If you asked my high school English teacher what I would be doing in 20 or 30 years, it is unlikely that she would mention anything remotely related to writing. But today, here I am, by definition, a writer. After all, a writer writes.
I hated writing throughout all of my pre-college years. What made it really ugly was that there was too much focus on rules and grammar and very little in the communication aspect of it. By my teacher’s standards, I’m probably still not up to par. But you know what? I will write anyway, at least through my personal blog.
Blogging is an important part of the growth process. Here are some important reasons why you should be putting your thoughts on paper (or digital format at least).
Serves as a Log
Writing helps you extract principles from lessons learned. Even though we think we remember everything we do, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, maybe those things are buried deep in your brain and they can be extracted through hypnosis sessions.
The reality is that your brain is a wonderful and mysterious thing. It takes everything you experience each day, summarizes it and stores those summaries. The things that you use less frequently eventually get all but wiped out. Blogging can help you reach back out to those details. Eventually one day you can extract principles from those details.
Builds Your Knowledge Equity
As a professional employee, you will do many wonderful things and create many really good artifacts. As an employee, it is likely that you have an agreement with your employer that says that all your creations belong to them and you will return it all upon departure. And you have no right to ever use it. That means you cannot keep copies of source code, manuals, diagrams, plans, etcetera, etcetera.
But you have an opportunity to recreate concepts from those artifacts or at least lessons in a more generic way. And you can do it in a way that does not expose specific details about your employer’s intellectual property. Those ideas will come in handy one day when you have long departed from that organization. The best time to jot those concepts down is when they are still fresh in your brain.
Allows you to Give Back
We all benefit from the web. So… you need to learn how to do X, you google X. Most of the time you find X as a freebie on some blog. This is something that someone took time out of their day to provide to you for free, free for you at least. Blogging gives you the opportunity to pay it forward. I’m not advocating that all information should be free. But I am saying that most common things probably should be and that can only happen if we all share.
It Serves as Communication Practice
Anything you practice makes you better. When you blog you are practicing a few things. You are practicing writing, thinking, and transferring ideas and concepts. In the bigger picture, you are practicing communication. Who can argue that becoming a better communicator is a bad thing? Communication is the key to anything; business, politics, relationship, you name it.
Makes you Marketable
Blogging has the added benefit that it can make you more marketable. If you blog, it is likely that others will notice. Like Jay Z said, “I’m not a business-man, I am a business, man”. As a professional, you are not just an employee. You are a brand. What better way to promote your brand than by talking about it. Blogging shows that you are more than an employee. You are committed to a practice, a craft, a profession. You are professional. Above all, you are passionate and you are not shy to demonstrate it.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have additional reasons to blog?