I think blogging is great. As soon as I read about it in a Wall Street Journal column at my corporate job back in 2001, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I started blogging (or writing a weblog, as I very properly referred to it back in the “old” days of the early 2000s) in August 2001, shortly before the events of September 11, when blogging came into its own.
I blogged fairly regularly for a number of years. However, I was content just to write. It was a long time before I even installed comments on my blog. I never changed the design; neither did I try to “monetize” what I was doing. I did meet some interesting people and enjoyed learning from them. My early mentor (and someone with whom I still keep in contact—now, via Facebook) was Susie of Raspberry World. She started her online journal in 1998. But she has moved on and recently took down her website.
I used my initials only, not my real name. I wrote about what I read and what I did, but not much about what I felt or what I struggled with. Revealing such things in public was not to my taste (shoot—revealing myself privately rarely happens—even to myself). I was cautious about how such revelations might have unintended, unforeseen (negative) consequences in the future. Yes, putting oneself out in the open is risky. “Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.” Or in the court of the reigning public opinion. Or in any court of opinion, for that matter.
And my, oh my, how the blogging world has changed! All sorts of rules and standards and “best practices,” not to mention conferences and how-to books! It is overwhelming to consider going out there again, this time in a more focused, intentional way. And, yes, I am interested in seeing if this blogging venture can help pay the mortgage.
More than that, I need to change—radically, deeply. I don’t necessarily want to change, but I know I need to want to change. Perhaps, this blog can be a platform for experimentation, documentation and accountability in this life-long process of learning to desire to change. Even though I am resisting it BIG TIME.
As my cousin’s wife wrote when she started blogging about being a mother to an autistic son: “So this blog is a freedom of sorts. I want to be transparent, and I want to move from protecting Others from feeling awkward to just living our lives out in the open. I hope that some day, we all will have been around enough unique people that we won't feel so awkward and we'll instead pop that bubble that separates us from what we fear.”
While she and I have very different lives, I latched onto her phrase, “I want to be transparent.” Yes, I want to become more transparent. And one of the things I need to change is to become less self-centered. So, I take up writing a personal blog again...!
[Addendum January 2, 2013] Via Sarah Bessey, I came across the One Word 365 project or meme. I decided my word in this new (civic/fiscal) year will be: TRANSPARENT.