(Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes)
It’s been a couple of weeks since I sat down and wrote some blog posts. I’ve been running on scheduled posts… and now I’ve run out.
So I’m raiding the drafts queue. First up, for December 1st, is this post. Yes, I know it’s December 2d now and I’m only a few lines into it.
But I have lots of motivation.
In a startling display of coincidence, Elizabeth Potts Weinstein just published – on December 1st – Making the Commitment to Signposts & Sh*t Piles. Now I don’t know Elizabeth personally, but I am familiar with the types of caves from her previous neck of the woods (Missouri). Missouri caves are similar to Indiana caves: generally cold, generally wet and generally muddy.
After a flash of annoyance (She stole my blog post!), I realized I hadn’t actually finished this article… so let’s get after it.
Now, part of what’s holding me back on this blog post is getting one of the very few pictures of me that exist from college. In this case, I was hoping to obtain a scan of a color slide of me in Primitive Baptist Spring Cave. The picture shows me in a passage 2.5 feet high (at most), and mostly full of cold – Indiana cold – cave water.
Just my head is sticking out of the water.
I look cold.
I was cold.
I also recall I was wearing my brand new custom made 1/4 inch wetsuit that day, and I was helping my friend David Black map the cave. It was a long, slow, cold, wet excursion.
Sometimes, blogging seems exactly the same; a long slog out in the wilderness. Away from family and most of your friends. Toiling away either isolated and alone… or with new friends sharing your passion.
Learning to blog is like caving in that each requires an apprenticeship. You have to learn the basics. You have to practice mastery (more on mastery soon). You have to be willing to show up when others stay home.
Learning to blog is full of wrong turns and dead ends. Following a promising passage for a long way, then having it just end for no reason. Being lost in a maze of apparently identical choices, knowing that most choices suck, but it’s impossible to know which ones suck until you map it out for yourself.
Blogging is like caving, by going deeper than others. By going places no one has ever been before, into uncharted territory.
Making the maps as you go!
Sometimes, going as far as you can, and finding that’s not a good place to be.
Check this out…A few years ago, I went to went to Mexico with a friend to investigate a new area he had found. He’d been prospecting there months before, had several new caves to investigate.
To the right is a picture of me with several hundred feet of rope, at the entrance of one he called “X29.” X29 started nicely, went down several shafts, but pinched off about 450 feet below the surface. Adding insult to our hurt feelings… the air at the bottom was really bad.
But you can never tell these things until you go see for yourself.
Sure, you can buy a lot of ebooks and read a lot of blogs to help you on your way. But that’s like looking at a cave map. The map isn’t the territory, and once you’re down in the cave (or building your blog) things just don’t seem how you imagined they would.
But things are as they are, and you have to be open to accepting reality. In caves, reality intrudes, you can’t escape it, you’re under the ground and on your own. In blogging, your reality is shaped by your community. No traffic means no community, and silence is more powerful than shouting.
What’s your reality? Are you achieving what you intend with your blogging? Do you know why or why not? I bet we have common ground, all of us, if we’re willing to share our experiences.