Only 3 months in the Blogosphere and I can already appreciate and benefit from the power of blogging. I started a blog because it seemed to me the most authentic way to promote my work: prospective clients could get to know me before engaging in a coaching process or coaching program and decide if working and playing with me will be of value for them. “Authentic”, here, is more a function of resonance than getting full knowledge of the facts, at this stage.
Private and Public Writing
The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Aristotle, Metaphysica
If I first blogged for authentic promotion purposes, I did not expect blogging to become as well a heuristic modality for generating insight and decision making for my own personal benefit. Of course, I was already aware of the power of writing to generate one’s future, to have experienced it time and again, but it was mostly private writing. Blogging, as a public mode of expression, is highly generative, at least in terms of speed, though you have to be in the know of how to drive traffic to your blog, if you don’t want your writing to remain confidential. It is possible that marketing, with its overly pragmatic/persuasion side to it, somehow made me disregard the self-development possibility to blogging. Growth through blog marketing, who would have thought. The idea is far from new though; I’ve signed up for many newsletters advocating just that. Now, I’ve got an experience of it. It’s all heuristics!
Blogging: From Exhibitionism to Reticence
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. John Lennon.
Besides, being endowed with a happy heuristics temperament, I was curious enough to go and look at what other bloggers did and for what purposes. For example, I wondered what the etiquette for self disclosure was out there; how much did people disclose or conceal; concealment, of course, being more about what is not said, therefore mostly left to the reader’s subjectivity and imagination. This exploration of boundaries led me to place bloggers on a continuum between the downright exhibitionist to the reticent. Rereading my posts, from a little time distance, I felt that I stood more on the reticent end of the continuum with blurts of exhibitionism, a little bit like an ostrich feather fan dancer but not a consummate one, a beginner: sometimes one fan is dropped too soon. Oops! It happened that I deleted one comment and one post[ my prerogative] that seemed to me too personal (the former) or that came too early in the development of my message and may be interpreted exactly the opposite as I intended. Here, I go again with my ostrich fans: I say too much or too little. You see, I am still trying to find the right measure of disclosure. There are other writing personae I can identify with, though rarely, but enough to notice them and be annoyed at what they disclosed about me, like the needy nerdy egotist, I can hear in some posts: “why aren’t you commenting, what I write is so interesting. Not superficial stream of consciousness-y, like in e-mails. It has the advantage of being researched, pondered upon. No political correctness. Not more (but sometimes even less) than in other blogs.” At this point, the demon of comparison takes charge. I know it well to have had it as a faithful but cumbersome companion for decades. I’ve even learned to make it work for me, not against me.
It is true though that some of the most commented posts I’ve read so far are the most opinionated (interchangeable with exhibitionistic? Maybe). It is not always the ones that make me want to comment, though one sure way to get a little traffic to my own blog is to comment on them. And here comes the question of what my true priorities with blogging are: building a community of like-minded people, sharpening my message, self-developing are some answers I experienced first hand, but I am yet to discover many others.
Writing with an Audience in Mind?
It is hard to find one’s voice, especially when so many voices compete inside. But, maybe, awareness of this inner chorus is what becoming more authentic is all about. A public venue for self-expression, like blogging, can be of great help for self-discovery. That I get feedback from bloggers (or from lack of it thereof), I can still learn a lot about myself from my blogger’s personae, by rereading myself with the passing of some time and imagining my virtual audience. Blogging is like sending a message in a bottle for the moment, for me: a lot is left to the imagination.