Here goes. Ground control to Rome Observer…
I was born on the edge of Generations “X” and “Y,” and while that means I can often experience the best of both worlds when it comes to technology and watch the march of progress with the relatively (to my Y counterparts, anyway) wise eye that comes with old(er) age, sometimes there are new ventures that are out of my comfort zone.
Such was the process of setting up a blog. When our editor, Bruce, told me that he’d like me to set up a blog to facilitate the changes that we were making at the Observer, I was excited. I had been meaning to delve into the seemingly limitless world of blogging, having been a fan of several since the word “blog” (a shortening of weblog) first hit the lexicon. In addition, I subscribe to quite a few of them. Being greeted by a full “feed reader,” like any accumulation of data and dialog for an information junkie like me, is as comforting as homemade mac and cheese.
Now that it has come time for me to actually do it, however, I’ve kept dipping my toe into the pool, thinking that the temperature will miraculously change before I dive in. Blogs are many things to many people–at best, cutting edge and uber-relevant, and at worst, mindless drivel that neither amuses nor enlightens. My fear of blogging is akin to my fear of having my writings published. With the medium of print, the trepidation and anxiety is always there, though it has lessened over the time I’ve spent writing for the Observer. But something in my “Generation X.2″ mind keeps reminding me that, while paper can be temporary, the net is forever.
What if my posts don’t attract any readers? What if, when they do read, people find the topic selection and the views that I express to be so much rubbish? What if my inspiration atrophies and shrivels? If you are a reader of my regular weekly columns, this may be a familiar refrain. I often challenge myself to crawl out of my comfort zone, and the process includes an awful lot of internal monologue.
At times like these, though, all of you who have read my columns give me solace. I’ve received a lot of wonderful feedback from many of you who enjoy the saga of my little life. It is for you that I write–for the people who tell me that my advice has helped them not take themselves so seriously; that my tips that I’ve come up with during some struggle or other are useful for you; that my sunny attitude on things brightens their day. Words like those act like an old friend when I’m struggling with a fork in the road. For that I am grateful.
We all have opportunities in our lives to move out of our comfort zones, to follow a rainbow of apprehension and uncertainty until we reach the pot of gold at the end. The pot of gold may be different for everyone, but much of the process is the same.