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Blogs Gone Wild

With over 200 million blog sites in existence, why does the world need another one?  Maybe the world doesn’t need one, but I do.

I recently read an author’s comment on journaling, which could be considered an earlier form of the blog.  The reason she wrote in her journal was to clarify her thoughts.  “Writing makes thinking easier”, said Barbara Ehrenreich, Living with a Wild God.

Focusing on a single topic is really difficult.  The mind jumps all over the place.  The mechanical act of writing seems to reign in the restless nature of the mind.  The “mechanical” part can be pen, pencil, keyboard, tablet or smartphone.  I’m not sure why this works, but it does.

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A multitude of others have written on the topic of journaling, from lay practitioners to academics.  James Pennebaker, Social Psychologist at UT Austin, has studied both the mental and physiological benefits.  Pennebaker Study

The next time you’re faced with a problem at work and the solution isn’t obvious, try journaling about the issue and possible courses of action.  It could clarify your thoughts and reveal a solution that’s better than you imagined.

The additional benefit of journaling is to document our thoughts so we can review them later and decide if our conclusions have changed.  Sometimes you go back and read what you wrote a year earlier and think, “Wow, I can’t believe I was so misguided and clueless”.   The downside of the blog form, your thoughts are out there instantly for the world to read.  So a lot of people might be thinking you’re misguided and clueless without needing 12 months to reflect.

Motives

There are additional motives for the blog: a belief that the world cares what you think (narcissism), the desire to share your knowledge for the benefit of others (altruism), the ability to say “I was writing on my blog the other day” (desperation), the need to make money, (deeper desperation).

To some degree all of these motives apply to me.  The biggest one is probably the ability to say “So … I was writing on my blog the other day …”  

Now that I’ve created my first blog post, I’m ready to drop that phrase at the earliest opportunity, perhaps at Panera Bread when ordering breakfast.  “I’ll have the Mediterranean Egg White sandwich, coffee, and … ummm … did I mention I was writing a new blog post last night.”

Next week: Revisiting the Five Why’s.  Subscribe to the newsletter now to receive a reminder.