Some time ago, whenever I started the draft for this blog post, I was discussing with my colleague Kathy why I feel it’s important for people to write out their thoughts in long-form, ideally sharing them via a blog such as this. My reasoning is not to build “your brand”, share information, or anything else like that per se. I find that fundamentally, taking the time to write my thoughts down long-form helps draw more reasoned and nuanced thoughts out, and allows the cultivation of a richer inner mental landscape.
While I obviously enjoy the short-form dumpster fire, the platform itself doesn’t lend itself to thoughtful reasoned arguments, and I find that the medium used for communication does seem to have an effect on our own way of internalizing information. Additionally, I think an overwhelming stream of information has a tendency to forcefully insert thoughts and opinions into the reader’s mind, leaving precious little space left to the owner for forming their own unique thoughts.
Contrasting that to the act of writing, spending the time to author a long-form piece of content, which requires a more thoughtful processing and conveying of information. Long-form also is done at your own speed, allowing plenty of time for “hmmms” and “mmhmms”. Working at my own pace allows me to compare points and counter-points for my thoughts, and develop a reasoning of my own, without somebody else explicitly inserting their own narrative into my mouth.
That time and space spent writing is something I believe everybody should experience and practice.
In short, writing enables me to focus on my own thoughts.
Writing itself doesn’t necessarily require an audience or public posts, but I argue that blogging publicly carries benefits atop just writing for one’s self. Blogging can still be very personal and at your own speed, since nobody knows when you start a draft. And of course, nobody knows if you never finish a draft. But completing and sharing that post with peers can help foster a creative dialogue, opening new avenues of thought and discussion, and hopefully challenging or changing some of your ideas.
Outside of the personal benefits of blogging, I also think there is something to be said about blogging for posterity; sharing your thoughts with the big wide-open commons of the internet carries certain benefits unto itself. Depending on the platform, your blog may even outlive you, serving as a long-term stake in the ground for your thoughts and ideas, even if you’re no longer around to defend them.
Blogging isn’t difficult, but most people I’ve discussed this with believe that there is some mental barrier to entry, or that they “just don’t have anything important to say.” I tend to disagree, but here are some suggestions of things that I find interesting and worth sharing:
- Something you learned, no matter how small or obvious it seemed in retrospect.
- Thoughts on a current discussion happening in a project, organization, town, country, etc
- A recent accomplishment, and sharing how you arrived at that point.
- A recent failure, and a personal retrospective on what went wrong.
- Or of course, anything else you feel like writing, it’s your blog after all!
Generally, I don’t care what you write, how you write it, when you write it, or where you post it. But I firmly believe that there’s more than enough space on the internet, and your thoughts are worth sharing!