As I ask people about blogging, many people have expressed feeling overwhelmed and/or nervous about starting. What is a blog? What should I blog about? How do I go about setting up a blog? Well, I have come across some interesting thoughts that might help you understand why people are feeling apprehensive about starting and perhaps some tips for making everything seem manageable.
Has anyone read the book “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz? The book states that a basic belief that society has today is that more choice yields more freedom, which in turn yields a greater standard of living. He goes on to say that this basic belief has created an overwhelming amount of choice that is available to us. Although the abundance of choice is believed to lead to greater happiness, it has become debilitating. It has become debilitating to the point that instead of taking advantage of the options/freedom available, people often become paralyzed and fail to take action.
His solution: Schwartz goes on to talk about how “eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives.” Filters are what Schwartz gets to talking about as a great solution to the in-action created by the potentially overwhelming abundance of opportunity.
Five Tips from Schwartz with my take on how it relates to new bloggers:
1. Regret Less – embrace the topics that you choose and don’t worry about what else you could have chosen to say that week. We are all here to learn.
2. Anticipate Adaptation – You will be able to improve your technology skills as you go so don’t think that a mistake early will define you
3. Control Expectations – Don’t expect to be the best blogger the first time you go out there. Setting your initial goals too high will lead to dissatisfaction. Learning to say “it’s good enough” will “simplify decision making and increase satisfaction”… Satisfaction will allow you to want to try again in the future.
4. Curtail Social Comparison – “We evaluate the quality of our experiences by comparing ourselves to others.” Don’t do it! We are all at different levels. Embrace that as a way to learn from others.
5. Learn to Love Constraints – “Freedom of choice eventually becomes a tyranny of choice.” Don’t let it! Take all that you learn from your online network piece by piece. You do not need to become a master at blogging, twitter, my space, facebook, web design, delicious, diigo, etc all in one week. Start with one.
For those of you interested in this topic, check out his book or this 20 minute speech Schwartz gives on the topic. Perhaps he will give you some ideas as to how to manage your attempt at learning new tech tricks that will facilitate your learning.