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I Think I’ve Said All I Have To Say

March 23rd, 2009

I’m at a crossroads with my blogging.  It could be that I’m mentally exhausted from three weekend-to-weekend business trips over a four-week period.  Or it could be I’m feeling stressed because of some changes to the business model at JibberJobber (just natural evolution from a startup that gets no traction to a website that is having success, and the issues associated with the success). It could be because I’m putting some mental energy into writing for Career Resumes.

Sometimes I think about all the stuff I’ve written about in the last almost-three-years and wonder “what else is there to write about?”

Nothing, really.

This stuff isn’t rocket science, and I don’t think that much of what I’ve written is outdated.

I’ll keep blogging, partially because it’s therapeutic for me, and partially because I need to or else JibberJobber will have just a stale corporate face.  There are other reasons… but suffice it to say that I’ll keep blogging.

I wonder, though, what I’ll blog about.

What do you think?  I’ve been called a prolific writer because I write SO much.  I’ve been recognized as a thought-leader in a few spaces because of what I write about.  I’ve connected with people at a level I would never be able to connect with if it weren’t for this blog. But in the last few weeks I haven’t written as much… with good reasons.

If you have ever taken on a long-term project like this before, what advice to you have for me?

Join me Wednesday for my second LinkedIn and Facebook for Executive Job Seekers presentation with Experts Connection, sponsored by Netshare and Career Resumes.

22 Comments »

22 responses to “I Think I’ve Said All I Have To Say”

  1. Mitchell Friedman says:

    Keep writing with the aim of not necessarily making everything available for public consumption — or, alternately, consider alternative audiences for your work. I automatically write for multiple audiences (school, as I’m a student; students, in conjunction with my work; and others) and only for the latter two do I blog. There are TONS of non-blog writing venues, and given your experience I have little doubt they’d benefit from your contributions. I’ll also ask the question (since I ask myself the question) — is there anything about which you’re NOT writing because your work has a public forum? Perhaps that will trigger some thoughts about what you might want to explore but not share publicly, which in turn can trigger your creativitiy. I know this approach works for me, as I have a vigorous personal writing practice that I find therapeutic — but not fit for public consumption!

  2. Jason, you ought to reprieve some of your older articles. Most people won’t look through your archive, and there’s a lot that should be said again (and again…). As you do that, I’m sure you’ll want to update some of them, just as you did for V2 of your book.

  3. Jack Vinson says:

    Keep it simple: Blog when you have the time and energy and interest to do so. Don’t blog when you don’t.

  4. There’s a few things I can think of, in any combination, if you want to keep blogging (and I hope you do).

    (1) Lighten your burden: Reduce your schedule to a target of, say, 2 or 3 posts a week instead on every weekday.

    (2) Expand the range: post on new topics you’re interested in, as well as on your previous topics. What is your next project? What do you want to tackle next, even if it’s unrelated to the last few years’ work?

    (3) Get help: invite guest bloggers on a regular or more frequent basis. They could be some of your partners, or maybe the people who help you work on development of JibberJobber — I think getting to know some nuts-and-bolts of how JJ was conceived and implemented, and where it is headed would be interesting.

    (4) Shorter posts that invite feedback: Post short little “idea” or “question” posts like Chris Brogan often does. People love to talk about how their experience squares with an article; throw surveys at your readers.

    (5) Take a break: Shelf the blogs for a little while and come back later when you feel inspired.

  5. Jason, there’s never an end to what someone can say about a single subject. After all, how many versions are there of the story plot “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again.”?

    The sonnet is one of the most restrictive ways of writing in the English language. A sonnet must not only have 14 lines in iambic pentameter, it also needs a specific a-b-a-b/c-d-c-d/e-f-e-f/g-g rhyme scheme and a conflict of sorts in the opening stanzas and a resolution in the closing ones. You’d think that there were very, very few ways to make that work… but you’d be wrong. I’ve been able to come up with at least 4 of them despite not being much of a poetry person. Shakespeare, on the other hand, wrote 154 totally unique (and beautiful) sonnets.

    If the Bard could bang out over a hundred of those mindbogglingly difficult poems, I KNOW you can come up with more things to write about. :-)

    You’re probably just too tired and stressed. There are actually studies that show that creativity is lessoned when people are under pressure. Probably the same thing is happening for you.

