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Recently I’ve spent some time considering why I continue to write, and what subjects I choose to write about. I commented on Facebook yesterday that it feels good to once again be writing about subjects that I know next to nothing about. Or at the bare minimum, have no practical knowledge of, only theory (there are those who might argue that that’s what I’ve always been doing). It reminds me of the first couple of years writing this blog, when all we did was research, study, and share what we were learning. Of course, that learning never stopped, but the lessons absorbed in the beginning, behind the safety of a keyboard, were different than those acquired in the field (or in this case, on the water). 

What to write about?

Two of our favorite comedy movies are those that feature Ron Burgundy, a 70s newscaster played by Will Ferrell. In the equally-funny sequel there is a scene where the protagonist asks the question:

I just don’t know why we have to tell the people what they need to hear. Why can’t we just tell them what they want to hear?

To tell the truth, the question that Ron poses is one that I have actually considered, and I bet many other bloggers have too!

Please, no comments about how this may or may not relate to mainstream media.

Because I pay fairly close attention to the statistics from our website and our social media accounts, I’m aware of which posts get a lot of traffic, and which ones don’t. I know that if I write about some sort of drama, or something negative, the site will get a ton of traffic, and the post will receive dozens of comments.

I have to admit that it is occasionally frustrating to spend a lot of time on a post that I feel is worthwhile, and would be of use to our readers, only to have it largely go unnoticed. This frustration is compounded when I see a silly meme that I share, or some click-bait article, get a ton of traffic. When I start to think this way, I have to remind myself that we started this blog primarily for ourselves, to document our travels, and the process that we were going through to learn a new set of skills. And now, we’re pretty much doing that again, starting from scratch.

We received a Facebook comment yesterday by someone saying that he was really interested in the new biking direction that we’re taking, and I jokingly replied, “Wow! That makes one of you. Of course, in all seriousness, I have to imagine that we have at least as many readers who are interested in adventure travel in general, not just cruising. For those who are not though, that’s OK. I promise we won’t hold it against you if you choose to move on. 🙂



 


For those who remain, or who join us from this point forward, we’ll continue to share what inspires us, instead of what we feel will simply garner thousands of page views, and social media shares. No click bait or fake news! Hopefully that works for the majority of you.

PS: Seek out the Ron Burgundy – Anchorman movies. They are hilarious!
PPS: Sorry for the somewhat misleading click-bait title. It won’t happen again. 🙂

write

28 Comments

  1. Mike,

    I write for me first. Like people take pictures of their travels I not only take pictures but provide context. I also write some posts that are only visible to me that may or may not ever become public because in the end it benefits my primary audience. If others find benefit from it great. Just like I tell guests who are interested in going out for a day trip. “We are going either way. If you are here at the doc by 10AM you can go too but a change on your plans don’t typically change our plans.” Same with my writing.

  2. Hey Mike,

    Write for you. There is a genuine enthusiasm in your prose that turned me on to reading ZTC and it’s your candor that has kept me coming back. I am intrigued by your new adventure though I admit it’s a bit too “rustic” for my taste!

    Though I just started my blog, I’m noticing the same trends. Shorter, lets call them “simpler,” posts get much more traffic. A sad example of the dumbing down of our community. But I’m still writing. One day , I hope my grandkids read through my blog and get inspired to seek out their own adventures.

    • Hi Jonathan

      Yes, sometimes my posts seem to be too long for the masses, but I don’t judge becuase I am very selective about what I spend my time reading (or watching in the case of videos) too.

  3. I think that when you tell others of things you’ve learned by sharing your experiences/knowledge that the possible ‘downstream’ benefits are hard to measure but very meaningful.

    You’re doing a lot of good, even when the ‘numbers’ may not always match the big drama stories.

    • Yes, you’re right. The numerical stats of how many people see or read a post don’t mean as much as one person really benefiting from the content, and that’s something that we may never know.

  4. I am looking forward to your next adventure! And you documenting it for us along the way.

  5. Mike, keep doing what your doing. I am certain that your writing, on whatever subject you choose, inspires others. I would have never considered the Pan American ride you are beginning to plan until you began to blog about it. Now I am totally intrigued to the point where I have spent countless hours over the last week reading others experiences doing it. While it may not be my cup of tea it has certainly opened my eyes to an additional adventure I had never considered.

  6. Well, I’m one who will love following every mile of your biking adventure as much as I did your sailing adventure. No, I don’t want to cycle some day, and I do want to sail, but over the years I’ve come to enjoy your posts as I would stories from a friend. And I follow my friends because I’m interested in their lives, not just because I want something from them!

  7. You know what I think……? Of course you do.

    Carry on!

    On On.

  8. Not comparing you, but the lack of appreciation of quality writing is universal. Herman Melville never saw Moby Dick become a success. It sold like 300 copies and he died broke.

    I think the bike trip will be much more interesting than another season of Caribbean sailing and I can’t wait to read about it. When do you expect to set out from Alaska?

  9. I’ll still continue to follow your adventures. I’m not really a biking enthusiast, but your love for adventure and your easy going writing style will keep me reading.

  10. I wake up and read your blog every morning. Whether sailing or cycling, I find your adventures interesting and inspiring. I will continue to open ZTC every morning and read in detail, videos and all or I may just choose to scan once over. Either way your blog usually brings a smile to my face.

  11. I see your blog as like a great story. It may be separated into multiple volumes (Volume 1 Sailing, Volume 2 Biking, but I’ve read too far not to see where it goes 🙂

    Excited to see you guys where you guys are exploring in the US and Canada again.

  12. Continue writing, you’re an aspiration, as being an almost compulsive writer. Its not negative, I find it incredible that you manage to write (and well) everyday. Of all the blogs I follow, you are the most consistent one.

    So…will you start a new blog name? Zero to Across America? 🙂

    • Thanks, Steph, I think. 🙂

      We have decided, at least in our own minds, that the word cruising does not solely imply boat travel. As such, and since we’re starting over once again, the name will remain the same.

      cruise (kro͞oz)
      v. cruised, cruis·ing, cruis·es
      v.intr.
      1.
      a. To sail from place to place, as for pleasure or reconnaissance.
      b. To go or move along, especially in an unhurried or unconcerned fashion: “A car, a long closed car that maybe was a Packard, came slowly down the street, and … cruised close to the curb” (Carson McCullers).
      2. To travel at a constant speed or at a speed providing maximum operating efficiency for a sustained period.
      3. Informal To move leisurely about an area in the hope of discovering something: taxis cruising for fares.

      v.tr.
      1. To travel about or journey over.

  13. Good writes Mike. Yours is one of the few honestly informative, and intelligent blogs out there. Here’s one for Mike and Rebecca — “It’s unlikely words will ever be written which will pay proper tribute to that quality we call genius, we you aren’t genius, can’t rightly define it – even, and apparently, those who are genius aren’t sufficiently awed by it to bother! Stay safe out there! – Craig

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