Blogging is about personality, and getting your own particular thoughts out into the blogosphere. The best blogs aren’t necessarily defined by a particular type of content or visual presentation, though these help. The best ones are those marked with the inimitable and indelible stamp of their creators’ personalities. Good blogs speak to us in a clear, distinctive voice, using words in a way that no other writer can imitate. Whether written by famous scientist and atheist PZ Meyers, or the slightly crazed yet endearing party fanatic Andrew W.K., a good blog and microblog gives us a glimpse of its writer’s personality and thereby sets our imaginations afire.
One way to accomplish the task of putting your personality into your blog is trying out new ideas. Maybe you want to incorporate some voiced elements such as a podcast-style commentary section for certain blogs, or incorporate a “best of” section going back to your old posts. Perhaps it’s something more daring, such as including your own comic strip or having a rotating series of guest hosts. Chances are that if you’re writing a blog, you’re already a person with ideas, and in most cases these ideas rarely see the light of day in your regular professional life.
This dearth of creative daring is relatively understandable. People crave routine and consistency, which a blog is well-suited to provide between its simple, accessible format and a regular updating schedule. Part of this craving comes down to wanting to read about popular topics, be they politics, religion, entertainment or any of the other big discussion points. New ideas and ways of doing things are risky, and can have difficulty gaining the kind of traction needed to take off in a way that will pay off for the creator.
That said, I’m here to make an argument for trying new and daring things, and it’s an argument based on a comic book character that Britain gave us in the 1970s.
Judge Dredd may not be as well-known as other comic book heroes, particularly in the United States, but there is a certain amount of recognition even on this side of the Atlantic, in large part because of the unfortunate 1995 film of the same name starring Sylvester Stallone. While the movie was a critical and financial bomb, the very fact that the project was made at all should say something about the draw of the character at the time. The term “Judge Dredd” is used as a political shorthand for overpowered judicial or police forces, both in the United Kingdom and here in the states. There is even another movie scheduled to open in September of 2012. Clearly this character matters to a lot of people.
But if you heard about the beginning of the character’s role in the comic that spawned him, you might be excused for asking how the hell this came about.
The comic that was due to feature Dredd, 2000 AD, didn’t even include the character in the launch issue. One of the original creators walked away from the project when a major financial backing option fell through, leaving the future of 2000 in doubt. The character was shopped around to a number of different artists and writers in an effort to get it going, and the very concept seemed ludicrous when first pitched. The idea of a satire of hyper-violent American heroes was interesting, sure, but how many stories could really be wrung out of that idea?
Well, Judge Dredd has gone on to appear in nearly every issue of Warrior since issue #2, has a number of video games and spinoff comics and media attached to the property, has spawned the two aforementioned films and has attracted a number of talented writers to work with the character and settings of his stories.
But what exactly does all this have to do with writing a blog?
The key take away here is that if you have an idea that you’re really passionate about, that you know inside and out and desperately want to make happen, then make it happen. Take the time to try it out, and keep trying it as long as you feel you can make a credible effort at it. Unusual ideas with troubled starts are difficult to work with — no one is disputing that. What such circumstances do not mean, however, is that the idea cannot succeed.
However, these circumstances do mean that you cannot turn in anything less than your absolute best work on the idea. The Dredd comics have always featured a very detailed, consistent and technically polished style of artwork. The writing is consistently funny when comedy is called for, and philosophical when the deeper satires are in evidence. The people working on Warrior know that Dredd is their flagship property, and there is even an honest to goodness apprenticeship for new writers who are trained to take over the main storyline when a lead writer retires. They have always given their best to the Dredd strips, and that is the lesson to take away here: Go for your dreams, try out your brave new idea, but always give it your absolute, purely polished Gold Standard of writing effort.
Author Bio:- Ben Porter is a co-founder of Brandsplat. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. For the free Brandsplat Report go to Brandsplat.com or visit our blog at http://www.ibrandcasting.com