Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why I Blog

What a great surprise yesterday, a mentor reads my blog (Hi, Jeff!) and in our morning meeting had an agenda for me based on my writings. The very insightful conversation helped me notice some blind spots and pay mind to some new questions.

To initiate, he asked me what my goals are for blogging. While I have always had some things in mind, and I wrote about these in initial posts, they shift over time. Here's what I have, now. I am pleased to see that they are more specific and actionable than originally conceived.

Blogging goals

  1. Build/find community - The primary motivator for the blog. I'm eager to connect with like-minded people who will share with me and challenge me. Humans are social creatures--not sometimes, not by accident--always.
  2. Give back to the world - I greedily consume information, always have. I soak it up like a sponge, then identify
    patterns, and maybe sometimes even create original ideas or find novel
    applications for existing concepts. Blogging is my gift back
    to the world. Though this may reek of arrogance, I have decided not to let that abort my intention.
  3. Share wisdom compassionately - On the chance that my wisdom will be of help to
    someone, I want to share it. One Bodhisattva vow includes not resting
    until all beings are free of suffering. I have not taken the vow, though aspire to. (I highly recommend reading Susan Piver's My Vows from Shambhala Sun, July 2008.)
  4. Help you know me - I write about who I am, as deeply and honestly as I can.
    Hopefully it leads to stronger relationships as you get to know the real me.
  5. Help me know me - Writing helps me learn about myself. I especially learn from what I'm afraid to write about.

Other reasons why I blog

  1. Overcoming the inner critic - There's a large part of me that finds
    many of these goals--such as that I have novel ideas--presumptuous, arrogant, and full of hubris. These are
    self-defeating thoughts that I strive to overcome.
  2. Developing fearlessness - Some of the stuff that I post publicly requires courage, because I know that my thoughts and feelings are not shared by everyone. It is often hard pubishing my heart and mind to be judged by people close to me, people with whom I work, and even future friends.
  3. Public can help me filter - By seeing which of my posts garner readership, and especially from comments, I learn which of my posts have appeal and which don't.
  4. Credibility - I love mentoring people and sharing my patterns that work with people. As I share my advice through writing, hopefully it becomes a pool of interesting material for mentees. And maybe enough useful material will attract mentees for whom it resonates.
  5. Platform for professional writing - I would love to publish professionally at some point - whether in magazines, blogs, etc. This is a way to build a portfolio. (Note to publishers - let me know if you're interested, please.)
  6. Hone my writing skills - The more I practice, the better I will become. See On Perfection and 100 Shiny Red Stars.
  7. Content repository - I have a lot of stuff that I think about and believe in. This is a chance for me to create a repository for all of them to refer back to.
  8. Have fun - I have a blast writing this, especially when others let me know what they think.

Egoistic reasons

Here are some of my ego's reasons. They're not very noble, but I find it important to recognize them.
  1. Affirmation - My ego loves to when people validate my ideas and repeat them.
  2. Attention - On the far off chance that this blog takes off like wild-fire and attracts lots of people, I welcome it.

In Conclusion
Blogging is very enjoyable and valuable for me. Just thinking about new post ideas gives me conversation topics to share with others around the table. I have also learned quite a bit about myself through. People I know have approached me to connect with me based on what I write; this is especially interesting with existing friends and colleagues. Since I do not always broach these topics in business or social situations, it is fun to learn which people think about the same things as me. It has truly been rewarding to connect with people I know in new and meaningful ways. My gratitude goes out to everyone who reads my blog and to everyone who connects with me a little bit more deeply thanks to reading it.

This post is dedicated to my mentor Jeff Braaten, who asked me the question and shares his wisdom.

I really want to hear from you!
  • Let me know if you're out there reading my blog.
  • Do you find it interesting? Tedious? Any other feedback.
  • How can I improve?
  • Any ideas on how I can meet my goals?

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