THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Keep blogging: I know I will
I started blogging. Okay, I actually started blogging three months ago, when I was doing interviews for my recent column about blogging. It became clear that people who are very serious about their career should have a blog, and I didn't have one.
It turns out it's not that easy to blog. Well, it's easy to write a blog for an audience of six best friends and your mom. But if you want to be seen as an expert in your field by making a significant contribution to the daily community discussion, then you need to think things through a bit.
Fortunately, I'm a person who loves to learn something new. Here's what I did:
1. I called all the people I knew who were bloggers and asked them about their technique.
2. I spent two hours a night for a month reading other people's blogs. I read hotshot blogs, like Lifehacker and smaller blogs like Communication Nation.
3. I started blogging furtively. I told only my blog mentor and my brother (who said "You should get a better picture of yourself.")
Today is the last step: announcing the blog.
It turns out that I really love blogging. It appeals to three very big aspects of my personality: I love to write, I love routine, and I'll read anything. This last thing is genetic, I think. (My mom will read anything, too. My mom has an amazing memory, and she was on the game show Jeopardy.)
I don't have mom's memory, but I'm a good synthesizer of information, and blogging is a great outlet for that.
According to the guys who wrote the best selling book Freakanomics, the idea of talent is overrated. What makes people stand out– concert pianists, Olympic athletes, and (probably) big-time bloggers– is that they all love to practice. They love to do it day in and day out, and so they get really good at it.
This is the reason that people should do what they love– because that's what they'll be really good at because they'll do it a lot. So I'm happy to have found something I love.
For those of you still looking for something you love, you should know that I did not know that I would love blogging before I tried it. In fact, before I tried it, I thought blogging would be a daily pain in the butt. But I took a risk because I know you can't find what you're really good at without trying a lot of things.
Blogging is a very big time investment. And it's not like I'm getting paid to do it. But you cannot get paid to do everything in life. I have made almost all my big career steps by doing something I did not get paid for. I've written business plans with no assurance that they'd be funded (I got the money). And I've contributed time and ideas with no assurance that I'd get credit (I got a job).
In this case, I'm not really sure where the blog will lead, but I feel strongly that I need to be doing it, to contribute to the online conversation about work and life. Some days I worry about how much time I spend on the blog, but I tell myself that good things happen to those who take risks to do things they love.
Meanwhile, if you have your own website, by all means, link to my blog. In the land of blogging, a link is the highest compliment of all.
Penelope Trunk's blog is http://blog.penelopetrunk.com