Keeping a blog is a gift and a curse. Having to think of something new to write every day can be a chore. It can become an obsession, a fetish perhaps that consumes all of your waking moments. Everything you see and all the experiences you have are played out in your mind as sentences upon the screen. It has become harder now that I’m not writing a diary as such. Last year I could decide what to write based upon the activities of that day. Repeating myself wasn’t a problem as it was always in the context of time in which it was written. I now have to think about whether or not I’ve said this before. I am prone to repeating myself and so have set up a simple aide memoire.
Yet keeping a blog can be a blessing. It is fun, it is challenging and it can be rewarding. Using what little creative juice I have to boil down my thoughts and activities into a few pithy paragraphs was always going to be demanding. Anything worthwhile is hard though.
One advantage that I hadn’t anticipated however was that my blog would give me something to talk about, not that that is usually a problem for me. Just ask my team. I have found increasingly that suppliers who come and visit me start off their conversation with something that they have read within it. This allows them to understand what I am thinking, the direction that I am trying to go and the things that will interest me or not. I have bared my soul at times and rather than making me vulnerable has made me more accessible. At least so I think.
My blog also acts as a ready store of homilies, memoirs and monologues from which to draw when trying to highlight a point I am trying to make or defend a position in which I find myself. It is an ever-expanding rich seam of adages, aphorisms and axioms in which to mine for that required nugget. It is an extension of my memory, which is never very good and in a way that can become a shared experience.
This has leanings towards the pretentious. How long will it be before I exclaim loudly in public that I had said that very thing or given a critique of that very argument in my latest piece? When I started writing, if that is not too bold a claim it was to do just that – to write. Being read was not an intended or even desired outcome. I wanted to be able to write and as the saying goes, a writer writes (see Throw Mamma off the Train). The first few blogs I tried did not get picked up at all and only after I put them on Twitter did I start to get some following.
By then it had become my drug of choice. Five hundred words a day is no longer hard. Five hundred clear, concise and interesting words can still be elusive. I set out to write and that is what I am doing. Way back then I hadn’t expected those unintended consequences.