Yesterday, I read a post over on Penelope Trunk’s blog Brazen Careerist entitled ‘Blogs without topics are a waste of time’, in which she explains that for a blog to be truly successful, as well as to really promote and develop a person’s writing skills, it must centre around a central theme. Her reasoning is understandable and makes complete sense: focusing on one topic forces a writer to be more creative in both how they approach their subject as well as in how they incorporate other themes in with their central focus. It also requires a writer to read around their chosen topic a lot, developing their knowledge of, and expertise in, that area. All of this is of course invaluable in the workforce and for those who wish to portray a particular digital persona (which is the focus of Trunk’s blog).
But what if you cannot choose one topic to blog about? What if you are unsure of the direction in which to pursue a career, or do not know which field to work in? What if you choose to blog as a hobby and not as a career-networking device? Moreover, what about all the successful blogs out there that do not seem to have any obvious central theme, other than the authors’ thoughts and experiences?
I have only just graduated this year and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what I want to do concerning a career. Seriously, I’m at a total loss as to what field I would like to pursue (as this post confirms) and I do not want to limit myself to one central theme that I will then have to change and/or will restrict me at a later date.
Besides, what topic should I choose? My blog is called ‘Random Thoughts’ for a reason: my thoughts are random and I like the freedom to write about anything that concerns me at a particular time, without having to tie it in to a central theme, regardless of how much it would develop my writing skills. Therefore, if I were to pick a topic it would have to be sufficiently broad for me to sound-off on all of the issues I may wish to write about. I have considered focusing on the things that are important to me, such as my religion, health and fitness, cooking and crafting, career and education, travel, life in Algeria, etc, etc… but I feel that each of these topics would be far too restrictive. So I have considered broader, less concrete themes – such as self-motivation and will power – but in all honesty, I barely blog as it is, and such themes (which I could tie-in to pretty much everything) would also require some research. As well as the fact that I found this blog which covers the whole motivation issue better than I could.
Then again, who am I to argue? I have had this blog for over a year, and I am probably the most irregular blogger in all of blog-land. Almost all of the rest of her advice with regards blogging (write every single day for a few months before promoting your blog, using your real name, etc) is extremely helpful, and let’s face it: she knows what she’s doing, after all she does have over 40,000 subscribers.
So what is this blog to me? It is a chance for me to improve and practice my writing skills by writing on a regular basis. What I write about will vary and whether or not it is successful is not really the point. Besides surely success in blog-land is not unlike success in the real world – different people define it differently. Would it bother me if nobody ever read my blog? No, I really don’t think it would. This is a hobby and a tool in promoting my personal development, not a PR tool.
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