As I enter into my 11th year of both personal and professional blogging, it occurs to me that though blogging (for me) has evolved from something that was a quirky fun thing to do into a fabulous and lucrative career choice, some things haven’t changed at all.
For example, how some of the people in my life view blogging. Though blogging is more mainstream now and businesses, the media, marketing and P.R. people and so many others are realizing there’s value to what we do, there are still folks who view us as slackers and don’t quite get the appeal.
This morning I was thinking about some of the things that are important to us, that the non-bloggers don’t understand.
1. Why the laptop is the first thing turned on in the morning and last thing off at night.
While you were sleeping, people were reacting. They were commenting on blog posts, emailing, tweeting, and updating status on Facebook. These reactions are important to us. They show us that people care about what we do. Sometimes it’s all we can do to hold off on it all until after breakfast, but it’s not easy.
2. Why places without WiFi aren’t an option for vacation
Because even though we’re not on vacation, we still need to blog. We can’t shut off our brains or stop our fingers. It’s hard to explain this to someone who doesn’t like to write or doesn’t have this constant flow of ideas. Yes, we can always put it off until later but there are often times when we need to work on ideas while they’re fresh on our minds. Staying connected is important to us. Like offline real estate, virtual properties require constant maintenance and upkeep. Commentsneed to be approved, advertisers need to be approved and we want to know who is responding to our stuff. We also want to know what everyone else is up to. Perhaps a non-blogger relaxes on the deck with a magazine or paperback. Bloggers like to take the Kindle, iPad or laptop outside and relax with some blogs.
3. Why we’re always checking our email and status updates
Look around any blogger event and what do you see? Everyone checking their devices. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t do this why it’s so important for us to know what’s going on in the virtual world, but it is important. We don’t want to miss the funny or useful tweet or viral video. We also need to know what’s going on with our own stuff. We have to get comments out of moderation and respond to questions in a timely manner. Can this wait until we get home? Absolutely but people who comment and write to us don’t know what we’re up to and don’t want to be made to feel as if we deleted their comments or that they’re not important enough to warrant a response. We also like to know what the folks in our virtual communities are saying. In short, we don’t want to miss a thing.
4. Why we lose track of time
Here’s the thing with bloggers, we don’t just get lost in our thoughts, we explore them. We don’t stare into space thinking things out, we’re at our laptops working it out. When we blog we lose track of everything except our writing. We’re so focused on our ideas and writing and making sure it all flows that we block out the world. It’s why I have to set a timer for everything because when reality calls, I need for it to yell really loud.
5. Why conferences are so important
Why are there so many conferences and why are they so important? Where do I start…
When you work out of your home like I do, meeting and networking with others is such a treat. When your relationships are virtual, it’s essential to get out and work on your people skills. We may think life is online, but the offline world is more important. Conferences remind us of this. It’s where we meet, gather and learn. It’s where we realize that we’re very small fish in a very big pond and, also, that we’re not alone. It’s where we make connections, land jobs and collaborate on ideas. If we could attend them all, we would.
Why would anyone want to announce their location everywhere they go?
There are lots of reasons. At first glance, foursquare looks like a robbery waiting to happen. After a bit of exploration one realizes that if used responsibly, foursquare can be a fun game or an important conference tool. Businesses are starting to realize that foursquare has perks as well and are rewarding customers for their loyalty. No, we don’t have to check in to foursquare, but we enjoy exploring the possibilities.
7. Why everything is fodder
Nothing makes Mr. Ng roll his eyes more than hearing me say, “I’m going to blog about that.” It seems no situation is sacred. Ideas come when we’re standing in the supermarket checkout, watching a movie or attending a wedding. Creative people see everything as an opportunity. We can’t help it.
8. Why we take pictures of our dinner
We like to share. So sue us.
9.Why we sometimes appreciate a virtual community more than a real life community
This is another aspect that’s hard to explain, why we sometimes prefer the company of people who are online to people who are offline. Now, I love my family and I have really terrific friends, but sometimes we want to be with people who get what we do and don’t make us feel foolish because we blog or Tweet. We enjoy being around people who don’t wonder why we’re online all the time or complain that we need to get a life. We have a life, thank you very much, and it suits us just fine.
10. Why blogging so addicting
People who don’t smoke don’t get cigarettes. People who follow a healthier lifestyle don’t get the hankering for junkfood. People who don’t do drugs can’t understand why a junkie will sell his soul for a fix.
People who don’t blog, don’t understand why we blog so much. Words are addicting. Watching a reaction to our words is addicting. Interacting with others is addicting. It’s hard to explain to someone who just doesn’t get it – or doesn’t want to get it.
We love what we do…
It’s hard to sit in a room full of people who don’t blog and explain why this isn’t only my job, but my way to relax. It’s hard to tell someone that when I’m not blogging, I want to be blogging and that there are always ideas and thoughts in my head wanting to come out. Non-bloggers don’t understand this, but maybe after reading this they will.
What are some of the things you feel non-bloggers don’t understand?