My friend Nathan is an avid blogger, posting five days a week to nathan-miller.com. He describes himself as someone who doesn’t know how to describe himself in job interviews.
“Sometimes I tried saying, ‘I love computers!’ since I was applying to computer-related jobs. Sometimes I said, ‘I also love sports!’ so that it would sound like I was a well-rounded individual. Once I said ‘I’m a fun guy!’ but then I couldn’t keep mushrooms out of my head. Needless to say, that was the worst of my interviews and I tried to avoid that tactic in the future.”
I sat down with Nathan to talk about his thoughts on his life, his blog, and blogging about his life.
Lia: How long have you been blogging?
Nathan: My “Beginning a Blog” post was on 7/9/2009. Before that I had a Livejournal, but considering that the main uses of it were to post funny pictures and make fun of people that I didn’t think read it, I don’t really consider it blogging. It was high school, so that doesn’t really count. In fact, I would support legislation allowing everyone to have a temporary pseudonym during high school and a clean slate after.
Lia: What made you start the blog in ’09?
Nathan: I’ve had my email address (@nathan-miller.com) for a while, and it was always attached to this website that had just degenerated into nothingness. I decided to overhaul it, and blogging seemed like the best bet. I decided to try it out for a month or two, and if I enjoyed it, I’d continue.
Lia: And it looks like you’ve been enjoying it.
Nathan: Ninety-five percent of the time, yes. But 1 out of 20 times, I’m like, “Grrr I have nothing to blog about,” and that usually leads to some meaningless junk. Someone will inevitably tell me later, “That post was weak.”
Lia: What happens when you can’t think of a blog entry?
Nathan: Well, actually I have a pretty good notebook of ideas, but as time goes by, more and more of the good ones get written and more and more of the bad ones are left behind. Sometimes I give in and write a bad one. Other times, I start a theme (show reviews, Spiel des Jahres series, etc.). Other times, I make some technological change to my blog and use that as an excuse to write about that. When all else fails, I sit around brooding and moaning until something, however boring, comes to mind.
Lia: Do you find that your readers can keep up with your constant schedule?
Nathan: Some do, some don’t. A lot of people comment daily and read daily, which is nice. Some people catch up in batches, reading five at once, each week. Using Google Reader helps immensely. Others freely admit that they skip some posts. Those people are scoundrels.
Lia: Nobody interviewing you right now is one of those scoundrels, of course.
Nathan: I wouldn’t go that far.
Lia: Have you always enjoyed writing?
Nathan: I enjoy writing about me, because like many others, I am, at my core, an egotistical person. However, I’m not a fan of writing things like essays. Very tedious, very annoying. I’m not a Liberal Arts guy for a reason.
Lia: Has anyone ever been offended by anything you wrote?
Nathan: Oh yeah. The comments on this post speak for themselves: http://www.nathan-miller.com/staten-island-smells-like-garbage/
Lia: Oh wow! Those look like fun. Calling you smelly.
Nathan: Still makes me laugh every time I read those.
Lia: Who are your biggest fans? And are there close friends or relatives who you just can’t convince to read your blog?
Nathan: My biggest fans? Probably my friend Yoni simply because he thinks he is the inspiration for all my posts (he’s not). He’s also a good commenter. Another friend of mine claims to read my blog religiously but she never comments. Not once. So I have no proof. But nah, all my close friends and relatives read my blog. Assuming that that’s using the distributive property or whatever it’s called. Close (Friends + Relatives) = Close Friends + Close Relatives.
Lia: What are some of the rejected ideas for blog posts that you decided not to write?
Nathan: Let me open my notebook and look! Starting at page one (so this is more than a year old), I have the following written down but not crossed out: “Google Results” “Bad Pandora” “Cubscout Activities” “2 Movies” “Mailer” “Opera” “Zach Lahn (CNN v Obama)” “Displays in ORD” “7th Inning Stretches” “Chester Gee’s” “Jack in the Box” “Florida Death Penalty Guy” “Rain worse than snow” “Sock Loops” “Purse waiter carries around” “Scrabble iPad” “Best vegetable fruits.” Those last few are pretty recent, though, so I may use them.
Lia: Maybe if you’re ever desperate for a post idea, you can write a post with one-liners about each of your rejected ideas.
Nathan: That’s a fantastic idea.
Lia: You’re welcome. What other blogs do you read that we should read too?
Nathan: Well obviously you should read this fantastic blog entitled “bril-lia-nce.” It’s very clever.
Lia: Oh? Never heard of it.
Nathan: Other than that, most of the blogs I read belong to my friends. Some of them are fantastic, but none of them update very often. Others that I recommend: mentalfloss.com, neatorama.com, geekcrafts.com, hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com.
Lia: I will have to check those out! Alright, well, thank you for being a part of my blog this week, and thank you for always commenting on my blog! I hope you comment on this week’s post!
Nathan: I probably will. I bet the guy you’re interviewing is a jerk.
Lia: Totally. I mean, seriously…who has a website with their own name as the domain? 🙂