When I blog, I write down my stream of thoughts. The more I write, the more I think.
Think as I blog
Blogging helps me actively ponder over the topic I’m writing about. I make opinions and elaborate on them. And I contradict myself when my opinions change.
It is important to be able to argue your stance when you have an opinion. Have strong opinions. When you are able to express in detail what your opinions are, you actually help yourself to solidify your views and also reflect on it. It lets you think about why your opinion is correct, but it also helps to expose weaknesses in your arguments.
Have strong opinion but hold them loosely. Don’t argue an opinion that you know is wrong or don’t believe in anymore. It is completely okay to switch sides. It is a sign of you thinking out your views and being reasonable enough to admit you are mistaken or accept the opposing stance.
Think as I review
When you look back on your writing a few months later, a year later, or years later, you will learn from how you have grown and changed as a person from when you wrote the article to when you read it again.
I guess blogging is an extension of my journalling habit. I have kept a handwritten journal since secondary school, not all the while but on and off, and more diligently in recent years.
Reading back on my old entries feels like I’m looking at a stranger’s journal. My thoughts and opinions often differ from my perspectives and emotions when I wrote the entries. It is a fascinating look at how I have changed and grown.
If you haven’t tried writing a journal, I highly recommend it. You don’t even need to accumulate years or months of writing to gain insight. Write and read your entries from a few weeks back and you’ll already notice change.
Blogging as a journal
I put my thoughts on my blog because I want to be authentic. Don’t worry about what others think. Their opinions are out of your control, but if your writing spurs them to think and voice their feedback, then you have already accomplished something.
My daily reads include blogs of the sharp minds I admire in the industry and beyond. I don’t agree with them all the time, but I can learn something from what they share. More often than not, their thoughts and opinions spur me to ponder, and those thoughts end up in my journal. Instead of keeping these to myself, I throw them out in the public by blogging about them.
Owning your content
Another important reason to blog is to regain ownership of our content. Instead of generating content that we post on social media to help Facebook and Twitter to gain data and advertising revenue, post on your blog.
Your content is yours when you post it on a self-hosted blog. It is not hard to get a blog running. If you need help, get in touch and I can guide you on setting one up. Or even better, engage RubyCoded to build one for you.
A self-hosted website stands the test of time. My blog has outlived Friendster, LiveJournal, Path and other platforms have seen unfortunate demise, taking precious user-generated content with them. Sure, my blog has gone through several iterations and hosting services since 2003, but I own my content and I have the sole discretion over whether they should remain published in cyberspace.
Starting a blog can be daunting because your content is public and readable by anyone with an internet connection. But if you often repost stuff or share your thoughts on Facebook, then how different is that?
You could start by sharing your Facebook and Twitter posts on your blog. Write the longer thoughts in your journal. Let them marinate and then post your journal entries on the blog when you are comfortable. One step at a time.