I saw a couple of posts recently on “why I blog,” and since I had been thinking about this myself, I thought it would be worthwhile to write about it. Like any other post on this blog, the primary intention of this post is to work something out for myself. In this case, I am working out my motivations for keeping this blog and what I hope to accomplish with it. For any readers who may stumble across it, it serves as a kind of mission statement for the blog.
In order, here are the top five reasons why I blog:
- Work out my ideas: The primary reason I keep this blog is to give me a place where I can capture all the flotsam and jetsam floating around in my brain, and work out my ideas on paper, so to speak. By actually writing down what I am thinking and creating a post — or a “story” — around the kernel of a thought, I am transforming ideas into potentially actionable items. For example, I recently posted on results-oriented work environment; this was a first stab at capturing and working out an idea that I hope to turn into a policy for my team, which I might even bring to my organization once it has solidified enough.
- Get motivated: For me, there is a real difference between writing ideas down on a pad or scrap paper and writing them in this blog. I believe it’s the potential of having someone read my posts that motivates me. Rather than just jotting down some incoherent or incomplete notes that are bound to get lost or forgotten, I must write something that has a beginning, middle and end, that is readable and (I hope) interesting, and that is aimed at an audience. This forces me to more thoroughly flesh out my ideas than I probably would otherwise. That, in turn, makes it more likely that I will actually turn my ideas into something more concrete.
- Practice writing: I used to be a professional writer. When I took my current job, I stopped writing as much. I knew I didn’t have the time or energy to work on a big project like a book while working a full-time job, but I missed writing every day. I have never been so good at keeping a personal journal. Blogging is just more satisfying than journaling for me, and thus easier to do regularly, again because there is the potential for readers, as well as the sense of completion and even publication when hitting the Publish button.
- Spark conversations or feedback: Almost everything I post here is something I’m working on, whether it’s managing software at work or figuring out my supervisory style or just getting better at organizing my email. I hope that by putting my ideas out there, I’ll spark conversations from anyone stopping by that will then lead to more learning and more ideas, that will make what I’m working on better. All too often I am flying solo at work, so I can always benefit from different viewpoints, perspectives and experiences.
- Keep a record: This blog is a catch-all place not just for my ideas, but for useful links, interesting things I read and whatever else is going on in my work-life. I record those things here so they don’t get lost. I sometimes return to past posts to revisit a compelling video on Web 2.0 or an inspiring article. But more importantly, I can look back through past posts and see how ideas evolved, the thought processes I went through and the evolution of my learning.
The next question I’m going to be considering is: Why should my organization blog? Because I really think it should.