    My advice: take a break, recharge and come back when you get some new ideas. To keep your blog going, get some guest writers (they might help expand your horizons too). And, ask your readers for ideas about what you should write about. Nothing like hearing from someone else to get new thoughts moving.

    Feel better!

  6. Dan Franco says:

    Jason,

    First of all, thank you so much for all your hard work !! I dont know how you do it !!

    With the zillions of Telecom people like me out of work, how about thinking of ways we can get hired again, with the challenges the country, and the world face going forward..

    I am for example, not having any luck at all, and have now expanded my search to about anywhere in the nation, except for maybe the extreme east..

    For an example of how hard it is getting, I applied for a position with Lockheed Martin yesterday and they replied back telling me they receive over 1 million resume’s annually, and to basically not hold my breath waiting for them to read mine.. Yikes !!!

  7. Gayle Howard says:

    I think what Walter says above is valid but to take it one step further. I’d be looking at what you said three years ago and providing a commentary on how things have changed. I’m sure that in the past three years with the explosion of social media, and the mainstreaming of networking you’ll be able to do some good before/after comparisons.

  8. Sorry you’re having a tough time with the blogging Jason – that happened to me last year.

    I think the guest post idea is great – it will take the pressure off you and allow you to recharge.

    I also think you might want to revisit your overall business strategy (this is what helped me) and decide where all this stuff fits in – create an overall plan for your blogs so that you know where you want to go with them.

    Something that also helps me is to focus on reading blogs in a totally unrelated field – choose social media, or The Amazing Race, or widgets. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. You will get new inspiration from totally unrelated fields.

    Finally, the other thing that helped me is to study the people who have successful blogs and look at how their posts are constructed. Often they’re not saying anything new – just saying it again in a new way.

  9. billiesucher says:

    Jason, I think a break would be good medicine…you could take a Spring or Summer Sabbatical, for instance…and post only once a week or something, if that. And people will still be your true fans and followers. As it goes with anything, sometimes you just need to slow down, take a step back, or run the risk of burn out. Your words are a gift to many…and touch the lives of many. I’d say take as good of care as yourself as you always do of others. Thank you for all that you do for the career world, Jason.

    Always a fan, whether you blog or you don’t.
    Billie Sucher

  10. Liz Handlin says:

    Never quit writing jason. Even if you do repeat some stuff who will remember except you? Unless you post the same info within a week – then i am sure we will notice.

    You are the one who has given me such great advice about blogging more rather than less. Take a break for awhile if you need to but what I (and I think many others) like about your blog is just hearing your virtual voice…that is what a blog is. I like knowing what you are up to and what issues you are thinking about on any given day. I love knowing that I can check in on your blog any time and have some general idea of how things are going and what is important to you right now. Maybe its selfish of me to want you to keep blogging but you asked so I am telling you what I think.

    That’s my 2 cents worth.

  11. Dan Erwin says:

    I have three very long projects –two and a half years each at two different firms. Plus blogging and regular content development. I maintain sanity with a side of my life devoted to my interests in the arts. Music, for example, has reasons very different than anything else I do. I can walk out of a concert, or put on some of my very inspiring stuff, and come away refreshed and stress free–able to get on with it. I can segment my life easily, but some don’t work that way and even find it stressful. But for what it’s worth. . . .I would always find a venue to keep writing.

  12. First, take a little break, it always helps.

    Reviewing past articles and events is always good.

    Historical review of past events themselves is useful.

    Guest bloggers, of course.

    Try adding some interviews to see if those help.

  13. I second the guest bloggers suggestion, that is what I have done during slow times. Hey there is always advertorials too. But yeah, your stuff is a great read…so take some downtime if ya need it.

  14. Susan Joyce says:

    As you know, I love your blogs, Jason, particularly this one. And I know that you have really helped people along the way as well as establishing a successful business and your personal brand at the same time.

    You have accomplished a LOT in a few (3 or 4?) short years!

    I’ve been slogging along with Job-Hunt since 1998, and, periodically, it does feel like a weight hanging around my neck. So, slack off a bit for a while and recharge my batteries. I do the minimum, but I don’t do much more than the weekly updates for a while, maybe a month or two. It shows, to me (at least), but probably not to the greater world.

    So maybe for a while, you drop off to 2 or 3 posts a week, following the great suggestions above. The sky won’t fall in. You’ve been charging along at a burn-out rate since I’ve known you – coming up on 2 or 3 years.

    You and your wife are about to have another baby – time for a break! Enjoy your family and the life you’ve built for a while. It will still be there when you’re ready to go full time again.

