How blogging disciplines our ideas

You are the last defender on a football field. You see the opponent’s forward sprinting towards you with the ball. There is nobody else around. He is charging forth to have a one-on-one conversation with a huge goalpost and a tiny goal keeper, and you are the only thing that stands in his way.

In desperate situations like these, the best defenders are the patient ones. The ones who hold back. The ones who do not panic and over-extend. One wrong move, and the striker can easily dribble past, using your own momentum against you. Defending well requires restraint that is perfected over a long period of time.

The creative process is random. It combines learning across subjects, chronology and contexts to create ideas that are greater than the sum of their parts. However, this process is also prone to wandering off on indefensible tangents.

Blogging regularly enforces discipline. When the publish button is hit, it cannot be revoked. The post is out in the internet forever, with your name on it. These conditions force the brain to be careful with its ideas and keep them logically consistent. It helps us develop restraint.

With increased popularity, this skill only becomes stronger, because there is more at stake. And when a writer is more logical, more structured and coherent, her following increases, leading to a virtuous cycle.

With enough time and practice, this habit becomes the brain’s default mode of operation, even outside of blogging. From brainstorming sessions at work, to candid conversations with friends at coffee shops, our ideas become better structured and more consistent.

Every single blogpost throws us into the proverbial football field. But along the way, it trains us to be better defenders.

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