Dear Linda and Mary (I’ve changed your names)
I was interested by your question, whether to blog or not. I thought I’d use a blog post to respond. It might seem less personal than an email response, or over the desk conversation, but others might be able to eavesdrop on this conversation if I blog in answer to your question. (And that is just one of the advantages of blogging.)
I have hit a brick wall with my blogging recently. I had thought that those who were posting had become more “expert” about their content. That was off-putting and intimidating. That might just have been an excuse I was using because I wasn’t finding the time for blogging (and I didn’t seem to have any inspiration). Here’s a summary of excuses I could have used (and being able to make these links is another advantage of blogging).
But your question has caused me to re-think.
You will notice from blogs you’ve read that there is a lot of learning contained in people’s posts. There is a lot of expertise on technical matters, as, for example, in this post on how to set up a blog (which you may find useful). But then, you really don’t have to be an expert to blog. I regard my blog as a memory bank – a jog for my memory and a way of reflecting on what I notice. It’s a workbench on which I can hammer out a few ideas. They’ll never be finished or finely polished, but I am learning and the blog is a useful place to put some of that learning.
I also don’t see any point in keeping things to myself. I do have a heart for some things and I do have a voice which is not to be kept silent, in spite of my introverted nature. I don’t believe that any of us should hide our light under a bushel (particularly in dark times) and I do believe that we should be sharing what we know in as many ways as we can.
But then, there are people who complain of the noise. They say that there is so much out there – so much noise, but so little sense: so much information but so little wisdom. Probably the same complaint has echoed through human history, from the time we started to talk, to the advent of the postal services, to the current development of online social media (social media is as old as our talk). Unless we use our intelligence to interpret the noise our talk will be babble, our mail will be junk and our conversation meaningless. Blogging is just another way of talking things through together – a way of publishing. Nobody needs to buy into what we have to say – but it is what we have to say, it is our part of the conversation. (I tried working this out in a post I called Chitter-Chatter five years ago – see how I can refer back to what I have done?)
I do have a bit of a problem about how social media fits my work culture. It’s widely seen as a distraction. But if we work by sharing then blogging seems an ideal means to that end.
I would be interested in what you have to say because I know that you are in unique situations and I would love to know what you are making of those situations given your own passions and interests. I won’t promise to keep up with your posts if you do choose to blog though I will click the “follow” button.
It doesn’t really matter to me how many “readers” or followers we have. I think I am the main beneficiary of my own blog because of the opportunity it gives me to do some creative writing, because it gives somewhere to put my stuff, because it helps me work things out of me and because it makes me interesting to me.
PS You might be interested in this no-excuses guide to blogging from Sacha Chua. She suggests that you always start with a question when you blog. So I did. To blog or not to blog – I am grateful that you asked me the question. Why not have a look at Sacha’s blog for some inspiration?