I've come to a clear conclusion: blogging isn't easy. I've been trying to get around to writing a blog about the latest Google Chrome advertisement for nearly 2 weeks but procrastination and my own ineptitude have robbed me of my time and ideas.
Procrastination and laziness is obviously a big part of my non-blogging, however a lot of it has to do with the fact that I often find blogging intensely difficult! So instead of writing a blog about Google I've decided to write about my blogging difficulties. I thought this would be a good way for me to understand my blogging, why I do it and to see what others think about blogging through any comments and feedback received. After all, isn't that what blogging is all about?
So, like I said, I find the whole process behind creating a blog very difficult: you have to come up with a fresh idea and then you have to actually write the piece. For me the ideas come easy enough, however it's the actual composition part of blogging that I find the most difficult. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist but I wracked with worry when writing a blog.
Constantly asking myself: is it to the point? Am I being clear and concise? Is it different and thought provoking? Does it even make sense? Does it read well? Have I made a typo? Does it flow ok? Will it be laughed at? These are all the worries constantly going around my head. So naturally it's hard to get started!
But by the time I do start these concerns often preclude me from writing with any fluency. Rather, my writing is punctuated by stops and starts; a process which sees me constantly going back and reviewing and checking and thinking and analysing, instead of writing and letting the ideas and commentary flow!
I've had blogs that have taken me 4 or 5 hours, others that have even spanned a few days! And recently it's really been getting to me, to the point where I'm always asking myself: is this normal!? I know London Major Boris whips out his Sunday Telegraph comment piece in an hour or so - but how long and how testing should it really be to write a blog?
I can just see some of the comments now: "how long is a piece of string." Yes, I now the question is a little vague but let's get some suggestions and advice for a troubled blogger!
Changing the tilt of this blog a little I now want to discuss a different aspect of blogging. That being another conclusion I've drawn: if you want to be a well rounded professional with a voice and influence you need to blog! Well that's what BBC Radio 4 said in its latest series that charts how digital culture is moulding modern living, "The Digital Human." You too can listen if you so wish - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n621l
Essentially BBC Radio 4 presenter Aleks Krotoski said that blogging is an avenue to influence. Obviously becoming an influential blogger isn't as simply starting a blog on wordpress. Nor is it as simple as creating a one off hit blog; rather, the key is to consistently write well read, influential blogs.
How do you write influential blogs? There's no magic formula but here's some suggestions made during "The Digital Human": blog in a way that sees you talk with your audience and not at them; blog in a manner that allows your audience to associate with you and blog to answer others' questions and concerns. Be yourself and speak in your own voice, and make your appeal lie in your authenticity and the fact that you are absolutely grounded in the issues which you concentrate and specialise on.
If you blog like this you could find yourself become an influencer, a thought leader, an opinion former and authority that others go to and talk about.
And there's my dilemma: I find blogging very challenging yet I know it's potentially very good for me! So after all that I've come to a new conclusion: I'm going to suck it up and fight through the blogging pain. After all, they do say "no pain, no gain!"
Follow Brian John Spencer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@brianjohnspenc