The Posts that You Don't Write

Long form writing, excuses, and not getting personal

I had a great discussion yesterday where the phrase “the post I didn’t write” came up. This is a fantastic phrase, and led me down the route of examining why and when I don’t publish posts, and thinking about why others – especially in the context of working for an organization – don’t publish posts. In one instance, I still haven’t finished writing my post discussing the Northern Voice web literacy session. The “I haven’t had the time” excuse comes up all the time, but the things we make time for and the things we don’t say something. I think my main worry is that I won’t do the topic justice.

I know I’ve been struggling a bit with this new blog. I have only a few posts here, they’re all quite long, and I post every 3 - 4 weeks. I have some other “posts I haven’t written” that haven’t made it here, for a number of reasons.

One reason is this pressure that the next post is “on message”. That it’s long, has links, and has some level of research, editing, and so on behind it. Should I be less emotional here? Should I write on my personal blog? or maybe my link blog if it’s not long enough (or not good enough)?

I am not a very personal writer. I have lots of technology opinions, thoughts about the evolution of tech & industries. I post a bit about cooking & recipes on my personal blog, but writing about feelings or doing introspection in public is not something that I feel comfortable doing, and do so very rarely.

When you’re attached to an organization, not posting has many other overtones. Is this story I’m telling mine to tell? Will other people in the organization agree or disagree with my version? Does telling this story expose too much? (again, that I’m not empowered or allowed to be telling).

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt lead to us closing up, to be less transparent, to protect ourselves by not exposing our thoughts. But not posting just means that you’re not opening yourself to help and feedback as well.

What posts have you not written, or are you struggling to write?