A manifesto to encourage you to keep a personal blog
I started my blog exactly one year ago whilst taking a break from editing my work portfolio. This blog was begun when I decided to interrupt my momentary “burst of productivity”, to take my first attempt at journaling my daily thoughts and progress. But as I started my journal, I couldn’t stop writing, and so what I thought would lead to my first diary entry, actually led to my first blog article being born.
There are so many benefits to keeping a blog:
1. It is the easiest way to express yourself
If you haven’t managed to fine-tune a special talent, but are keen to express yourself somehow, then writing in a blog is the easiest and best way to do so. Unlike, other hobbies and artistic forms of expression, blogging doesn’t require an extraordinary skill that you would have needed to practice since your early years. Anyone can express what they think in their own writing style, which will surely be read by someone out there in the world wide web.
2. There are endless topics to write about
You can create a blog article out of nothing and you’re only constrained by the limits of your imagination, culture and ideas. Just keep an open mind, maintain or cultivate your interests in various things, as these will shape your thoughts. If you do this, ideas to write about will surely come. You can even write a blog article about writing a blog article, like I’ve just done :-). And if you’re not convinced by the limitless source of ideas or the fact that you don’t need a remarkable topic, then this book “No plot? No problem!” might lead you to think differently.
3. It gets you thinking
Acknowledging that you have the opportunity to write without constraints will get your brain to roam, whilst exploring various avenues of thought and creation. It’s comforting to know that you can explore freely and, at the end of the process, it will be great to see how your thoughts will have materialised.
From this perspective, blogging can be treated as an exercise of free-writing, if you’re looking to embark on a bigger-scale writing project. Just like a sculptor makes a mock-up before starting the actual creation or an artist attempts a drawing before starting the actual painting, so too you can treat blogging as a writing exercise that will prepare you for the bigger writing piece you are aiming to do.
4. It gets you to write
“Anyone has a book in them”, goes the old saying. However, we are not all born writers, so we need to learn how to write well or get ourselves into the practice of writing regularly.
If you are aspiring to start a major writing project (such as a book), really itching to export the thoughts, from your brain onto paper, yet for various reasons (limited time, lack of focus, discipline or writing experience), you don’t seem to manage to write regularly, then blogging can help with alleviating the inherent self-disappointment that might arise from not achieving your writing goals. This is because blogging, through its very nature of requiring quick writing and enabling instant publishing, brings about self-gratification from fulfilling your mind’s urge to immortalise its inner voice.
5. It builds a good habit
Seeing your blog articles published instantly, getting comments from your readers and fulfilling your daily writing targets will bring about the self-gratification needed to fuel your writing “engine”. This will keep you going until writing becomes habitual. Thus, blogging can become an amazing personal development tool.
However, once you’ve built the habit of writing blog posts regularly, you might experience a “firing of neurons”. As your brain sets itself into the thinking / writing mode, various thoughts will start invading your mind. It will almost be like a weave of ideas, evolving quickly one from other, even to the point of leading you to think concurrently of several blog topics that you could write about.
What a blessing to get to such a resourceful and creative state of mind!
However, you might feel overwhelmed by the multitude of stories in your mind or several dialogues taking place in your headspace at the same time. To counteract this feeling, make sure you have pen and paper with you at all times to quickly jot down ideas as they come to your mind. Allow your brain to explore and (if it wants) to segway from one idea to another, but try and capture as much as you can from this stream of consciousness by writing them down. So, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the many seemingly unrelated ideas to write about that may come to your mind as you set it into the thinking/exploration mode, feel grateful that your mind is so resourceful.
If you haven’t got writing material with you, try to train your mind to remember the ideas that invaded your mind. The easiest way to do this is by association – link one idea to something that’s easy to remember, such as an activity that you do regularly. For example, if a blog idea about the power of visualising your dreams came into my mind, but you didn’t have time to develop it on paper, think about a good thing that’s finally happened to you after day-dreaming about it for a long time – if it’s something important to you, it will come to our mind time and time again, and each time it will bring with it your blog article idea. Or, let’s say you wanted to write a blog article about the benefits of running or exercising – associate this blog article idea in your mind with the actual act of running or exercising, so that whenever you are doing this activity, the thoughts of writing about it pop into your mind.
6. It gives purpose to your life
Nowadays, you can become so entrenched into your professional job, where someone else dictates what you ought to do, that you forget to pursue the things you are interested in, which ultimately give meaning to your life. You may forget to follow your passions and end up getting stuck into the routine of going to work to do a job that might not be your true passion, then come home to consume some readily available content.
