Starting a blog is an intimidating venture, and frankly, I’ve been talking about it – and putting it off – for some time. I’ve had good reasons for putting it off… really…
- I’m a decent DBA, but there are so many others in the community that know so much more than I do.
- There are a ton of great blogs in the SQL community already; no one’s going to be interested in reading one more.
- I’m sure I won’t say anything that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before on other blogs.
- I don’t really have time.
- I have a young family that needs my attention. (OK, this is the one item on the list that really is a good reason.)
I’ve come to realize that nearly all of these “reasons” are nothing more than excuses. Working with PASS for the last couple of years has taught me a few things about community: anyone can participate, everyone has something to contribute, and the conversation always has room for more voices. Communicating with others, sharing your thoughts, is a big part of how we learn. Sure, you’ll pick up some things by listening, but you can learn so much more by actually doing.
Besides, who am I doing this for, anyway? Several people have pointed out in their blogs recently that a great reason, if not the best reason, to write a blog is for yourself – to organize your thoughts, to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished, to give yourself a reference of thing you’ve learned. When I made the decision that I was going to do this for myself, it became a lot easier to justify the time in my already busy schedule. I would be ecstatic if someone else learns from something I write, but that shouldn’t be my only reason for doing it, because there’s no guarantee that will happen.
Brent Ozar (b|t) and Buck Woody (b|t) gave an excellent session at the PASS Summit last fall on presenting, which is something else I want to start doing. (One thing at a time, Ed…) One exchange in particular stuck with me, and I think it applies to blogging, as well. I don’t remember their exact words, but it went something like this:
- Not everyone is going to like what you say.
- Most people who don’t like what you say aren’t going to show up. Ignore them.
- The rest of the people who don’t like what you say will show up just to criticize you. Ignore them, too.
- That just leaves the people who want to listen and learn, so shut up and do it.
Duly noted, sirs. This is me, shutting up and doing it.