Death by Blogging

The front page story in last Sunday’s NY Times about the recent fatal heart attacks of two popular technology bloggers, Russell Shaw and Marc Orchant, and the growing consensus among professional and wannabee bloggers that the 24/7 workstyle is hazardous to their health, helped me succinctly sum up why I’ve thus far avoided starting a blog or podcast: The last thing I need is another relentless writing deadline. As a self-employed advertising copywriter and creative director, I should have been blogging for years now, adding the mantle of thought leadership to my brand, as we say. Whenever I’m asked why I, of all people, don’t have a blog, I say that blogs are like puppies, and that I don’t want to start one unless and I’m prepared to commit to the care and feeding thereof. Then I usually add a skeptical remark such as “And who the hell is reading all these digital Dear Diary entries anyway?” A big part of my blogging reluctance is that the dash-it-off-and-publish-it approach that regular blogging requires is anathama to my professional grooming. Advertising copy involves painstaking word choice, reviews, revisions, tweaking conjunctions in headlines, focus-grouping three-word taglines, taking the comma out one day and putting it back the next. The idea of dashing-off and publishing anything just seems like a bad idea to me, like shaving in the car on the way to a job interview. But now that I’m required to blog for the business podcasting class, I shall seize the opportunity to get over my fussy self. No editors, clients or gatekeepers of any sort to reject, revise or otherwise stomp on my prose. What’s not to like? Actually, my opening sentence above seems a bit long… Next: a podcasting tale with a much happier ending than the NY Times story.

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