Writing is a great way to figure out your thoughts. It can take you from rambling about a topic to a structured opinion. Writing can help you discover what you already know by offering a framework of your own creation. And sometimes that means uncovering gaps or even changing opinions. And that is scary!
It becomes even scarier if you then publish these thoughts, ideas, and experiments on your blog, potentially for everyone to read. What if your boss suspects you are writing during work hours? What if a colleague feels attacked because you criticize a tool they use? What if your team feels intimidated by the expectations you seem to place on them? And just imagine you said something that is objectively wrong, in your own industry!
Blogging as a career enabler
Fear of being on display is a convincing argument not to blog. If you are a woman and have ever had a run-in with internet trolls, this fear is well founded. Paradoxically, that is exactly why I blog. This is the one space where I can moderate comments or deactivate them completely.
Blogging allows me to share my ideas with the world. My blog is my space and no higher authority (and no troll) can dictate what I have to write about. Some posts are more personal than others. Some posts explain an idea that I mentioned to a colleague, just so I can link them to the explanation. Some posts are pure opinion – and sometimes they contradict a post I wrote a couple of years earlier.
As a collection, my posts paint a picture of myself as a professional with a distinct personality. People who reach out for speaking engagements or workshops, people who’d want advice on remote leadership or simply grab a coffee to share experiences – they usually do so after reading some of my posts. My blog gives me the opportunity to show my whole self, and it offers others a great conversation starter.
Finding your voice – and your medium
Back in the day, I started blogging about productivity in my then work-space. I moved towards minimalism as a personal lifestyle and have since pivoted back to writing about remote leadership. I did not plan this journey, and my content plan rarely ever spans more than a couple of weeks. Instead, I used writing to figure out what to write about and to discover my own voice.
Writing is a skill that can be learned. Like any other skill, it requires continuous practice. And like any other skill, you have a choice to learn and practice it. You do not have to write! Writing is the perfect medium to develop and engage my thought processes. Maybe for you, it’s podcasting, or creating complex diagrams and flowcharts, or making videos. That is fine, too.
And then, get a WordPress.com blog and post those podcasts, sketches, and videos. Share them with the world and never stop creating.
[This entry is part of the Support Driven Writing Challenge. Find out more (and join the SD community) here.]
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