Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
I have a confession to make. Sometimes, Thursday rolls around and it's time to post something on this blog and I just don't have anything to say.
No length of time spent sitting and thinking wields some great inspiration for the week. Writing posts is easy when I'm passionate about the topic, but when I'm not, not only does it take a lot more time, I'm also typically least happy with those posts. They just don't flow well and no amount of beating on my keyboard results in a post that I feel adds value to your week.
I'm guessing that if you blog regularly, this has happened to you at one time or another as well. You might call it writer's block or a lack of inspiration, but in any case, if you're like me, you sit there, staring at your screen feeling guilty that you don't have some great idea to develop a post around.
This week is just such an occasion. The posts that I write tend to come out of the things that I see and deal with in my work and personal life and this week, nothing's struck me as blog-worthy.
Until just now.
You see, the thought just occurred to me that perhaps, it's ok to not have anything to say sometimes. In fact, it's probably unrealistic to expect that you always have some really valuable tidbit of information that's screaming to get out of your head and onto your reader's screens. But in our break-neck paced world, where unrealistic expectations of production, ideas and availability are the norm, the thought that simply doesn't occur to us is that perhaps it's ok to be quiet. To not have anything to say. To just listen instead of talking.
For me, it's yet another great lesson in what real, human social engagement should be like. If I'm in a meeting and I have nothing to say on a point, I don't just blabber on about something banal for the sake of being heard, I keep quiet and I contribute when I have something of value to offer.
So why would the rules be any different online?
Obviously, I'm not going to skip out on posting week-after-week, but if genuine inspiration isn't there, then why force garbage out? We live in a world where 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. 72!
We don't need more data. We need more curation - and there's no reason that the curation can't start with ourselves.
Besides, in choosing to be quiet, we might just listen long enough to learn something useful for tomorrow's post, or in my case, today's post.