I Need to Blog More

[fr] Prise de conscience du jour: il est temps que je me remette à bloguer plus. Sans rentrer dans les détails, j'aime écrire et bloguer. Si je suis tellement prise par mon travail que je n'ai plus le temps pour ça, alors j'ai un sérieux problème d'équilibre. Il est temps d'y remédier.

J'ai aussi envie de plus bloguer en français -- j'ai beaucoup négligé mon lectorat francophone cette dernière année ou deux, et je me le suis probablement aliéné. Quelques discussions cette semaine avec des gens rencontrés hors-ligne m'ont montré à nouveau à quel point il y a toujours un fossé entre la francophonie (en tant que minorité linguistique sur le net) et l'anglophonie.

Ce constat a été à la base de la création de Pompage.net, il y a des années de cela. Plus récemment, j'ai repris ce thème dans mes conférences sur la promotion du multilinguisme dans les milieux numériques. Il y a une fuite des cerveaux bilingues vers l'anglophonie, et j'en fais partie. Ce qui paraît évident dans certains milieux anglophones ne l'est pas chez les francophones. Il y a tant à dire, et j'ai le sentiment d'avoir un peu failli à mon devoir de blogueur-pont depuis un moment. On va y remédier.

It’s been nagging at the back of my mind. Since before Going Solo Lausanne, actually — when I got so absorbed with the conference preparation that CTTS hardly saw 6 posts over the space of 4 weeks.

I need to blog more.

It became clear this morning, as a chat with Suw led to a long blog post in French that I’d been putting off for… weeks, to be generous.

This isn’t the first time (by far) in my blogging career that I’ve been through a “dry” patch, and then one day realised that I had to get into the groove again. Life is cyclic. It’s not a stable line or curve that heads up and up or, God forbid, down and down. It’s ups and downs. Some days are better than others, some weeks are better than others. It’s the low moments in life that also make you enjoy the high ones (though I wouldn’t want you to think I’m advocating heading for “lows” just so you might have post-low “highs” — lows are just part of the colour of life, like the highs).

Some people have higher highs than others, and lower lows. Some people have more highs, some have more lows. We’re not equal — and in the matter of happiness in particular, I remember Alexander Kjerulf saying at Reboot last year that roughly 50% of our “happiness potential” is genetically determined.

So, pardon me the digression on the highs and lows, a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately due to my own ups and downs. Back to blogging.

With the supposed return of the tired “blogging is dead” meme, which we long-time bloggers have seen poking its silly head up every year or two, oh, “blogging is so yesterday”, I once again sit down and wonder at what’s kept me going for over eight years now.

I know part of the answer: I’ve never been in the arms race — or at least, never very long. Arms race to first post, arms race to breaking news, arms race to most comments, arms race to more visitors, more visitors, yes, ad revenue, monetize, recognize. Oh, I want my share of recognition and limelight — I won’t pretend I’m above all that — and there are times when I feel a bit bitter when I feel I’m not getting as much attention as others who have louder mouths but not necessarily better things to say. What can I say: I’m only human, and I think one constant you’ll find amongst bloggers is that each in our own way, we’re all after some form or other of recognition. Some more badly than others, yes.

So, I need to blog more.

One of the things blogging did for me, many years ago, was put me in touch with other people who shared similar interests to mine. That is one thing blogging does well, and that it always will do.

It also provided a space for me to express myself in writing — forgive me for stating the obvious. I’ve always written, always had things to write, and blogging for me was a chance to really dive into it (actually, before that — this website existed before I signed up for a Blogger.com account many years ago).

Writing helps me think. Even though it may sound a bit lame to say so, it’s something I do that feels meaningful to me. It’s not something that puts money in the bank account (one of my important and ongoing preoccupations these days, to be honest), but it’s something that connects me to myself and to others.

Organising a conference as a one-woman endeavour can feel extremely isolating, even with a large network of advisors and supporters. But more than that, I’ve been a freelancer for two whole years now: working from home most of the time, travelling a lot, getting more and more involved in personal and professional relationships outside my hometown, and often in completely different timezones.

