I often find myself uncomfortable as I contemplate possible blog entries. As I have said before the personal blog is a very peculiar concept (see “Is This Ridiculous?”). That said, over the past two months I have learned to enjoy the cathartic qualities of the personal blog cocktail: two parts communication, one part exhibitionism, and one part self reflection. But this amalgamation of purpose is exactly what makes me nervous.

Certainly, I cannot write as freely in a blog as I would in my own journal. The opinions of my friends and family hover over me as I consider what to discuss next. Is this offensive? Will he/she/I be embarrassed by this? How will this look when its dug up thirty years down the line, as I embark on my first political campaign?

It is these fears that hold a blog, or any other matter of expression, back from its true potential. Brave writers who indulge in the uncomfortable generally write the most compelling stories. This is true of almost any endeavor – those who are prepared to take the greatest risks, stand to reap the greatest rewards…or fail, or be humiliated, or (insert other worst-case scenario here). Yet, even in failure and humiliation, great risk takers succeed. Thomas Watson, founder of IMB offered this advice:

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure…”

The thought here being that failure teaches lessons that exponentially increase your chance of success. Thus in taking a risk you have already succeeded. This is sage advice, but extremely difficult to apply to one’s blog, much less one’s life. I’m terrified of writing my feelings for fear of ostracism. I’m terrified of approaching a girl for fear or rejection. I’m terrified of investing my time, money and hope in a single business idea for fear of failure. And yet, my only hope of writing a good blog, meeting a beautiful girl (note I’m censoring myself here), and starting a successful business lies in taking on the risk of failure.

  1. Tom
    June 26, 2008

    another good post. Having something I write come back to bite me 20 years down the line is something which genuinely worries me too. That is why i try to make my blogs faceless. I like to think that my personality comes through, but my identity is unknown…

    As my political future becomes more of a reality, I am concerned that i might put my foot in it. hopefully there will be no trace of me on my blog…


    Tony Blair

    (only joking…)

  2. June 30, 2008

    Tom, you and I think the same way. And for my sake, I fear you may have chosen the right approach. I can only hope that politics will be more honest when it comes time for us to serve.


  3. July 02, 2008

    I recently started typing my journal entries just in case I lost them. I’m appalled at how graphic and disturbed I was. There is now way I want my kids to see that crap. So what did I do–I edited the entries. I’m such a pussy.

    The only other option is to blog anonymously–but then you start your readership at 0. Even an anonymous blogger wants some sort of love–isn’t that partially why we blog?

  4. July 07, 2008

    I know what you mean. I wrote 13 of the most entertaining and heartfelt postings ever, and then panicked and deleted them all and shut my blog down, because I realized that if my wife ever read them, that would be the end. But I’m back up and just modified it a little. I was way too personal about my wife and kids before and now I just piss and moan about the rest of the world. I’m enjoying your blog, keep it up.

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