Sometimes it is not a matter of what is said (or being the first to say it) but a matter not being the only one saying it.
I began blogging with the hope that it would reacquaint me with writing. I had taken a long hiatus – Almost 10 years! – from writing, frustrated with my life and my aspirations in poetry and fiction. My first posts were very personal (at least as personal as I was comfortable getting with an anonymous public audience).
Then a friend introduced me to Penelope Trunk’s blog. She had a post about how a blog was essential to a successful career. I wanted a successful career so I began writing more topical posts and shed the more personal “I”. I tried to be more researched and included links to sources. Eventually, I started another blog (K2Twelve) with the purpose of presenting my professional opinion on issues impacting grade K through 12 education.
At one point in time, I had two blogs: Cranial Gunk for more personal writing and thoughts on anything that interested me and K2Twelve for writing specifically addressing issues of education. I also contributed to a group blog for Asian American fathers – Rice Daddies.
The problem was I was not creating enough content to sustain three blog obligations. Posts I wrote for K2Twelve were being simultaneously posted on Cranial Gunk – so were posts for Rice Daddies. I kept the latter but decided to redirect the former to Cranial Gunk. It felt like the right thing to do. I had been reading so much about the benefits of getting personal on your blog. I don’t know where I read it but I also read something about the detractions of having two blogs. I decided if my personal opinions – which are neither extreme or accusatory – hurt my chances at obtaining/maintaining a job than perhaps I just didn’t belong there.
This is not to say I am completely naive. I understand time is scarce and financial resources even scarcer when it comes to looking for a job. It is truly a situation of finding the right fit but you also need to eat – and in my situation, I need the insurance for my children. I understand the need to compromise and the need to sometimes look the other way when I notice something objectionable. I honestly express my opinions in my blog but am careful to take other’s feelings into consideration. I don’t believe in collateral damage (for the most part).
Last week I attended my first bloggers “event.” I attended Blog Out Loud Event 6. I learned about it from Michelle Ward on the Brazen Careerist network. She announced she was speaking at the event and that admission was free. It was an opportunity for me to meet at least one of the people I have been interacting with virtually over the past couple of months. Unfortunately on the day of the event, the wallflower in me took over and I scurried home as soon as the panel concluded.
However, I didn’t totally blow it. There is something about surrounding yourself with complete strangers who have had the same questions and challenges that you have had. Now I’m not saying misery loves company, just that it is oddly empowering and comforting knowing that I am not alone.