Your “first” anything might or might not (depending on your context) carry with it the trepidation or excitement that usually accompanies a “First”. My first blog. Ever. This inaugural post carried both that nervous blend of trepidation and excitement, patterned with smatterings of neurosis, irrationality and anxiety.
There was no reason to blog, feeling simply, I had nothing to say that people had not heard before. It was enough to share my curiosities with the people in my life, connected to me by more than bits and bytes. My foray into Twitter’s 140 character messages seemed quite enough, allowing me to express my views on everything from fashion disasters to politics, cracking one liners to racial tensions, chocolate to meditative yogic reflections and simple honest time wasters.
“Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave impressions.” Randomly pulled from The Speed of Trust Action Cards, No 1, Straight.
Simple true advice for any medium of communication. This little maxim proved to be the centre of my inaugural blog post, poignantly reminding me – I am what I am. And can only blog as myself, my ideas. Relieving the self-imposed pressure to make it impressionable, helping to overcome the neurosis, irrationalities and anxieties of a first.
Neurosis can also be a fixation on perfection, so I learnt, not just a mental fragility. Something I identify with completely, being neurotic about how my blog’s functionality is going to work – do the links work, does it display properly, how does it display on a mobile device, is it easy on the eye…does it look interesting enough. And yet being a first, its more about the magic of the moment and not getting stuck on being a perfect post.
In Seth Godin’s blog post, Who Goes First, he reminds us that we have forgotten it is our job to go first. To be brave and be willing to try something new, knowing it is graced with magic, wonder, and not perfection. Although there is something to be said for being second too; sometimes learning through example, is a great starting point. As Neil Patel, shares a summary of 10 lessons Seth Godin can teach you about blogging. While focussed mainly on business type blogging, the insights are still valuable, especially for a newbie blogger somewhat fixated on that perfect post.
“Being somewhat out of your wits”, is a common description for irrationality. That seemed true. I wasn’t sure what I should blog about. It seemed like I had joined my #EDMOOC quadblogging team on a whim, and now felt pressured for letting them down. Perfect strangers, with mutual interest, now on the borders of friendship. It seemed there was already a plethora of blogs on my curiosities and passions, yet I am reminded that all voices are unique. And so are their stories, whether thought leadership style, or simple anecdotes about daily minutiae.
Let this blog be an almost extension of stories of mine I have already shared, and have yet to share.
The elephant memory that is the Internet did have me anxious, with my fingers hovering over the delete button. The angst of what impact a personal blog might have to my other online presence, was unnerving. Would YogitaRed8’s followers suddenly doubt the person they follow on twitter, should they read this blog? Would fellow #advancingSA members quietly applaud this effort from the tweet streets? Have faith the person tweeting about entrepreneurship had the same brand value as the person blogging about life’s great wonders and daily whys? And yet there is faith. To remain authentic is to quiet these anxieties.
I cannot see the whole of my blog, and where it will lead, whether it will stay as it has started a personal blog, or transform into a more authoritative thought leadership type blog.
I thank #EDCMOOC, and my qaudblogging team for helping to place my feet on this first step.
Until my next post, remain curios. Be first at anything for the magic of it. And don’t be shy to ask or wonder why about life’s experiences.
What’s a first you honour or celebrate?