Sunday, May 23, 2010

Finding your Inner Blogger

Most people think of blogging as very public affair. They would no more write a public blog than they would run naked through a crowded square. I'm writing today to encourage you to create a your own private blog. If you first shuddered upon reading that, I want you to re-read it. "Private" is the operative word. You can easily set up a blog on Blogger (and I presume other venues, but my experience is with Blogger) in such a way that it is private only to you. However, if you have Unibomber or Ted Bundy tendencies, then I would suggest to you that a private blog on the internet would not be a wise choice. Rather, I'm writing this post today for those of you who have slapped your head or kicked yourself in the tush because you had a market/trade idea that you let get away from you. Accordingly, I'm putting on my evangelical blogging hat, and I'm knocking at your door--politely and with respect--to evangelize the importance of writing.

One of my favorite authors is Jose Ortega y Gasset. I found this quote which resonated deeply with me, and I wanted to share with you:
"The so-called spirit is an all too ethereal agent, permanently in danger of being lost in the labyrinth of its own infinite possibilities. Thinking is too easy. The mind in its flight rarely meets with resistance. Hence the vital importance for the intellectual of touching concrete objects and of learning discipline in his intercourse with them. . . Without the check of visible and palpable things, the spirit in its high-flown arrogance would be sheer madness. The body is the tutor and the policeman of the spirit."

Jose Ortega y Gasset, Man the Technician (essay)
". . .the vital importance for the intellectual of touching concrete objects and of learning discipline in his intercourse with them"   Is not writing the concretization of thought?  If you find writing agonizing, it is with good reason.  Writing is what ensnares your mind's flights of fancy and imposes order.  Writing forces you to wrestle your ideas to the ground so that they become accessible, practicable and, most importantly, executable.  Your writing is the score of your mind's symphony of ideas.  When it written, it is memorialized and accessible to you for further tweaking.  The process is not meant to be easy.  The process is meant to be discomfiting enough because it forces you to make your thinking productive and actionable.  No longer are your thoughts an ethereal agent.  I would re-write (with great reverence to satisfy my own selfish purposes here), JOyG's last phrase.

      (image above courtesy of Marlen Pens)

I will concede that some of you are tapping your toe and saying "No way!".  You are a minimalist!  You care only about your charts!  Like all over- zealous door-knockers, I have an answer to that objection.  A blog will help you post your charts and document your thinking.  You can use labels that will allow you to post just your trade journal.  You can upload your annotated charts, state your trade criteria and---most importantly--detail your post mortem.   Perhaps your trade is so splendiferous that you want to memorialize it in its own special category.  Add a tag!  By simply clicking on your labels you can easily find all of your splendiferous trades.  For a trade that went woefully awry, memorialize that one too with its own tag. 

The blog serves as an image posting service too.  Rather than posting random images, why not have your images inserted into a blog page (with your notes).  You can share the image easily by clicking on it and posting the http address--you can share the image without sharing your post.  How useful is that?!!

There is one more tool that I want to share with you.  It is ScribeFire (an extension for Firefox and now Google Chrome).  What I like about Scribefire (click on graphic to left to be transported) for Firefox is that it can be used as a split screen.  This split screen allows you to seamlessly add stuff to it that you find on the internet that is interesting to you.  it is easier than bookmarking 'stuff."   Here's a picture

Still not convinced? I will head out your door after leaving you with this one last thought.  If you missed my post on Finding your Inner Genius (Slope of Hope post), I hope that you will take time to read it.  One of the characteristics of the great geniuses is their collective obsession with keeping a notebook with them at all times.  I promise you this:  Many of the great ideas that you have come to you will be lost to the ether IF YOU DON'T WRITE IT DOWN.  The insight part of your brain works when you are not forcing it to work.  Your having pen/paper or some other means of capturing the product of that insight will enable you to integrate into those moments when your brain is in forced labor mode.

Not only must you write stuff down, you will need to revisit your stuff...and revise, refine and revel in your own genius.  You will write stuff so sublime you will hardly recognize it as your own work.  You will also write stuff that will make you wonder how you could have been so stupid.  With your private blog, your private stupidity is yours and yours alone--so there is no risk!

PikeRiver Imagine your brain's thinking as a river. Your ideas a collection of silt and gems. Your writing is your tool for prospecting that great river.  Those jewels you can bring forth to the world to share--or just make them available to your conscious mind.

I will let myself out!  Thanks for letting me evangelize a bit.