Although I’ve been blogging off and on since 1999, it wasn’t until I wrote this post about walking away from my job at Microsoft that I felt my blog had a purpose beyond the fact that I enjoyed writing.
Up until that time, I’d written over 1000 posts that covered various topics ranging from gadget reviews to thoughts on becoming a father. But something changed with that post. I was more open than I’d been before. I exposed a number of my faults. But, for whatever reason, I hit on a topic that many people could relate to.
I’ve received dozens of emails about that post. One person called me a knucklehead for leaving a stable job with the largest software company in the world. A few thought I should have handled the situation better than I did, and I agree with them. But most were very supportive. One memorable email came from a lady who told me her job was making her sick, but she didn’t realize it until one of her friends forwarded her a link to my blog. She left her job a few weeks later and wrote to tell me about it.
As I was thinking about this today, I had a short chat with a friend I’ve not seen for many years. I asked how he and his family are doing along with a few more questions to get caught up. And then he said something interesting. He said, “I suppose I should return the favor and ask how you’re doing, but I already know because I’ve read your blog for years”.
I encouraged him to start a blog and he said he didn’t have time. That’s the most popular excuse I hear. Occasionally I’ll hear “I don’t have anything interesting to say” or “Nobody would read my blog”.
But I wish more of my friends and coworkers would blog. I’ve become increasingly suspicious of people who don’t blog. I wonder what they have to hide. I don’t buy the “I don’t have the time” excuse. What they should say is, “It’s not important enough to me to make the time”. I want to know what makes them tick.
To those who are considering starting a blog, my one bit of advice is to write from the heart. Be honest. It’s fine to detail the good and the bad. A wart here or there reminds us that you’re human. That’s what real life is about. Blogs that are devoid of any disappointment or sadness come across as having been written by someone nobody can relate to.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years since I walked off the job and another 9 years before I blogged about that experience. At the time I felt I was opening up too much. Showing my imperfections. What if a potential employer came across the post? What will my friends think?
I had nothing to worry about. Just the opposite. It was the beginning of my blog as I know it today.