Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blogging is personal

When I first started writing this blog, I made the decision that I was not going to share it with friends, family, and close business associates. My reasoning was that, if I knew people who actually knew me were reading, I'd be more likely to censor what I post and think in the "what if they think bad of me" mindset. It's not that I don't care what people I don't know think of me, but there's something odd about someone you know reading and potentially critiquing your work that is strangely disconcerting.

Yet, over the last year, those very personal connections have led to extraordinary things: three long lost family members, an old English teacher who thought I'd become a writer, and one new friend all found me because of this blog.

That's when it hit me how powerfully personal a blog really is. If you're honest with your words, people can really get to know you through what you write. Just as people identify closely with their favorite newspaper columnist, bloggers too have an incredible opportunity to share themselves with their readers in a way that, in some ways, rivals face to face communication.

I'm definitely not one of the best or most interesting bloggers out there. But, in everything I post, I try to be honest. I don't duck and hide and I don't obsess about how my words will be perceived by those reading them. Instead, I simply sit at my computer and begin to write whatever is flowing through my mind at the moment. Often, I'm surprised by what comes out and, a few times, I've actually ended up writing something completely different that what I set out to write. Writing my blog is as much of an adventure to me as it is to those of you who graciously read it.

Writing, especially writing with a personal voice, is cathartic. Through writing, you can share one of the most interesting and, often, most deeply hidden part of yourself. You can work through issues, share thoughts, or just be silly and have fun. Personally, I encourage everyone to blog. Even if you don't think you have anything to say, just sit at your computer and write.

Your voice will come.
People will listen.
Write it and they will come.