If you don’t use it you lose it. Writing isn’t, in my opinion, like riding a bike. And while I will admit I haven’t necessarily made the best use of my idle time over the years I want to change that. Productivity is important and as a way to stay productive I am starting this blog.
The internet provides us with a constant flow of information. News that would take weeks to disseminate in the past now takes seconds. With a few keystrokes you have the ability to find out everything about anything. It is a gift that our younger and future generations will never know to appreciate.
If asked, I don’t think my close friends would say I lack confidence. For 2 years I was an instructor in the Army. I taught groups, sometimes as large as 125 people, how to use equipment and standard operating procedures. While public speaking isn’t a fear of mine I easily get uncomfortable with someone reading my words. It partly stems from the fact that I know I am not a subject matter expert when it comes to writing. There are a lot of grammatical rules that I don’t know or don’t remember. This going back to the “If you don’t use it you lose it” in my opening line. Blogging is a way to get back into practice using a skill I’ve not used in a long time.
I believe in organic knowledge. While some are able to read a book about building a house and then build a mansion, that isn’t me. I need to make mistakes and figure things out on my own. Mistakes, when treated as feedback and not failure, are the most valuable learning tool. Consequently, if you are unable to recognize your mistakes they will turn into failures. Learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do.
Admittedly, ordering my thoughts and words is something I am not the best at. While for some this is an easy task, it is something I find difficult at times. Specifically on paper. This is especially a factor when trying to present sound rhetoric on the internet. Presenting content in an orderly meaningful way adds validity to your blog, forum, or social media post .
Critical thinking is important and something I feel is becoming a lost art. It is easier to regurgitate someone else’s argument on an issue than it is to form your own. We listen to media outlets and people we respect without questioning if we actually believe what they are saying or if it is even accurate. Political views are often inherited without much thought or questioning in the same way we usually like our father’s favorite sports team. Compounded by social media, such as Facebook, we mindlessly share the thoughts of others without ever forming our own.
I thoroughly enjoy technology. Podcasts and blogs, to me, are better than the news. Typically they lack the corporate backing therefore you get honest information. Although not a requirement, the ability to take in and analyze multiple opinions on a single issue allows you to better form your own.
Prior to my deployment to Iraq I read blogs from deployed service members to get a feel for what to expect. This is where the honesty comes in. Without the risk of being misquoted and information being excluded you have the ability to post most anything you want. Anytime there is a newsworthy event the amount of stories and perspectives are only bound by the number of witnesses. The information available through the major news organizations is not the limit.
In closing, I believe everyone has a message but not everyone is willing to share it. We can all add value somewhere and are experts at something. Great pride should be taken in that. Our lack of confidence, inability to present sound rhetoric, and fear of being honest are nothing more than excuses.