My Twitter friend Caitlin aka @Caitlinness called me out a few weeks ago and said she missed reading my blog posts. It would be an understatement to say I hadn’t been too active on here in the past few months. More appropriately, I’d fallen off the face of the interweb.
At the time when I read her comment I didn’t have a legitimate excuse – especially an excuse I could limit to 140 characters. So, I did what any self-respecting author of a book entitled No Excuses would do… I never replied.
Well Caity, you got me thinking girl.
The question I contemplated: Why would two of the men I most admire in history – Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson – be so intent on encouraging people they cared about to keep a journal? What’s the big deal?
The more I read about their journaling, the more I learned this wasn’t an obsession they kept to themselves or their closest friends and family. They both pushed journaling on just about anyone who would listen.
In a way, the blogosphere (and other social sites too) is a new journal medium. It doesn’t replace the intimacy and privacy of the traditional journal, but I think it delivers as a tool to share some of our insights and experiences with others.
To answer that, I had to think about why I started a blog in the first place.
And I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t doing it because every other speaker and author seemed to be doing it too. I didn’t want to get left behind.
We’re all hardwired in one or more areas of our life to emulate, and sometimes envy, one another. This is true whether we openly acknowledge it or not.
We all know the old saying too: Would you go jump off a bridge just because so-and-so did it? Written from my perspective that looks like: Would you go start a blog just because Tony Robbins did it?
That’s a tough pill to swallow. It makes me admire people who avoid the trap of comparing themselves to others that much more. Once we stop comparing ourselves to other people or ideals, and start living life on our terms, some pretty cool stuff is bound to happen.
It seems to me that principle is written in the fabric of the universe in many different ways. Like me, you probably know what happens when you over pursue something like a job that pays more money or even having someone else love us. The more weight we recklessly throw at those seemingly impassable walls, the more hopeless we feel. Yet, we slam ourselves against the wall. Over and over again. And as we continue, we lie to ourselves. We hear a voice saying, “If you only put a little more force, a little more weight behind the next attempt, you’ll eventually break it down.”
Okay, even Emerson may agree that was a little too deep for a conversation about a blog. But I think there’s some real truth behind it.
Several times a week I see “social media experts” write about how to maximize your SEO keywords and meta-tags, but I don’t see that many of them telling people to write their truth.
I think we (bloggers) should be less concerned with amassing more pageviews and start paying more attention to the human beings on the other side of the screen. And we probably don’t need to worry about writing a killer meta-description if the actual content we write serves a purpose to somebody.
I believe all the stuff bloggers are looking for (clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.) come naturally as a byproduct of not caring about that stuff. It’s like trekking through a forest looking for a unicorn or bigfoot… We all know they only show their faces when we don’t have our camera ready.
I tried to find a quote just now that articulates this concept more eloquently than I am about to, but you’re stuck with my version instead: “Stick with saying what you know, there are already way more than enough people out there guessing.”
Why do I want to write?
I want to share the cool stuff I come across with you, because I’m pretty sure my “RL” friends and family get sick of me jabbering to them all the time. And at least you have the choice to click the “X” and shut me up. Joseph Campbell says to ‘follow your bliss’ and my bliss is teaching.
In the same vein, I’d like to be accountable to learning new cool stuff, so I actually have something relevant to share.
I’d also like to do a better job documenting this wild ride that has become my life, so that someday I can have some cool stories to look back on.
And more than anything, if something were to ever happen to me, I’d really like my baby niece to know who her uncle was… And for her to know that I love her with all my heart.
So, back to Caity’s question – Where did my blog go? I think it took me a little while to figure all this out. But what I should have said with my 140 character limit was thank you for lighting a fire under my butt
Did I mention she’s a blogger too? If you want to check out Caitlin’s blog, you can here: http://streamofcaitlinness.com/
Thanks for stopping by to check and see if I was still alive,