I ran into Meagan Fisher’s Ideas of March post on twitter today. I recognize much of what she’s saying, and likewise, I’m sharing some of my own thoughts on blogging in support of the #ideasofmarch blogging revival.
The personal blog
Ever since I started designing I’ve been reading blogs – much of what I’ve learned along the way I learned through blogs. Early on, most of that mostly involved how-to type of articles, for example on how to do specific things in Photoshop. Later on I started reading more on design theory, business ethics and so on. I still do today (I occasionally read some how-to articles still too, by the way: Trent Walton’s notes, anyone?).
In short: I like the idea of sharing ideas within our community.To quote myself from an article I blogged late 2010:
“I see this community of designers, developers, writers and other kinds of web- and design-minded folks as a community of mostly smart, creative, friendly and helpful people. I would go as far as stating that even with all the things that could be better, our community is exemplary in many ways; the unselfishly sharing of knowledge, the spirit of collaboration and helping each other out, the still existing D.I.Y. mentality when it comes to organizing conferences, publishing books, magazines and so on, the frequency and ways in which we communicate with each other daily regardless of where we are in the world, and I could go on for a while.”
The personal blog to me is one of the purest forms of sharing knowledge and ideas with other people in our community. It’s why I’ve always loved and still love personal blogs the most. In fact, my RSS reader consists mostly of personal blogs, there’s not too many other things in there. Reading other designers and developers ideas and thoughts on their personal sites creates a feeling of connectedness unlike any other form of online communication I’ve experienced to day. For example, Meagan talked about how she felt she’d been living without direction the past year and about trying to figure out the things she beliefs in in terms of her profession as designer and finding a voice of her own. This resonates with me: I feel very much the same about finding my own voice, and if anything, it feels good to know I am not the only one who has these questions.
“I couldn’t design shit”
Stating all of the above, I guess the reasons I try and blog myself are obvious: I want to share my ideas too in hopes that others might find something useful in my writings – the way I do in reading the blogs of so many of you. But it’s hard, blogging is not easy and I struggle with it, something I’ve written about some time ago in an article entitled “I couldn’t design shit”. To quote myself one last time:
“A perfectionist at heart, I find it hard to acknowledge that it’s ok to do something not so well. I just don’t like doing things not so well, and certainly not sharing the disfigured fruits of my labor with the world. I do however want to be able to write and share my thoughts online, for the very same reason I once started designing. So I guess I’ll have to just do it, publishing stuff I wish I hadn’t, hoping at some point I will re-read my articles, realizing I’m actually doing ok.”
It’s an ongoing struggle to keep blogging. I’ve just picked it up again last month after almost 8 months of not publishing anything, but it’s important to me and intend to keep pushing at, because, as Meagan stated:
“Blogging will make us better designers, better community members, and more fulfilled people. That’s why today I’m committing to blogging more. You should too.”