This entry starts as perfectly as you can imagine: handwritten in my fancy black (p)leather bound journal, sitting on a tree-shaded patio table beside Lakeshore Road in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, on a sunny, temperate Sunday. With a cold beer, of course.
Blogging is really just a format, a medium for self-expression using photons and pixels instead of ink and paper. When you really sit with that, you’ll see that there’s fairly little that separates a blog from any other kind of writing. It’s you, on display, and represented by little marks.
Now, I’m gonna be up front and say that I have no idea whether or not you should blog, and for what reason. I’m just a writer, and I leave such counsel to more qualified individuals.
What I can say right now for myself is that I blog for three reasons:
1) To express myself as myself, whatever that may be at the moment of the endeavour.
2) To provide insights I feel (but can never completely know) would be useful to others.
3) To showcase my style and command of English writing to those who might hire me to ghostwrite their book or books.
In. That. Order.
When I started blogging, it was on platforms such as LiveJournal, circa 2004-2005 or so. It was far from a regular habit, and mostly just as an electronic extension of the kind of journal I’m using now to craft this draft.
(Of course, it’s very likely you’re reading this to learn how to blog for your business, so I’ll get to that point in just a bit).
During that time, I was in a full-blown quarter-life crisis. My high school sweetheart and I had both graduated from Mac (McMaster University) with our Arts degrees, and work and careers were next on the horizon of achievement.
Of course, we were part of that Xennial/Gen Y cohort that directly discovered the apparent worthlessness of our degrees to an indifferent workforce, despite what our parents’ generation had promised us. The personal and vocational crises that this cold socioeconomic reality wrought occupied much of my inquiry in that time, and thus much of my blogging.
Later, when she and I would marry, and that marriage imploded, I would blog (this time on Blogspot) to heal, to wrestle with what had happened, and to offer something of value to anyone else in similar straits (more on that later…maybe).
This ongoing, time-tested practice of personal expression, thoughtful, heartfelt inquiry, and possible utility to others translates well into quote-unquote “business” blogging.
That’s it, right there. The short version answer you might be looking for.
If you’re anything like me, you want as close to seamless movement between the different areas of your life as possible, with full integrity between you and your work/product/service. You’ll want clients who will get that and hire you for you, what you do, and how you do it, who won’t require you to be anything other than who you’ve been lately (to paraphrase a song from my quarter-life era).
My advice won’t apply to everyone, just as not everyone will want me as their ghostwriter (or will want a ghostwriter, period). But if being truly, deeply, actually authentic is at the heart of the life you say you want to live, and your business is part of that, then why not take the same approach to your blog? That’s why I do it, anyway.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a pint to finish. Summer is all too short in this part of Canada, and the rest of my day is calling to me.
And beyond today, what are my goals for the future? What’s the big picture vision I have for myself and my life?
Find out in Entry #3 of Brandie Peters’ #i2U Ultimate Blogging Challenge, coming soon…