I love to blog. Sure, sometimes I stare at the blank computer screen for a good half hour before I begin. The pain. The agony. But I know I am not alone. That is just part of the creative process. Octavia Butler said, “You don’t start out writing good stuff.
You start out writing crap and thinking it is good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” I totally agree with her. It isn’t always easy to hit the ground running and knock out an awesome blog. But the proof is in the process, and as you keep on writing you keep on learning and creating something that doesn’t entirely suck. There are really three reasons why I like to blog:
1. It is therapeutic
2. It helps others
3. It chronicles my journey
In many ways, blogging is like therapy to me. I feel comfortable and at ease every single time I sit down in front of my computer to put together a few thoughts about a topic. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on one small part of my business, and do so in a quiet and thoughtful way. I am far from perfect, but regular blogging keeps me honest with myself, and helps me to check in to make sure our company is following the path and hitting our measurables. It also forces me to really consider how I want to approach topics like leadership, communication, culture, innovation, and building Comfort Research.
It Helps Others
I’ve also come to realize that blogging helps other people in similar situations. I know what it feels like to start a business, to struggle, to fail, to survive by the skin of your teeth, and eventually, to find room to relax. It isn’t always easy, but we are not alone. My hope is that this blog can actually help people improve the way they do business, develop, grow, and kickass.
It Chronicles My Journey
A final reason I really enjoy blogging is that it helps to chronicle our journey. It is really an interesting experiment to look back at my first few blogs and compare them to those I write today. There are different conversations, focus, topics, and certainly a unique perspective I hadn’t maintained in the past. I feel like my blogs offer me a reminder of where I was, while also showing me how the journey unfolded. Whenever I feel as if I hit a snag or face a challenge in my business, I often revisit some of my older blogs to jar me loose and remind me that I can get through just about anything.
Ever consider writing a blog on your own? I know so many people that have, only to stop after the first few entries. So I wanted to give you a few solid tips to get you out of the gate and keep you moving in the right direction.
- Schedule your writing. Like anything else, writing takes time. Start by calendaring 30 minutes each day or every other day, and use that time to write.
- Plan your blogs. Most people get lost because they don’t know what to talk about. So I always plan out about ten blogs ahead. That prevents me from writing about the same thing over and over again, and makes it easy to get started since I already have a chosen topic.
- Just write. Sometimes you need to just sit down and start typing words on the page.
Something will come together, it always does. Jodi Picoult said, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” Hah!
- Interview the experts. One great way to kick off any blog is with a quote or an expert interview. You can pull some of the best parts of the conversation and then offer up some commentary on it. Blog written!
- Brainstorm. I love the idea of constant brainstorming. Blog ideas can come from everywhere. Collaborate with folks. I do! A podcast. Newspaper article. Radio show. Keep a running list on your phone of those topics that are relevant and in the public eye.
- Revise and edit. One last thing about blogging. Never publish your first draft. Always take the time to review it, edit it, or let someone you trust do the heavy lifting. You want your blog to be a representation of you, your brand, and your perspective.
Blogging is remarkably easy and accessible. And the best part is that people love to read short and concise articles that can leave them with new information, insight, and opinions. Everyone should have a blog. It helps to create brand recognition, develop perspective, and memorialize your journey. And in the end there is no better feeling than posting a great article on your website!