Who isn’t a blogger these days? Why is this girl posting links to her blog? Why is she even writing in the first place? I wonder the same. Answering such existential blogging questions never comes easily. Over the past five years, I’ve managed or contributed to eleven blogs, four personal blogs and seven professional. Of the personal, subjects ranged from train travel across the entire US (not too common) to my first two years in Amsterdam, and now work-related writings. It seems simple: you write, click and it’s published. However, I’ve figured out that my blogging motivations are not around instant gratification.
An audience motivates me to write. I’m not the lone writer in a log cabin during a rainstorm type. The need to express particular opinions or ideas has two ends: the writing and reaction. With online publishing platforms these days, many perceive getting a reaction as immediate. It’s not. This more accessible audience is quick to share, but difficult to bait. Being able to test my concepts and approaches with such rapid feedback helps to move them further. I don’t believe my audience will appear as a cosmic gift. Years of trial-and-error will, hopefully, attract an active audience that can I can inspire and who can inspire me back.
Improving my writing is a life-long effort. Conditioning a voice that can elevate and express any topic happens over a lifetime. Each year my writing approach is refurbished with learnings from my own writings as well as others. When I read articles or scan through websites, my bookmarks and shares of well-written or superbly put articles pile up. It’s either the title that caught my attention or a common theme reframed. Getting to a place where I too can register desired reactions like this from my readers will take more time. Others make it look so easy. But without making a clunk where I intended a chime, I would never learn and improve my writing.
Innovative ideas develop over time. Approaches to design, trend research and corporate lifestyles changes in every generation. They are ever-evolving forms warranting constant exploration. Writing a blog is like making a digital thought archive. Without trying to make my intuitive inklings into cohesive thoughts, these sort of ideas would ferment and then fizzle. And have you ever seen my handwriting? It’s so illegible people come to me to decrypt other’s horrible notes. So digital is the best to preserve my thoughts. Every year, depending on my lifestyle, hobbies, work and travel my views on such topics change. Without a record, I would never remember and be able to compare.
Bloggers, writers and thinkers, this is a great question to ask yourself. By putting this down on (virtual) paper I feel like I’ve made a commitment and discovery. It’s not about the instant gratification of pressing ‘post’ and having an article live. My goal is to catalogue ideas for a larger, more long-term project. It could be a book, job or talk series. The form is uncertain, but if I can develop the content and sharpen my voice, I’m ready for that opportunity. And in the meantime, I know there are others out there with similar thoughts, dreams and motivations. Hopefully through writing I can find a few.