September 1, 2011

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Transcript: Blogging (Part 1): Blogging and introverts

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Discovering Yourself Through Blogging

Hat-tip to Holly Tse for organizing this interview! After I transcribed it, I realized we managed to pack more than 9,000 words into one hour. So that I don’t overwhelm people, I’m going to split this up into 15 logical chunks to be published every Thursday. At the end of the blog series, I’ll put them all together in a text file and a PDF that you can read easily, and I’ll add insights you and other people might share along the way. =) Here’s the first chunk!

Holly Tse: All right, good evening, and welcome to the Lotus Blossoming Telesummit. My name is Holly Tse. I’m your host for tonight, and joining us this evening is Sacha Chua. Sacha Chua is a Generation Y tech evangelist, and she’s passionate about blogging, and she’s been writing her own blog since 2002. So, if you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, or you have a blog and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, or even if you’re a seasoned blogger, you’ll enjoy Sacha’s enthusiasm and you’ll probably pick up some great ideas tonight. So, welcome, Sacha, thank you for joining us.

Sacha Chua: Thank you very much! I’m looking forward to things we’ll find out in the conversation, particularly as I’ve managed to convince you to get into blogging again!

HT: Yes, it will be interesting to find out. I also want to mention that Sacha invites everyone to submit their questions live right now. If you’re on the webcast, you can type into the Q&A box, and if you’re on the phone… You have to press..

SC: Oh, just use the webcast.

HT: Yeah, probably the webcast is easier, yeah.

SC: if you are listening to the recording, though, please feel free to drop by my blog. I’m at livinganawesomelife.com. That’s livinganawesomelife.com. If you ask your questions there, I’d be happy to help.

HT: That’s Sacha. She’s so comfortable with technology. You can ask and she can talk at exactly the same time. That is awesome. So, Sacha, I wanted to ask you–because you have a really fresh perspective on blogging–how would you define what a blog is and how does that differ from what the “experts” say?

SC: Well, really, what a blog is, at its very core, is it’s just a list of entries that are ordered in chronological order. It’s usually the newest items first, and you go backwards from there. Now, many people think, Oh, blog, that’s for self-promotion, personal branding, or search engine optimization, or all of these new buzzwords that have sprung up around it. But you know, it’s actually a really, really useful tool to just practise writing and thinking about your life and figuring things out. And not only is it helpful to do that for yourself, but when you start sharing it with other people–and here’s the difference between having a journal and using a blog–when you start sharing your stories with other people, you’d be surprised at the kinds of insights that you get from other people: the lessons they’ll share, the encouragement they’ll share, and also the ways that you get to help other people too.

HT: So, can you give us examples, then, from your own life and your own blog, where blogging has led to some unexpected benefits?

SC: One of my unexpected benefits from this blog… A couple of years ago, I was in the habit of posting not just my thoughts, but also my to-do list online. It got to the point where I was feeling a little bit embarrassed because there were certain things I knew I had been procrastinating for weeks, such as going to the bookstore and buying this particular book that I’d heard about but hadn’t gotten around to reading. So I’d been procrastinating it for a good long while, and finally, someone went and bought me the book. Those are the funny things that happen when you share bits and pieces of your life online.

But I’ve also come across situations where I’m writing about something I’m figuring out, whether it’s my decision to take piano lessons or to stop taking them, or things I’d like to learn, my experiences with all these different hobbies and interests like woodworking or sewing, or all these things I’ve been trying in my life, right… and to be able to use that to reach out to somebody I would never have thought of e-mailing or finding elsewhere on the Web, and then having a friendship grow out of that. So it’s been really, really helpful, particularly as I– hard to tell from my voice, but–I feel rather introverted, especially around crowds, so this is a great way for me to get the conversation going without actually having to start conversations myself.

HT: I have been reading your blog and you keep saying you’re introverted, but… it doesn’t come across in your blog that you are.

SC: We often think that introverts have to be these people who find it really difficult to communicate, people who like spending time by themselves… Well, you know, we all find different ways of dealing with things. My favourite way of spending my evening is still staying at home and maybe doing a lot of reading or writing. I find conferences and networking events really intimidating. But on the other hand, when you talk about reaching people online, talking to them, maybe even becoming friends with people I’ve never really met or maybe I’ve only met once or twice… There’s nothing stopping people from doing that, and in fact, it actually really helps, because then you’re not always trying to make small talk about the same topics. You can actually get to really deep conversations that have built on other conversations.

Tune in next Thursday for the next part in this series! I’ll add new entries to the Discovering Yourself through Blogging page to make it easier for you to find them.