I’ve given a lot of advice to bloggers, potential bloggers, various users of social media and aspirational influencers.
No throat clearing. Just start.
This is the same advice given to writers: start right in the middle of the action. I’ve noticed over the years that people have a dialog in their head about why they are starting to write and what they want to create. Nobody really wants to read more about what you’re going to than the the thing itself.
It’s like clearing your throat after you stand up, but before you begin to speak.
And then throughout the lifetime of their creative cycle, there are various types of throat-clearing meta-cognition about the creation and the creation process, and often these include a lot of guilt and shame: about what you wanted to do but didn’t have time, about not writing or writing too slowly or too short or too long. We’re trained to do some social lubrication in these contexts – “I’m so sorry…”
In the context of a blog or other creative context, this meta-narrative just clogs up the pipes. In a year, people will be reading your 10-part series on widget tuning and after Part 6 there’s a post apologizing about how you didn’t write anything over Christmas. The work doesn’t need it. The readers don’t get any value from it.
The standard reverse-chronological format of a blog forces you into that sort of thing (meta-commentary: more on that later), but you don’t need it.
However, sometimes clearing the throat is part of the process, especially if you’re stuck or blocked. Gets the motor running. Lubricates the joints. Even professional writers admit that the blank sheet of paper is intimidated.
I’ve recommended in the past to some just to write up their throat clearing as a draft, then never publish it and just start with blog post #2. Or publish it and perhaps just remove it later.
I’m John Mark Troyer. I’m old enough to use the word “blogger” with a straight face and young enough to use the word “influencer” without laughing. I’m a sometime toiler in the fields of online community, influence, and advocacy; usually in how they relate to B2B technology marketing.
I’m broadly interested in computational technology, having come of age with computers and riding the waves of the internet and social media. I’m interested in the full stack of tech, how organizations and society are leveraging it and affected by it, and how the people working in the tech industry are getting along.
I’m 54 years in to my journey as a human being; in my 3rd or 4th career, depending on how you count; coming up on 6 years of this current cycle of entrepreneurship; and trying to figure out where I want to steer this ship to balance life, health, and happiness.
I want to do a little more working out loud here, both about the tech side of the world as well as figuring out our own business.
Sometimes, you give the advice and sometimes you break the rules. Sometimes you do have to clear your throat after you stand up and before you speak.
So, ahem, here goes.