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A Question for Regular Readers

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Hi everyone. Tomorrow I’ll be going to San Diego for FinCon, and staying there for most of the week. With that, the upcoming Ecuador retreat, and the current season of Camp Calm, my normal daily work routine is upside down, and much of the blog-writing time has been squeezed out of it.

I’ll be publishing probably every other week until I’m back from Ecuador in mid-November. Then things will return to normal, with a renewed focus on blog posts.

In the meantime I could use your help with something. Part of the problem with writing for Raptitude is that the topic of “human well-being” is extremely broad. There are a thousand subtopics and nobody’s interested in all of them. I can write about personal productivity one week, future societies the next week, and existential rumination the week after that.

Surely different readers want different things, and I spend a lot of time wondering whether to write about Topic A because it’s the most interesting to me, Topic B because people seem to like it most, or Topic C because I haven’t written about it in a while.

This leads to a lot of second-guessing, and a lot of articles abandoned halfway through. I begin three or four articles for each one I publish. This has led to fewer articles overall, which I don’t like.

I’ve been trying to please everyone (or rather, not displease anyone) and that’s impossible. I didn’t use to see it like that—I would just write and publish. So I’m going to go back to that less conservative approach, no longer worrying about balancing things between the different branches of Raptitude’s overall topic. 

But I do write articles in the hopes that people like them and find them helpful. So every few years I like to ask the audience what they really are interested in reading about. Because even after seven and a half years, I usually feel like I have no idea.

This year, instead of doing it in the comments, I’ve made it in the form of a four-question survey. If you’re a regular reader I’d love to hear your thoughts.

You can take it here.

It takes maybe five minutes. Thank you so much everyone. I hope you’re having a good September.



Lydia September 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

How long will this survey stay open for? I will be passing a link to it around to everyone I can think of who reads this blog.

David Cain September 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Hi Lydia. I’ll probably keep it open for a week or two. Regular readers will all get this post in their inbox though so you probably don’t need to worry. Thank you though.

Francisco Ferreira September 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Hi David. What I like most when reading blogs is to feel the writer’s hearth in the post. I can feel when someone is writing something because he/she wants it or because he/she feels that he should be writing something like that.

Having said that, I think you should write what goes on on your mind at the time, being productivity, or the future of society or some thoughts about something else. I think us, readers, feel the higher quality of the blog posts when you write like this. Continue the good work ;)

David Cain September 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Thanks Francisco. Regardless of the suggestions and requests, that is what I’m going to do.

Frau_Mahlzahn September 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

I’m totally with Francesco — those articles are the best that have heart in them, :-). But somewhat astonished you would even ask, I always thought that was what this blog was all about, :-).

So long,

David Cain September 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Thanks Corinna. My heart is in almost all of them, aside from the occasional dud. But writing always has to include a consideration of the audience and how it is landing with them. It is a communication medium so I can’t ever write anything without quite a bit of thought regarding how it will be received. But I think I was thinking too much about that.

E. September 20, 2016 at 4:50 am

Dear David,
I will fill in the survey too but first and foremost i’d like to state something which I feel might resonate with some people who read this blog and – maybe like me – not reacting to it often:
This Blog is amazing because it is truely about sharing the journey how to grow with all the broad “mess”, which comes along with it for all of us. The feeling of boundlessness comes along with it and it seems for me it’s the one the frightenes the “sh…” out of my ego often, which loves it more to stick to one topic and feel “in control” there.

Sharing the way you do is real because of its boundlessness and i for one would rather put up with some articles i’m on the first glance “not interessted” in or seem “not to like”, because my experience is that reading them still, they resonate at one point and often enough i linked them to a friend some weeks later who was struggeling with exactly that point of their human journey.

Most blogs i abandoned before i found yours, I did so because they specialized at one point on one or two topics. I do understand why they specialized and often enough those were or are still great blogs for those topics, but with time they often seemed to flatten out somehow and turn more to some kind of reference book, until the writer either gives up or turns to another topic, repeating the process.

