A while ago I read a comment on LinkedIn by someone who was concerned about how easy it had become to post articles on the site. I didn’t share his opinion and, in most respects, still don’t.
I’ve read blogs of great insight and beauty. Writing that’s sincere, well argued, imaginative, and thought provoking. Writing that’s opened new ways of thinking for me. I’m intensely grateful to the people who wrote and shared them.
The ability to share blogs and articles via the internet has democratised the creation of knowledge. There’s the opportunity to hear so many more voices which hadn’t necessarily been heard before. There are such different tastes to be catered for that almost anything will speak to at least one person. We may not share those opinions but that’s particularly to be welcomed lest we live in a thought bubble (which, sadly, is all too easy). Reading about views which are different to our own should encourage us to reflect. Why do I disagree? Can I understand the perspective and experience of the other?
What bothers me is that it’s so easy to share stuff online that it’s becoming expected. It seems as though sharing our reflections in writing is evidence that we are thinking. In the same way as sharing experiences via Facebook and Instagram provides proof that we’re doing things.
Could exposure to blogs be affecting the way we think? It used to be that PowerPoint overkill was the culprit. Everything had to be explainable in groups of 5 bullet points. In some circles it probably still does. Now it’s the blog format which may be constraining us. Occasionally I’ve caught myself editing my thinking even as it’s happening as if creating a – never to be written – blog post and wonder whether I’m alone in this.
Sometimes it’s helpful to write something knowing that it’s going to be shared. It can be useful to use that discipline, to back up our arguments, to exercise that particular writing muscle. Or we have a different goal. Sharing something of ourselves and our experience that we think could be of value to others. Sometimes we feel so strongly or are just so damn excited about something that we just have to let others know it.
But I hope that we can still write for our own pleasure and purpose. To help us work out what we think and feel. To help us remember things that we’ve learned, to appreciate and be grateful for positive experiences. To gain perspective or just vent our emotions during more difficult times.
No need to be ashamed at having a bunch of half written blog posts. It’s likely that the writing served it’s purpose at the time. At some point we may return to them and feel the need to add, to edit and to complete. One day they may be shared – or not.
It’s up to you (and me).