The (Unseen) Benefits Of Blogging
At Mastermind last week a friend of mine, Steph, said that she wanted to get serious about giving daily blogging a try. Like me, she’s done experiments in the past where she’s blogged every day for a month. Also like me, she’s a huge fan of Seth Godin. And if you’ve followed Seth for any length of time, you know he’ll sell the merits of daily blogging to anyone who’ll listen.
Aside from the bandwith commitment (that’s how I collectively refer to the resources of time, energy, and money) people are often hung up on… but what would I talk about? We often feel like we don’t have anything to say, or that the ideas we have aren’t fully formed enough to commit to paper.
I look at writing (or blabbering to a camera and posting it to YouTube) as a great way to figure out what I have to say. When I give my thoughts a home outside my body, ideas that once felt disjointed or unfinished start to make sense. I’m able to sort through them and see connections where I previously saw mush (promising mush! But mush none the less…). I’m able to quite literally put words behind what I’m feeling.
Forcing myself (I’m really gunna sell this blogging thing, huh?) to write or speak to a camera has also made me better at explaining and defending my ideas. This is a super valuable skill, and not one I spent much time developing until, oh, last year??? I definitely grew up as your classic people pleaser meets social chameleon. I also genuinely like to understand how people see the world so I’m pretty good at just… listening and giving people space to be themselves around me. That’s great! I like that about myself. The problem was having that layered on top of a fear of confrontation and being seen as “stupid”. Together, it made for a person who didn’t often chime in with her own ideas. Hense, limited practice in explaining them…
As it turns out, blogging on a small corner of the internet that you may or may not tell people about is a very low stakes way to learn how to talk about your ideas. It’s much less scary than, say, standing in front of a living breathing person and doing it. And now that I’ve been using the internet as my sounding board for a good while, it’s gotten much easier to show up in person and tell people what I believe and why.
Finally, as Steph said in Mastermind when she told us about her resolve to start blogging four days a week, it’s a great way to strengthen your observation muscle. A writing practice comes hand in hand with a noticing practice. You naturally get more curious about what’s happening around you. You start to look for connections and meaning in your daily life, becoming more curious and creative in the process.
Pretty cool, huh?
A lot of people have moved away from blogging in the last few years (which I totally get) and many don’t think it’s worth getting into at this point (which again, fair), but I think it’s important to get clear on what it’s for before deciding if it’s for you or not.
Blogging has turned into this big commercialized, montetizable thing. It’s become implied that it’s something you do for others. It’s something you do to grow your business or establish yourself as an expert or blah blah [insert various external sources of validation here].
What we’re forgetting is that you’re allowed to blog for the sake of it. You’re allowed to do things for you and you alone. You’re allowed to have an art practice that’s all your own, to make art for the sake of it. Where the only metric of success is… I showed up today.
You’re allowed to carve out space for play. In fact, I encourage it.
Don’t underestimate the value of a sandbox for your ideas.
Photo taken last week on a Bloom Spotting walk around my neighbourhood (that’s a thing, right?).
The song I had on repeat while writing this, should you be curious, was Eye Catcher by 18YOMAN.