I feel we are all drawn at one point to specialze to feel save. A part of us seems to tell us: when you master this point completely you are in control, but that does not help our lifes, if we are not in touch with “the whole” whats going on. It’s hiding out from reality and sooner or later we get into a situation that confronts us with that the one way or the other.
The amazing thing about your blog is that you – for me and i bet many others – feel like not giving into that impulse which you as we all have, but go on to return to the whole picture that is human life. In our times in western societies that has become rare. You too show the temptation of specializeing the one way or the other of course – that again makes this blog real!

Maybe it’s up to us readers who see the importance of people like you, who keep it “whole” to point this out more often. The way our “toolmind” works, is that we read an article and comment on the topic. A lot of us do not tend to comment on the wholesomeness, put the actual topic in connection to it and share that. So that would be my suggestion to other readers of your work.

a heartfelt thank you from me on all you shared so far


David Cain September 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Thank you so much E, I appreciate that.

Ellen Symons October 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I filled out the survey a while ago, but am just reading the comments now, and what E said is exactly true for me too. One thing I very much appreciate about Raptitude is the big-picture approach. “Getting better at being human” is the tag line that drew me to your blog in the first place, and “getting better at being human” can cover a lot of ground. I love where you take us. Thanks, David.
Another E.

G September 20, 2016 at 6:39 am

Filled out the survey,= and forgot to wish you a wonderful trip to Ecuador! Very exciting, enjoy! Looking forward to having you back in Nov :)

G September 20, 2016 at 6:56 am

Also, looked through your archives and realized, more than the two articles I mentioned in my survey, there are 10’s if not 20s of articles I recall on a daily, so all your posts touch me on some level. I clean and wipe down my kitchen sink with joy every night now, hahaha! It’s the same sorta satisfaction I get reading your blog and realizing we are all in this muck together. Now, done.

David Cain September 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Thanks G!

Allan Fein September 20, 2016 at 11:13 am

David, I aspire to have such a positive impact on so many peoples lives as you do. You are such a generous person, thank you, thank you, thank you… AL from San Diego

David Cain September 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Thanks Allan!

Bob M September 20, 2016 at 11:47 am

David, I’m a recent subscriber and have enjoyed and benefited from all of your work that I’ve had a chance to read. Life is fun and most forget that they don’t have to wait for a fork in the road to make a decision. Sometimes it is better to create your own fork; on a whim.

Keep up the great work!

David Cain September 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Thank you for the encouragement Bob. And welcome to the Raptitude party!

Ashley Kung September 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm

If you are at all interested, please check out the books/videos/teachings of Byron Katie. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on her work.

Perhaps you may also write more about how to have more integrity… for example, your writings on letting go of the need for others’ approval, thereby making it easier to stay within my own integrity, even if everyone else disagrees, is life-changing. I sure want more integrity in my life. And the funny thing is that as soon as we stop trying to get others’ approval and stay within our own integrity, we usually end up with more respect and approval than we would get if we were still needy for approval and become a doormat for others. Humans are silly. I love how silly we are. We can learn a lot from each other. Thanks for writing about our silliness.

Patrik September 28, 2016 at 9:29 am

Hi David! As a regular reader since 2013 I filled out the form a few days ago and I wish You to continue the amazing work you’ve done so far!

Sending hugs from Budapest, Hungary.

wrkrb October 5, 2016 at 10:23 am

I’ve been following you since 2013 as well. The only other blog I regularly follow is dearcoquette.

Operative A October 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Just finished up the survey, took maybe 2mins. Been a long time reader, I think around 2 years. Enjoyed the Ebooks. Thanks for the work David.

Following another writer’s efforts has been inspirational. Like the minimalist, simple site design as well. Like what you wrote about pop ups and ads. I am happy not to see them here, and likewise, will not put them on my site either.

They drove me away from a few big blogs, even though they do work. Selling ad spaces and bullying people into email lists is just annoying.

All the Best.


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