Apostates
You fit into this group if you are an avid fan of 37 Signals, read their Signal vs. Noise blog, and are already intimately aware of their core philosophies. If this is you then, this book will hold no surprises and it will be nothing you have not seen before in one form or another. You may want to buy an electronic edition of the book for the occasional pep talk as needed. Or, since no “subchapter” is longer than a few pages, it might be the perfect addition to the well curated bathroom (you do, in fact, curate your bathroom reading, right?). It also will make a great gift for your friends in Group #2.
You fit into this group if you are not all that familiar with 37 Signals, their philosophies, or their blog. For you, this book is a must read. It is disruptive and will shake up every foundation about business you have learned. You need this because within lies the truth, in short digestible bites, about how to really start a business that builds on your passion and make that business successful by the only standards that matter (yours). Its a fantastic and smart read by people with opinions – people with opinions are rare these days. That said, I’m sure you know a few and they are likely in Group #1. Ask them to loan you their copy of Rework.