There are plenty of gurus out there who tell us how to set up the best site, how to write the perfect blog post, how to attract traffic, how to turn traffic into sales, how to ensure that those customers will be returning ones and so on and so forth. One suggestion comes up over and over: write posts that are short and snappy because people scan pages and don't read blocks of text. I say screw that dear reader. My brain has yet to short-circuit into a blue screen of death because of a paragraph longer than two lines and by the look of things, people on here seem more intellectually developed than a one-year old pointing at 'the cat is on the mat' in his fabric book. We can deal with words, yes we can.
This is the reason why today's guest is Josh Hanagarne, otherwise known as The World's Strongest Librarian. I wanted him here because his site, and his success, demonstrates that it is style, and not just content, that matters. Josh writes first and foremost for himself and isn't afraid of admitting it and there is nothing I like better than a good-natured, honest guy (and nothing I hate better than false modesty). Visit his online home and you will find long posts, short posts, funny posts, poignant posts, big blocks of texts and little lists; by being himself Josh is constantly attracting a variety of readers who do not care about what makes a blog 'successful' but who love what he writes, no matter how he writes it. Then, of course, there is the concept of Perpetual Progress which is what is at the forefront of my mind as I wince and whimper my way through my daily Tracy Anderson DVD (people: it works). Finally came Josh's love and first novel The Knot, where sparks fly in Josh's unbridled prose. Today I give you the Strongest Librarian, enjoy!
What is your idea of perfect writing?
For me, there is nothing I enjoy more than reading a paragraph and realizing "Wow, the author had an absolute blast writing this." My favorite authors enjoyed their writing. You can read just about every sentence they wrote and know how fired up they were just to be involved in creating something they cared about. If that's not perfect, I don't care what is.
What is your greatest writing fear?
I don't have any writing fears. If I can just make myself sit down, I'll write something. Maybe it won't be good, but parts of it will be good. There's almost always something worth salvaging. My fear is that the day will come when I can't make myself sit down in front of the computer. That's the hard part sometimes.
When I was writing The Knot, the book I self-published as a lark this month. Where I was: a very dark place, during the rock bottom years with my health challenges. But that book saved me. I learned how much I loved to write, I committed to a long project, and I finished it. Even if nobody else ever reads your book, there is nothing like finishing a book. There is nothing quite as fun as seeing the pages add up and knowing that the end is coming.