    I suspect “slacking off” for you will be pretty close to the definition of “full time” for the rest of the world.

    Hugs & cheers!
    Susan

  15. A great way for bloggers to get relief from some of the pressure of having to write frequently is to accept posts from guest authors. We launched a free career-related content exchange service a couple of years ago to help those of us in the recruiting blogosphere. Check out the Recruiting Blogswap at http://www.RecruitingBlogswap.com . Sign up as a publisher to receive free articles or an author to submit articles that you may want to write but which aren’t appropriate for your blog. Publishers can accept or reject any article so you’ll never feel pressured to run articles on your site which aren’t a good fit for your users. And did I mention there’s no charge?

  16. I’ve always been amazed at how you can post every day. So if necessary reduce your burden and blog 2 or 3 times a week. If you have a very busy week repost from the archive.

    I think you have a great deal of value to offer to your network. Between your speaking engagements and networking you are on the front lines. Sure this stuff isn’t rocket science but there is always some thing new and I’m sure you’ll always be one of the first people that hears about the new stuff. Thus sharing what you’ve learn with your community is of great value to us.

    THANKS!

  17. Hi Jason,

    I think you are just burned out on writing. It happens. What I do when I get to that place of absolutely NOTHING in my brain but blank space is– I stop. I walk away from the computer, get up, get water/coffee/both plus cookie and just forget about it. Sometimes it is a day or two, sometimes longer but eventually I feel like my brain sort of re-energizes itself.
    This may sound silly, but I know even when writing resumes, if my brain is slowing down I’ll get up and start preparing dinner (if it’s in the afternoon). There is something about a wonderful smelling pot of something on the stove that I play around with adding spices or whatever ingredients, that moves my brain into gear. It’s usually there that the idea of a new article will pop in my head, or the perfect sentence for a client’s resume.

    You’ve got a lot on your plate and I think it’s natural for our brains to say, “OK. Enough.” So, go easy on yourself and take a few days off.

    Just my .02 :)

    Erin Kennedy

  18. Paloma says:

    Jason
    You are such an amazing person and we are all fortunate to be able to spark ideas and learn lessons from the information you so freely impart.

    Some suggestions to make it easier and yet still beneficial would be:

    Share something more about the people you have met and your incredible journey.

    Share pointers and tips about using Jibber Jobber, perhaps once a week or at the bottom of every blog (on par with your one thing blog).

    Share some websites that you find interesting. (Maybe on education or just plan fun)

    Let others help out. You have an incredible inner circle!

    Do a survey asking what subject your readers need to know more about and then blog intensively about that.

    Tell us about how to use the gadgets and widgets, bells and whistles of programs and social networks that you think everyone already knows about (you’d be surprized about how many do not).

    Yes, everyone above has made good and thoughtful comments and above all if you need a real break – put out a sign – gone fishing (for sanity,time with family- and/or self, and more ideas for this blog).

    Paloma

  19. E. R. Lionsrock says:

    Crossroads is such an important word. Much like long distance running or, perhaps, wisdom, hitting a crossroad is a single from within your mind to take a more conscious step? Perhaps the crossroad is not left, right, or straight ahead – perhaps it is taking a look at your intention and perspective?

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
    – Dr. Seuss

  20. GeekMBA360 says:

    Jason,

    I suggest you start writing more about your experience of building your company — like many start-ups, there will be a lot of up-and-downs during this process. I’m not sure how much you can share, but all of your readers are rooting for your success. Why not make it somewhat an “open-book” entrepreneurial journey? It’d be quite interesting.

    Also, I think you could try different form of writing — e.g. twitter-type of posts, long essay forms, etc. mix them up. That might add a little bit more juice to your writing process.

    You could also expand your topics beyond career. I think you’ve a loyal reader base who’re open to hear other topics as well. :-)

  21. You know, Senfeild made millions (maybe billions now) with his show about “nothing”…. that’s not so bad now is it?

    Even when you write the seemingly littlest stuff, it’s always still VERY cool and inspiring.

    :-)

  22. Susan Walls says:

    I agree with Walter F. – revive / repeat some of you older blog posts. The social media sites are changing so quickly, and more are being added all the time, your thoughts on the changes and additions would be a wonderful addition to your material.

    “Stories” about the people you meet on your journeys and how you are able to help them out – make it personal but protect the innocent – would really be helpful to all.

    Thanks for all you do!