Time and again I've come back to the goal of trying to blog more. This always seems like a good idea until I actually get to the point of writing a blog post. Typically a few things are true by that time:
- It's super late (like right now, as I write this at midnight).
- I probably have no idea what to write about
- Or, I've decided to write about some super grandiose topic, like "Risk prioritization" (maybe that post will be here some day).
The biggest trouble in deciding what to write (besides kicking my brain into gear so late) seems to be that I'm not sure who I'm talking to. All day I can respond to support tickets, customer emails, and co-workers and never spend more than a few seconds deciding what to say. Put me in front of some "blank paper" and the paper will typically stay blank.
So why is blogging harder?
It's not that writing this quick little article is any harder than writing an email. The difference for me is that I know who the email is going to, whether that is a single person or an entire company.
Every aspect of the email goes back to a specific reason, such as:
- Who am I talking to?
- Why do I need to send them an email?
- What do I hope they do after reading this email?
- How do I want them to feel?
As I start to write a blog post, I get grandiose visions of changing the world, discovering new ideas, and leading a movement. Yet, that's the worst thing to think about! Save that for the autobiography.
Let's be serious and discuss who this blog is really for.
Hi, David! How are you?
If you're blogging for anyone but yourself, you're probably not enjoying it. I'm attracted to writing a blog, because it's a time to have a conversation with myself. I have to write it down because otherwise I skip steps and don't remember how to connect the dots again later.
So as I try to write again, I hope the conversations here stay focussed on me. I want the conversations here to be just that: conversations. Discussions between me and myself delving into topics I'm interested in and hopefully giving me more things to process and research in the future.
Specifically, I could answer the questions above like so:
- Who am I talking to? Me.
- Why do I need to send them a blog post? Because I have problems to solve and ideas to conquer.
- What do I hope they do after reading this post? Write more. Dig deeper. Continue the conversation.
- How do I want them to feel? Accomplished. Thoughtful. Connected.
All of this writing is my chance to take 15-20 minutes for myself to attack something that interests me, just because it interests me. I encourage anyone else interested in blogging to try the same.
P.S. Speaking of "Blank Paper", have to throw in a link to a song I listened to today on that exact topic.