I would like to write useful, illustration-rich blog posts that everyone Stumbles, Diggs, and otherwise disseminates to vast numbers of people on the internet. I want to be a reliable, methodical blogger, one who has regular features that people come to expect on a given day of each week like all the “how to write effective blogs” blogs advise.

I would like to do this so people will buy my new book, Am I Boring My Dog — without my having to mention that book at all; it would just be subliminal —  or so that someone will offer me lots of money to write another book/column/blog.

I also want to look great in a bathing suit without having to give up beer and pizza, and without going to the gym.

But somehow, instead of writing disciplined, useful posts with lists and calls to action, I write about dogs that eat their own poop.

At least I didn’t try to illustrate that post.

It’s not that I don’t want to put in the time. I rewrite my posts at least 10 times before pushing “publish.” And it’s not that I’m not interested in useful topics like dog training.  It’s just that much of the material I’m planning to use is already in the book that dare not speak its name and I tend to feel like writing about new stuff.

But I’ll do better, I promise. I’ll eat less pizza and drink less beer (note: I didn’t mention carrot cake). And I’ll write useful posts with lots of links and pictures, ones that end with questions.

Here’s one: What do you think of Cesar Millan being on a library poster that promotes reading and literacy? That is, does disapproving of a spokesperson make the message less effective in your eyes? To make it less ambiguous: What if, say, Glen Beck was a spokesperson for something nonpolitical like not texting while driving? Would you be glad that someone with a following was spreading a useful message, or would you think it legitimized him as a role model for too many people?

Update: Sometimes the universe answers a question you didn’t know you’d asked. Just as I was thinking I’d better delete this post because it was self indulgent and crabby I came across a terrific post on ProBlogger by Kelly Diehls: Why Blogging is Like the Wizard of Oz and There’s No Place Like Home. A Polemic or Maybe A Manifesto By All the Red Shoe Bloggers. I’d suggest anyone who wants to blog from the heart, whether in the interests of selling a book or not, read it. It’s an example of what it preaches: Be as wonderful and weird as you want to be; soullessness is not the path to success.

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