For the past three years I’ve given the same advice to dozens of lawyers, small business owners, Fortune 500 companies and followed it in a professional capacity.
It’s simple: “If you want to blog, find a time once a week to sit down and write. Make it a consistent routine. When do you have time for yourself? It is Saturday morning at a coffee shop or Thursday evening after the kids have gone to bed? Set an hour aside and write it out. Then plug it into WordPress and either post or schedule it.”
So why have I been the last person to take my own advice when it comes to this blog? The simple answer is I don’t know what to write. For a few years I followed the belief that “work is life is work” and didn’t really have a life. During those years, writing about my professional passions – social media and startups, specifically – was easy. It was easy because it consumed me. It was all I talked about, the central focus of my social life, and the glue that held together my friendships and relationships.
Then, about a year ago, that snapped. I stopped freelancing, the dynamics of my friendships and some key relationships morphed, and suddenly I had work and then life. I found time to watch football for the sake of just watching football – without the excuse of needing to network simultaneously. I found time to socialize for the sake of doing things like talk about families and other friends. (Yes, I admittedly can be a gossip.) I found time to date and make small talk about my lack of cinematic knowledge — or that Netflix series I binge watched over the weekend (without guilt of missing breaking headlines on Techmeme.) Experiencing this life was such a much-needed breath of fresh air I almost forgot I cared about social media, startups, and tech altogether. But I was lacking a way to share it with the world — not for lack of media, but because I didn’t know how to redefine what I started.
Not what I started on GeoCities, or LiveJournal, or GreyMatter, or whatever other platform I blogged on in the 90′s. I know how to blog about my life. But what I started three years ago was so borderline stale that I didn’t know how to transition this blog into one that captured my obsession with interior design in the age of Pintereset, a frustration with fashion despite dozens of apps (that I was routinely invited as a beta tester), my love for Seattle’s culture (that’s mostly credited to startups), my curiosity about the mind of a teenager in the age of social media (it’s a wreck), and… what it feels like to fall in love (cue Taylor Swift on Spotify.) How do I write about tech there, and write about my life here — without breaking character?
Because that’s what I’ve created. Short of a monster, it’s a character. An image. A persona. And this is where I’m going to delicately say fuck that character. That persona – that person who has held back half of her life – is done with. At a conference I was at in San Francisco, someone important asked me why I was so serious.
He had a point. I take myself WAY too seriously.
So here’s to opening up, letting loose, letting you all in, and showing up. My immersion in tech will still drive what I write here, but it will be much more personal. And it will start by me taking my own advice – to just write.