I shrugged. It’s been roughly four years ago since I put proverbial pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard per se), and during that time, I’ve authored nearly 300 total articles.
I smiled and answered, “It’s just what I do, I guess.”
And it is. In some ways, it’s who I am. For a natural introvert (or perhaps because of that introversion), I have a lot to say. But the drive comes from more than simply pent up verbiage, I think. It’s the chance to change the world, one written word at a time.
Yes, I avoid pins wherever possible, for fear the sharp tips might pop my overextended ego…
In all seriousness, I do blog because it provides an outlet for many of the observations, thoughts, and conversations I have each week with friends, colleagues, clients, and students about the many real issues and challenges facing organizations today. And unfortunately, many of those challenges present real obstacles to the people, cultures, and abilities of teams to be successful. And for me, there is nothing more frustrating than standing idly by watching an organization sabotage itself and implode. Too often, the self-destructive tendencies of organizations take down both the leaders responsible for the festering conditions and the innocent employees who are merely trying to better themselves one day at a time within the work fabric others have built. So, I write about it. Blogging is a way to point out the cracks in organizational foundations that, unless shored up, may lead to collapse down the line.
But I also write because it’s a true passion that’s grown within me for a number of years now. Whether drafting an article about the executive direction of Fortune 500 behemoths, discussing concepts of organizational development that students have raised, describing the trials and tribulations of being a single father and “evolving vegan,” or simply writing fiction, writing provides me simultaneously an outlet for commentary and a window into who I am as an individual. Both purposes are equally valuable, I have found.
More often than not, when the Joyces of the world ask me why I blog, it’s because they themselves are considering launching their own literary or informational forum. And for some, after discussing it with them, I encourage them wholeheartedly to leap into the mix. Others, however, I actively counsel away from this medium. It’s certainly not for everyone.
Put this way, if writing is something you’ve always enjoyed and for which you can remain passionate, then a blog is a wonderful tool for self-fulfillment and professional sharing. But if you don’t fancy yourself as much of a literary type (or you don’t have a very specific purpose for beginning to blog), I would suggest other avenues for branding oneself. If one’s willing (and eager) to demonstrate vulnerability, blogging can be effective. But if you’re not willing to reveal to a broad audience your own thoughts, perspectives, biases, and flaws, a forum such as this might be a big mistake.
So, do I recommend that every consultant, professional, or college professor run out and start up a blog? Absolutely not, or at least not in the way I have done. For many of us, it’s a passion and an effective tool. But it’s certainly not for everyone.