I don’t really have any colleagues I see regularly anymore. My client relationships are usually short-lived, given the nature of my work (lots of speaking engagements). I haven’t really had any clients in the last year that I saw regularly enough to build some kind of meaningful relationship with.

It’s not without a reason that I’ve become increasingly interested in coworking, to the extent that I’m now working at setting up a space in the very building I’m living in (quite a coincidence actually, but a nice one for me, given I like typing away with my cat purring next to me).

What does this have to do with blogging more?

My feeling of isolation isn’t only offline. It’s online too. It feels that I’ve been spending so much time “working” (ie, preparing conferences or worrying about how to earn some money) that I’ve taken a back seat in my online presence. It’s time I started driving again.

I don’t mean that in the sense “agressively fight for a place in front of the scene”. I’ve never been an A-lister and probably never will be. I just want to go back to writing more about stuff I find interesting. Hopefully, not only long rambling soul-searching posts like this one ;-)

Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Feedly, Facebook and Seesmic are changing my life online. I haven’t finished figuring out in what way. But what I know is that my online ecosystem, particularly around my blog, is not what it was three years ago. I am in no way rejecting these “newer” tools in my life, but I do feel at times like I’ve been neglecting my first love.

My blog is also where I give. Over the course of my blogging career, I’ve writen posts which are still helpful or inspiring to those who read them, years after. The more you give, the more you get. Well, maye one reason I feel things are drying up a bit around me is that I’ve stopped giving as much as I used to. Oh, I know it’s not magical. I don’t believe in “balance of the universe” or anything. I do believe in human relationships and psychology, though. If you care about other people, there are more chances that they’ll care about you. That’s what makes us social animals.

Part of it, over the last years, has been the challenge of transitioning from passionate hobbyist to professional. Suddenly my online world/activities are not just where I give freely, but also where I try to earn a living. Such a transition is not easy. And I haven’t found any handbooks lying around.

I’m going to stop here, because I think that this post has already reached the limits of what even a faithful reader of friend can be expected to be subjected to without complaining.

To sum it up: for a variety of reasons I’ve tried to explore in this post, I want to blog more than I have these past months. I think it’ll make me feel better. Blogging is something I enjoy, and if the way I’m doing things doesn’t leave me time for that, then something is wrong with the way I’m doing things. I became a freelancer in this industry because I was passionate about blogging and all the “online stuff” hovering around it — and wanted to do more of it. Not less.

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This entry was posted in Being the boss, Blogging, Personal and tagged balance, blogging, choices, Coworking, freelancing, General, life, musings, My work, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Need to Blog More

  1. Xavier says:

    It’s great that you write about the whole rationale behind your need to blog more (and it’s interesting too), and I’m not one to give “more blogging” lessons these days :) , but the devil’s advocate in me feels the need to say this : “don’t blog about blogging!”, or even “don’t blog about blogging more, just blog!” :)

    Truthfully, you are way more active online than anyone I know in this part of my blogosphere, so I have a hard time see how you could do more. 6 posts in 4 weeks might not be much to you, but you’re not including your tumbleblog, your seesmic conversations, your twitter ones or even your Cheese Sandwhich blog – which other, more frequent bloggers happily do – ie Embruns. I’d say you’d need to turn your blog into your own lifestream, à la FriendFeed but self-hosted, in order for you to see how active you are around here.

    In the end, I think you should say “I need to blog all my ideas” rather than “I need to blog more”. As always, quality trumps quantity – and you have both, only scattered…

  2. Stephanie says:

    You have a good point, Xavier. Yes, I'm active — but maybe not active in the way I prefer to be. One thing I'm understanding with all the “micro-content” applications sprouting all over the place is that conversation and writing are different. I'm having a lot of conversation, but I want more writing.


    You're also right about the fact I probably need to bring into CTTS more of my “offshore” (;-)) activity. I'm not sure how, though. I already have daily “del.icio.us links” posts in the feed for CTTS, and really don't want to start having “tweet posts” or stuff like that. Still feeling around for a solution.


    In the end, yes, I want to write more about what I'm thinking. Get the stuff out of my head. A lot of it is about blogging and social media, but not only (I guess I need to get a few things out of my system first).


    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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