Column: ‘Listen to Thy Younger Self’ – See What She/He Has to Say

As a blogger, I have 100,000 words or more I can call up anytime and be pleased or repulsed by. Twitter also allows its users to download their past tweets. Home movies, appearances on television shows, even news features exist for many people as remnants of the past and opportunities to learn from.

damien_riley_raybans_bw200Damien Riley is a blogger and podcaster who writes a column at once a week. He has an MA in English  from California State University, Fullerton, he married a princess (now his queen) and together they have 3 children.

How cool would it be to sit and have coffee with your younger self? Imagine it is you 10, 20, or 30 years ago. I just tweeted how I was watching Looper with Bruce Willis and it was the part where he was talking with Joshua Gordon Leavitt, his younger self, in a diner. That’s a trippy scene! What was weirder was that I had just been looking over some tweets from 2007 out by the pool and some of the stuff I tweeted them was just fascinating. I don’t mean I was witty or profound, but rather ignorant about so many things that have happened in the 10 years since I tweeted those. Twitter offers you the ability to download your Tweet archive. If you’ve been on Twitter awhile, you might want to check it out, the link gives you clear instructions how. There is even a string of Tweets when I give narration as I’m waiting for … Read the rest

Why I Write


I think the reason I write is to get better at solving problems. Research says that people who write well are excellent problem solvers. Journaling research in particular shows that writing can help the writer cope with trauma. My wife is an MFT and she often uses journal therapy for her patients. Why? Because it works, both in research and in the real world where she works with real people. As an educator, I teach my students how to take on writing prompts quite often all year long. I give them tricks and ways to organize their thoughts but ultimately, the highest grades go to the students who can process an abstract concept by making it concrete in writing.

As an avid blogger, I must admit I am always hoping for people to read my work. Sometimes it happens and others it doesn’t. I have to spend a large amount of time networking (shmoozing) as you see I am doing at the bottom of this post but without something to sell to people, I am just a diarist keeping his thoughts in a book under the bed.

You can’t just let them come to you in blogging, you have to become an expert marketer of your work to get readers, especially if you ever hope to make any money at it.

That leads me to my final thought: content. Am I here for myself or for others. I think I have to be honest and say myself. This makes networking … Read the rest