However, thinking that you have the opportunity to express yourself through writing in your blog will give your personal life a greater purpose. You will feel like you have risen above anyone else who is stuck into their mundane life.
7. It will make you happy
To maintain the health of our brains, we have to train them as regularly as we train our bodies and writing is a great exercise of the mind. It’s refreshing to take the ideas that have been simmering in your mind and express them in your words. Voicing your thoughts is so liberating and will give rise to new thoughts, and without realising you become imbedded in a sublime act of creation.
Also, carving out the time to write in your blog, will make you feel more in control of your own time and life, which again will make you feel happy.
Moreover, you will get the instant gratification of seeing the end result(s) of your work: i.e. a finished article or a certain number of published blog posts or a nice looking personal website.
Seeing your finished work and how many people interact with your blog will make you feel that your work is worthwhile, which will fuel your drive to produce more and more of it. The happiness that you will gain from this will complement the self-gratification of allowing your mind to express itself, as well as the greater meaning that writing gives to your daily existence.
8. It reinforces your beliefs
It’s always hard to practice what you preach, so writing down your beliefs and convictions, will help to reinforce them in your mind. This will lead to your beliefs becoming hardwired into your mind, which will ultimately lead to them becoming second nature to you. For example, you might not yet be eating as healthily or exercising as regularly or managing your time as well as you would have liked to, but if you write about these things regularly in your personal blog, then your idealised self will be reinforced in your mind to the point that, sooner or later, you will start behaving like the best version of yourself.
9. It establishes thought leadership
Writing about any topic involves a considerable amount of research, thinking and practicing the things you write about. Your readers will know this, and this will help to establish you as an expert in the field of the topics you write about. This is great if you are looking to attract followers to promote your business or a personal project that you are working on.
10. Build a community of readers
If you are persistent and promote your blog well, you will eventually reach some people who will find your articles interesting and will keep coming back for more. Don’t shy away from asking for comments on your blog articles and even sharing your contact details, in case your readers would like to contact you privately.
11. It builds your courage
It takes a lot of courage to open up, and share your opinions with the rest of the world and it will be hard to do so at first. Your first published blog article might make you feel nervous, as you wonder how people might react to it. However, go past the initial anxiety and keep writing. Over time, you will build a community of readers who will appreciate you sharing your advice and ideas with them. Consequently, this will give you the confidence to speak your convictions out loud and be true to your beliefs.
12. It makes you feel like an entrepreneur
Most entrepreneurs have developed great qualities: creativity to come up with something new and then self-discipline, tenacity, good organisation, research, planning and management, in order to make their idea work well in practice and become profitable. When you have a blog you are building a personal brand. Even if your blog is non-commercial and only personal, you still have to be creative and come up with new topics, apply self-discipline and tenacity to write regularly and maintain a fresh look and feel. Also, you need to plan your articles ahead, be well organised to structure your content well and have good management skills to manage your content and your time wisely.
13. It’s free (or very cost-effective) activity (hobby)
Blogging is one of the least expensive hobbies you can have. All you need is a computer, access to the internet and a platform where to publish. The good thing is that these blogging platforms offer you access to a variety of features and tools to personalise your content, and make the blogging platform you’re using feel truly yours. You don’t need any programming knowledge to use these, but of course, if you are curious to learn about web design, HTML and programming, then blogging can be a good springboard to get you to discover how it looks and works “behind-the-scenes”.
14. Leave a legacy behind you
With blogging you are contributing to the enrichment of online content. The things you create, such as, in this case, your pieces of writing, are things that you can leave behind you. They are a testament to what you achieved in your time. All the other hobbies (cooking, playing sports, listening to music, dancing, watching movies, traveling etc.) only stay with you for as long as you practice them, after which they can only be recalled through photos and/or videos (if you took any) and memories. However, the things you create remain for as long as the medium on which they are stored (paper, hardware devices, cloud software etc.) is in existence. So, if you would like to be able to share a part of your mind with your future generations, think about the fact that, through writing, you can immortalise your mind’s creations.
There are many great blogs and popular bloggers out there, but don’t let this discourage you from creating your personal blog. Fierce competition exists in any field nowadays, as more and more people have access to the internet, are tech savvy and, most importantly, full of great ideas and altruistic enough to share them with the world.
The fact that there are so many blogs and bloggers out there only proves what an enjoyable and fruitful activity blogging is. So, what are you waiting for? Pursue your project of greatness, by starting your gloriously good blog today.