Welcome to Tinkering
Um, hi… I’m new to this whole blogging thing and my palms are kind of sweaty here. Online journaling has never been all that tempting to me. I don’t keep a paper journal, first of all. I’m also an introvert and a perfectionist, so the idea of casually sharing personal information on the internet is not a real winner. Under substantial peer pressure I recently joined Facebook and I’ve been known to edit and agonize over my status updates.
All of which would lead you to believe that the lack of a blog is not really a pressing issue in my life. (And if you had any doubt, you could check out all the reasons why starting a blog is an ill-advised venture for anyone.)
But the thing is that I’m a writer. I write well. I write professionally, a little bit. And most of all, I enjoy writing. Since I’ve begun to dip my tentative little toes into the freelance writing world, people have been telling me I need a blog. They base this claim on two main arguments:
1) It will raise my profile. Debatable, I say. First, people would have to find me. Second, they would have to be impressed enough to want to learn more about me, and then to hire me to write stuff for them. Seems like kind of a long shot.
2) It will be good practice. This one is much harder to argue with. Though I’m calling myself a freelance writer these days, and have a business card to prove it, clients are not exactly knocking down the door. Sometimes writing days involve a lot of staring at the screen and waiting for projects to materialize. Might as well spend that time writing, I figure. The discipline of knocking words together on a regular basis will be good for me, and the pressure to post regularly will help me overcome one of my biggest writer-fears: running out of ideas.
On the strength of these reasons, I got to the point of deciding, “Yeah, well… probably a good idea. Something to think about in the future.” And that, likely, is where I would have remained indefinitely if I had not stumbled across Penelope Trunk’s Guide to Blogging. There was a flyer up at my office about a talk she gave recently, and I checked out her website on my lunch break. There’s a lot of interesting stuff up there–for instance, the answer to how much money you need to be happy. But the thing that caught my eye was the guide to blogging–particularly these pearls:
Blogging is essential for a good career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field.
Don’t tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow. Blogging is about the courage to say something. Don’t worry about being stupid because trust me, no one is reading your blog. Post anything. You can nix bad posts later. For now just start writing.
So here I am. Hello, world! (Hello? Anybody?) That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon.