What’s stopping you?


I mentioned earlier this week that I’m working on a new presentation for SQLSaturday #119 next month.  The talk revolves around common issues that new bloggers face, including reasons for not blogging.  So far, I’ve compiled several common roadblocks, but I’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve thought about blogging but haven’t started, what’s stopping you?  Is it a lack of time?  Not knowing what to write about?  Maybe you don’t feel you’re a good enough writer?  Or is it something else entirely?  Let me hear it, folks!

What’s stopping you?

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11 thoughts on “What’s stopping you?

  • eccentricDBA

    I ran into a new problem resently. I’m starting to have some content. However, my issue is a lack of understanding WordPress and running into issues trying to format the pages correctly.

    I’m attempting to use the and tags and they are not formating they way I want them to.

  • Mat

    I had been planning on blogging since last June probably, I finally got domain and wordpress hosting last night!!

    I mainly worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep a lot of content going, also there’s always the worry no one is going to read it :)

  • Stephen

    Follow up, since this is bugging me so: lack of time, no doubt.

    I have a full time job, a house, a yard, a girlfriend, neighbors, friends, family, and need to exercise and sleep. Like to cook, too, but that is falling by the wayside, since it takes time to put together and clean up. Pushed the exercise to mornings before work, when I can make it, which isn’t enough. Dropped a hobby (birding), takes too much time to get out there. Brain does not produce blog posts very well after 9pm, typically get home about 6-7pm, after leaving the house at 6-7am. That leaves weekends, but there’s the lawn to be cut, that ceiling fan to put in, the evening out to dinner and a movie, laundry to be done, and so on.

    This is probably no different from many people out there — how do they make the time?

    The house has been a big factor in my lack of time, but it has been a personal goal of mine for many years to finally own. Does this mean I have to give up my professional goals? And since this personal branding thing is becoming so required in the job search, do I even have a choice if I want to be competitive in the job market? Must make time to blog, it seems. Which, btw, I would enjoy doing, and have several blog posts started. Just not enough time in the day. Right?

    • Colleen M. Morrow Post author

      eccentricDBA – Are you referring to adding sourcecode to your posts? I use the sourcecode tags described here. The thing to remember when using them, though, is you need to be in html editor mode, not the visual mode, for it to work properly.

      Mat – Awesome! Can’t wait to read your stuff. As far as coming up with content, think about stuff you learn, problems you deal with, or mistakes you make over the course of a normal day. There’s blog fodder everywhere.

      Stephen – I hear you. And if you replace birding with reading or woodworking, it sounds an awful lot like my life. Sometimes it boils down to putting the big rocks first (you just need to decide what the big rocks are). Try keeping track of your time for a week, I’ll bet you find all sorts of time that might be better managed. Maybe you exercise (or write!) at lunchtime. Maybe you combine your love of cooking with date night. Or maybe outsource the lawn care to someone else. (I did that, and I’m telling you it’s worth every penny when I come home to a freshly mown lawn every Friday.) If you put the little rocks in first, you’ll never fit the big rocks in.

  • Stephen

    Yeah, good advice, I’m already applying it (do all those things you mention, except the lawn, that’s pleasurable downtime for me), and am still frustrated. It’s not easy to live a balanced, ambitious, and full life, that’s always been normal, I guess.

    However, it seems like the new normal is not making things any easier. My biggest gripe with this personal branding thing is that the business community is forcing it to become a big rock you have to fit in. Don’t blog/present/tweet/whatever, and you’re not going to be looked upon favorably in the job market — that’s the trend I see. Ironically, I’ve given presentations at almost every other job I’ve had — they take much extra time and effort — and now that I have my house and want to spend time on it, putting extra time into blogging and presenting is…expected/necessary? I don’t think this personal branding trend is helping people achieve the work/life balance much at all.

    And while I rail against it, I’m all for the sharing of knowledge and learning from others that blogging/presenting engenders. It is a big rock I want to fit in. But I don’t want it to be required. And, in particular, I’m concerned for those who aren’t able to fit that in. I see no reason that a quality DBA with more family responsibilities than me should lose out in the job market because I have more time to be visible. I realize that life is survival of the fittest, but it seems like fittest is coming to mean always on your profession. There is life and there is work, and the two should not be confused. This from a guy who did that for a long time.

    Thanks for hearing my rant, I feel better already! :-)

  • Stephen

    On a more practical note, I’m interested in knowing how people syndicate their blogs. I saw your post on the SQL Server Central blog feed I have on my iGoogle page, and I notice the post there links to your own space. Is this a manual process? Since the composition tool in SSC’s blog control panel is lame, I’m hoping I can create on my blog on my site and automatically have it appear in SSC. I think this is possible, and am wondering how it is done. Any suggestions?

    • Colleen M. Morrow Post author

      It was actually very easy. When I did it, I simply sent them an email and asked if they would syndicate my blog. If I recall correctly, they needed to know my SSC login email, the RSS feed for my blog, and an avatar to associate with it. I gave then my main RSS feed, so everything I post gets posted on SSC, too. Some bloggers use a separate feed for syndicated posts.

  • Craig

    I have the “not knowing what to write about” coupled with “will what I write add value to the community?”

    I started a blog a couple times, but after making a few posts, I just didn’t get back to them.

    I was thinking of attending your session at SQLSaturday #119. After checking out your blog, I definately will attend it. It is really good!