A guest blog post by Arthur Breur.
Arthur was featured in Ep 72 of The Portfolio Composer (formerly Composer on Fire) podcast. This is part three of a three part series. You can read part one here, and part two here.
The Personal Benefits of Blogging
As professionals in the creative arts, composers are promoting both their product (the compositions they create) and themselves. Therefore many of the professional benefits of blogging relate to connecting personally with readers. With that in mind, some blog topics will necessarily include personal ideas, feelings, and recollections. This leads me to the topic of personal benefits of blogging, which I would summarize as…
“Working Things Out”
Writing down things that trouble us is an excellent way to work through them, to “get our thoughts in order” and help us cope. Most of the time our chaotic, disorganized brains have much more going on that we can focus on and chart out consciously in one go. If you’ve ever had the experience of counting on your fingers, you have experienced the most basic level of this issue: our brains—amazing as they are—do not focus on more than one thing at a time. Writing things down (on paper or electronically) stores those things in the open for us to examine, all together, without us having to depend on our brain to remember those many things all at once.
The topic of our attention in these cases can include any number of situations that frustrate or confuse us:
- thinking through an interpersonal conflict before reaching out to the person or people involved in the conflict
- working out our own feelings, when they are unclear
- working through distressing feelings such as fear or anger or sadness
- figuring out the best way to schedule work between music itself, business activities, and “personal” activities
- whether to take a gig or not
After going through the process of writing out all of our ideas and/or feelings about a subject, we might even discover that we really don’t feel about something the way we originally thought we did. We might also write out ideas from different peoples’ perspectives to help ourselves be in someone else’s shoes, so to speak.
Public — or Private!
There may be times that we want to share personal challenges and feelings—and perhaps even our process of resolving (or trying to resolve) them—with our audience. But this is best done after we have gone through the sometimes messy process of mucking through them that writing provides.
And remember: there is no law that says that you MUST share every blog post that you write with the whole world. Blogging, at its most basic, is essentially the same process as journaling. This idea and process (essentially, keeping a diary) has existed for centuries. In regards to a diary, most people think of that process in terms of just saving private thoughts, and not sharing them with others. Just because the Internet allows us to turn the process of writing into something that we can use to easily share what we write down with others, that does not mean that we should limit the writing process to just those thoughts that we plan to share. The benefit of organizing our ideas is still there. We get to know ourselves better.
You can always start any number of posts on any number of topics, has through the ideas as you need to, and if something useful and interesting — and suitable for sharing — comes of it, by all means, share it with your audience.
Record Keeping & Posterity
I don’t want to overlook one of the other personal benefits of blogging: like journaling, it stores recollections of events, conversations, ideas, and information for later retrieval. Far too many things happen in our lives for us to remember even a tiny fraction of them. Blogging is a way of building up a treasure trove of memories, insights, trivia, and on and on. If you regularly blog about things that bring you joy, how much better is it years later when you can go back through all of those posts and experience their joy again and again. And, just from a practical standpoint, having written things down makes them available for use to remind of of things we have partly (or completely!) forgotten.
Arthur Breur is a composer & business owner in Portland, Oregon. He has been composing for more than three decades & received his degree in piano performance from Millikin University. He started his web design & development company, FireSpike LLC in 2001 in Tampa, Florida, & has helped hundreds of customers plan, build, & maintain their online presence. Prior to starting his company, his experience included working as a senior graphic designer in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Visual Communications Department.