I met a young blogger recently who says that she’s addicted to her feeds. She jumps on her news feeds the moment she crawls out of bed, sometimes before she even hits the bathroom. She wants to know what is going on so she can blog about it before everyone else wakes up.
She’s not a journalist. If anything, she admits that she’s a news junkie and regurgitist. She knows she’s addicted to her feeds.
I asked her if she thought much about what she posted on her blog.
She admitted that she didn’t have time to think. She only had an hour to read the feeds, write a post, take a shower, and head to work. Even during her work day, she’d secretly sneak peeks at the feeds and quickly blockquotes, links, and pastes into her blog if something of interest is found. Once she gets home, it’s back to the feeds, eating over her computer, looking for new bits of news to add to her blog.
She is a reactive blogger, reacting to the news and posting about it. Does she resemble you?
Another friend of mine calls herself a proactive blogger, one upon whom the responsibility of her post content on the world around her weighs heavily on her spirit. She thinks about what she wants to blog about for a long time, considering different perspectives and stances before putting it down in words on her blog.
She is annoyed at how long it takes for her to publish a blog post, feeling out-paced by others who publish more frequently, but she knows that if it isn’t “right” for her, if it doesn’t add to the conversation, blogging doesn’t work for her. She wants her writing to have meaning.
Does she resemble your blogging style?
Reactive or Proactive Blogger?
A proactive blogger is one who understands that they control the content on their blog, the content doesn’t control them. They read the same feeds, consider them carefully, and come up with their own perspective on the same sources rather. A proactive blogger takes time, responding with contemplation.
A reactive blogger blogs out of instinct, copying and pasting bits and pieces of the news and maybe adding a gut reaction and first impression to their blog post.
Is one better than the other?
There is a need for both. The issue is which one you want to be as a blogger – and which one you should be.
The Reactive Blogger
There is adrenaline rush in being a reactive blogger. You race to the news, you race to be first, there is glory in being one of the first out of the gate. It’s life in the journalism trenches, so to speak.
But is it worthwhile?
Does it add to the conversation about the news? Does it add to the news itself? Do you really say what you think, or just blog the first thoughts out of your head?
Do you often go back and look at what you’ve written and found that your first thoughts, your first impressions on the issue were the “right” ones for you? Are you really satisfied with what you blogged?
The Proactive Blogger
The proactive blogger is in control. She contemplates the issues, looks at what others have to say on the issue, and then comes up with the “right” thing to say. It’s not as exciting, but for a thinker, it’s a much more satisfying process.
Yet, is it the kind of blogger you wish to be?
A proactive blogger adds to the conversation, but it takes time to conjetate the information, time that could be spent more productively. Proactive bloggers understand that what they write in their blogs impacts others and could impact future perceptions and understandings of the issue at hand.
Time spent debating the issue internally can also create time and space for self-doubt, reconsideration, and over-thinking the issue.
Some bloggers envy the ability of reactive bloggers to trust their first instincts on an issue, but they still need the time to figure it all out so they say what they really want to say, no second chances.
Which One Are You?
If you are a reactive or proactive blogger and it is working for you, great. I’d love to know how it benefits you.
If being a reactive blogger is wearing you down, stop it.
If you are a proactive blogger, and that’s not working for you either, consider trusting your instincts more and see where that path leads you.
Which one are you?