Senior Interaction Designer
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Blog

To blog or not to blog, that is the question

Where to begin?

Is blogging still relevant? The appeal seems to have lost its luster with the many social networking options available these days. I think it could still be worth pursuing. But I haven't made the personal commitment with myself to actually start.

At some point last year I redesigned and relaunched my vanity URL site with absolutely no fanfare, with the intent to start writing more frequent posts. The thing is, I am not a writer as you can tell by the lack of any quality posts over time. In fact, writing content of any kind tends to debilitate me to the point of extreme procrastination. That being said, I'm not sure if I'm unique when it comes down to putting your thoughts down on "paper".

I understand logically the importance of being able to express yourself clearly and succinctly in written form, and the benefits that accompany a 'blogging persona' in order to contribute to a greater dialogue. I also recognize that as Aristotle stated,

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

So therefore, the only way I could possibly improve my self-expression in written form is to make a regular habit of it. But before I commit myself to this endeavor I am weighing a few pros and cons:

The Case AGAINST Blogging

  1. Just because I have a personal domain with a WordPress install doesn't mean I must post regularly. There's really no shame in simply posting only when I feel like it.
  2. Writing is time-consuming and could be distracting, stealing focus on other important areas in my life.
  3. Something about it feels very self-centered and egotistical.
  4. If I simply wanted to expand my authority and reach, it could be better to write guest posts on other blogs specific to the topic at hand.
  5. It could be stressful trying to keep a somewhat regular posting schedule with deep enough content that matters.

The Case FOR Blogging

  1. There are many topics in which I feel I'm qualified to write, and speaking on these would presumably increase my credibility in those areas.
  2. Writing a blog could potentially expand my influence through search engines and give others a direct source for linking back to my content.
  3. I would own the content on my own site as opposed relying on the whims of a third-party service. (Something which I rant about frequently in my profession.)
  4. A blog provides a central place for inclusive conversations. No need for a Twitter handle, Google+ profile, or Facebook account. All are welcome.
  5. It's said that everyone "has a book in them somewhere". What better way to work out my written voice than, well... to write.

If somebody wants to run a race anywhere from a 5k to a marathon, there are countless training plans available where all they have to do is simply follow the given schedule. Obviously, one should start with the 5k before moving up to the marathon in order to avoid injury.  It would be great if I could set myself up with some type of "beginners 5k plan" for writing in order to build up slowly and avoid burn-out.

Questions for bloggers:

  • What is the best blogging advice you ever received?
  • What would be the best voice to use when writing posts? Self-help style focusing on the assumed expectation of the reader? Or maybe purely biographical, chronicling my thoughts and experiences as I encounter them?
  • What would be considered a reasonable posting schedule to dip my toe in the water without risking burnout?
  • What days and hours do you find it most beneficial to publish your posts?
  • How do you manage your ideas that may or may not turn into posts?

The truth is, I have dozens of posts in draft form (including a 2012 recap and 2013 resolutions) that are just sitting there idly collecting dust. It may be that I simply have a fear of shipping that I need to overcome. But to get started, I feel I would benefit from some form of a beginners 5k plan to ease me into the craft.