It’s no secret that I am a big fan and pleased to be called a friend of Andi Fisher, author of Misadventures with Andi. I was thrilled that she agreed to share some of her blogging expertise with me. Valuable insights for anyone in the vast and ever-expanding blogging community.
Blogging with Andi: Part 1: The Why
When I met Kasia in Paris this past October our conversation was too short. But despite the length a connection was made, one that will continue to bind us whether we meet in person again or not. This is one of the many blessings of blogging, an activity that has become an integral part of my life.
Kasia asked me to explain that further. So here we are.
I am an introvert.
But I can fake an extrovert like nobody’s business!
In reality, I think a better way to define myself is as a conflicted introvert. One who has become a virtual extrovert as a result of blogging and social media.
This is something that I have struggled with for years. By pure Myers-Briggs I am an INTJ, but at work I “fake” being an ENTJ because I am also a care-taker, project manager, organizer and that takes some “E”. Yet, outside of work, I rarely socialize, spend a lot time at home reading, writing, watching movies by myself or with my husband. I hate talking on the phone and rarely answer the telephone when it rings. Yet, when I have chosen to be “out” I am 100% committed to the evening, the lunch, the client meeting, the conference.
One of my favorite comments on this topic comes from a bloggger named Daniel Hindin (he doesn’t blog anymore). I have never net, but I have kept his thoughts close to me:
The way I see it is that writing allows an introvert to be a temporary extrovert. As a blogger, Twitterer or Facebooker, I control how, when and what I share. I can get in and out whenever and however I want. I can interact with people and share in their energy while still having no concern about awkward moments or being stuck in a conversation when I’d rather retreat into myself.
After I’m done writing a blog post or have an engaging Twitter conversation, I’m often energized. But after I’m done with a social function, I’m completely drained. The tools of the social web allow an introvert to control how they enter and exit a conversation – or whether they want to take part in the first place. These tools also allow us to take written thoughts that once might have ended up in a private journal and quickly spread them to hundreds if not thousands of people.
I’m still an introvert, and that will never change. But these tools allow writing to pose as conversation. That allows people like me who feel more comfortable with the written word, as opposed to the spoken word, to use our once private craft as a social tool.
In these moments of temporary extroversion, which are quite frequent these days, maybe not even moments, but rather long collections of engagements, I have met and connected with extraordinary people within the blogging community. And as I have mentioned before these encounters are with some of the most genuine people I have met. It’s funny because the posers, the disingenuous, the maligned are sorted out very quickly, and you are left with a still rather large collection of kind souls. I am still amazed.
But it is also more than that.
There is a section in Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agents, (somewhere in Chapter 3, ‘One of Us’) that talks about how many online relationship might be closer than offline as people tend to share more intimate details with people that are their “friends”. You don’t have to explain to your online friends (even if you meet them offline) why you are so passionate about blogging – a common question posed by non-bloggers. You don’t have to explain how writing every day, even if it is just 30 minutes completes you in away you could have never imagined. You are understood. You are accepted. You are part of some kind of strange inner circle that has the capacity to do amazing things.
I have seen bloggers gather together to raise money and give items to a victim of domestic violence. I have seen bloggers raise money for a freelancer without medical benefits. And I have seen more. Each time I feel blessed to be a part of this community, one that accepts me for who I am and understands where I am coming from.
My only regret is that I did not have my blog when I was living in France from 2003-2007. I had no outlet to discuss my daily struggle as an expat. I did have my weekly missives sent to friends and family back home, which I called Misadventures with Andi, but I did not have the community of blogging friends that I have now which would have undoubtedly kept me sane on those days where I thought I would go insane!
And so I missed out on meeting Kasia when I was living in France, but you know what? I don’t think we were ready to meet yet. I think the Universe is much smarter than we are. So we met when we met, connected as bloggers in love with the same city, a bond that strengthens every day. One of many incredible people I have bonded with as part of this amazing generous community.
Thank you Andi! May you continue to inspire and enjoy this wondrous journey of ‘virtual extrovertism’! And yes, we must indeed trust the Universe. (Why I am living in Paris, after all!) Stay tuned for Blogging with Andi: Part 2: The How…