It’s pretty amazing what people can do when they set their minds to a task. It’s also pretty amazing what doesn’t get accomplished when people don’t set their minds to it. Blogging falls under the latter statement.
As an emerging leader in public health, I’m also a recovering blogging Luddite. This self-reflective post discusses at least a few of the reasons I don’t blog, but #IMightJustStart now.
5 Reasons I Don’t Blog
1. I don’t have time to blog.
My family includes my wife, three kids, and a dog; with all of whom I love to spend time. I work a main job, a side job, and have numerous consulting projects. I coach the t-ball team, serve as a Board Member for the local Little League, and sit on the local Cub Scout Pack Committee. I’m deeply involved in my professional association. And I’m a graduate student again. Who has extra time to think extra thoughts, let alone get those thoughts together in a document that’s presentable enough for someone else to read?
2. Blogging isn’t something my workplace values.
My main job is as a faculty member at a university. I love my job, and it gives me an inordinate amount of freedom of expression. But my faculty workload credits don’t extend to social media contributions. I also work for a large closed health organization as a clinical consultant. Independent thinking about health and health care – my specialities – isn’t always valued if it runs counter to the organization’s mission or way of doing things. It’s clear that blogging may take away from other things I can do to be productive, or worse, may be a liability.
3. There’s really nothing I have to say that isn’t already out there.
There are a lot of great blogs out there, which I read on a daily basis. The Well blog by the New York Times and the Health Blog by the Wall Street Journal generally have good information that is communicated in an accessible style. As for blogs unrelated to health, I appreciate the irreverent writing over at Deadspin, as well as count the news blogs Salon, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post as part of my daily reads. I also read blogs curated by physical therapist colleagues from all over the world. Sometimes, after doing all this reading, I just feel like I have nothing left to say.
4. I don’t know where to go publish a blog post.
Academic writing in the fields of physical therapy and rehabilitation is something with which I have a lot of experience. Need a manuscript submitted to a journal? Interested in knowing whether the journal is worthwhile based on Impact Factor and readership? I’m your guy! Do you need to share 500 words that describes the rough draft of an idea you had today? I don’t know where to begin.
5. Nobody would be able to find my blog post, anyway.
The internet is vast. My URL would be one of myriad contributions made to the web daily. How could my idea ever find an audience?
5 Reasons #IMightJustStart
1. Blogging is quicker than I thought.
Putting together a 500 word post, provided I know what I want to say in a cogent manner, only takes me about 45 minutes. Of course, there’s a wide range in the amount of time needed to create a blog post. Given that I can dictate much of my writing using freely available technology, the reservation I had about time isn’t as much of a factor as I thought. Dashing off a quick voice memo could turn into a blog post very quickly without a lot of extra time and work involved.
2. I’ll blog to get my own ideas out there.
My academic training was always to hold on to an idea until it’s mature. Maturity typically meant it was solid enough to base a grant proposal or a manuscript for publication in a peer reviewed journal. So much literature goes uncited that sometimes academic publishing only seems relevant for sprucing up one’s curriculum vitae. Blogging offers a way to get new ideas out there to a potential target audience, as well as to educate folks about new ideas in an interactive forum.
3. There’s a lot of cool stuff I’m learning that not everybody knows about yet.
As an “emerging leader in public health,” I am also coming to recognize I have a lot of knowledge that isn’t common among my colleagues in the workplace and on social media. Simply not very many physical therapists are in the same position that I am to share and discuss the ideas that will shape the future of health and medical care in the United States.
4. Publishing a blog post is pretty easy.
WordPress is easy. End of story!
5. I can use the social media resources I already have to get my ideas out there.
Although I’ll never be on Facebook, there are other social media outlets I already use regularly to circulate my ideas among people with whom I can interact. Those people can, in turn, share my ideas and their discussion, which will amplify the potential impact I can have on the discussion about health and medical care.