More often than not, I write articles for this site after reading something someone else wrote. I browse the web for articles and tweets that I find interesting, and the ones that make me think are very often the ones that inspire me to write something myself.
This leads to a funny situation as a writer though: do I write my article as a brand new post that gives the impression I thought of something in a vacuum? Do I write a normal post and link to the article/tweet that inspired me inline? Do I do a full block quote that shows off what idea got me going and write from there?
I personally love the third option. Link to someone else, provide a relatively short block quote of what idea set me off, and then take on the topic from there.
The web allows us to create content that is connected with the rest of the web. Everything we do, especially us writers, is kicked off by something someone else said, and we should embrace that. Make your blog a part of a conversation, not an island that feels like you’re just doing this all on your own. None of us are, and we should be proud of that.
Besides, if someone reads my site and I link somewhere else, hopefully that will make people click that link and some of them will discover a new writer they had never heard of. If that linked article also links somewhere else, then the rabbit hole can get very deep, but that’s just more chances to find some gems out there.
I do see the irony in this post not linking anywhere else, but let’s just call this the exception that proves the rule, alright?