As a writing professional for the past decade or so, I’ve eked out my living translating other people's ideas and thoughts into written words on a page. It’s not generally my job to insert myself into the conversation, but rather to lay low and facilitate the communication between others. So I am unaccustomed to asserting my own observations and opinions. A few years ago, that wasn’t a problem. Now I think I need a blog. My own blog, that is.
If you know me, you may have heard me, over the years, scoff at the blogosphere. I might be heard saying things like, “Why does everyone think that everyone else cares what they think?” At bottom (and I apologize to those-who-have-blogged-before-me), I still have some scorn for the apparent ego it requires to opine with any assuredness, but if I’m being honest, I have to confess that what I’m really feeling is trepidation, which means, “Why do I think everyone would care what I think?” I know it’s likely that most will not care, not even a little bit. Still more will never read past the first sentence or two. And everyone else will take a pass. Yet, I think I need the blog.
In my line of work, I see smart people successfully using blogs to promote their objectives, whether the reasons are personal, professional, or recreational. They position themselves into whatever conversation they want to be having, create a presence, take a position, and build a brand. Many of them, I’m sure, have a bunch of followers. Some blogs may even generate money. (Dare I hope for that kind of outcome?) Blogging, if executed properly, works. I'm fairly certain I need one.
I’ve written and edited blogs for others – can I make a blog work for me? Do I even have a clear idea what I want to blog about? Should I steer my posts toward professional matters, like promoting my business (freelance writer and editor!) and my clients’ too, for good measure? (Hmm, don’t want to scare off my friends, who may be the only people reading.) Do I share insights and observations from my personal life? (Don’t want to spook the customers and colleagues who might prefer a veneer of professionalism.) My political opinions? (Does anyone need to know how far to the left I really lean?)
What do I want to accomplish – thought leadership? General acclaim? Generating more traffic to my website? I don’t have any answers yet, but I am here at my desk, proverbial tail between my legs (there’s been a lot of scorn), earnestly crafting my first blog entry. Figuring out what I’m doing here. Thinking “out loud.” Blogging about blogging. And, yes, scoffing at myself.