Thoughts on my first week of blogging

It has now been a week since I started this blog, although I wrote my first post a few days before actually publishing it, when I was still toying with the idea of blogging.

So I decided to take a little bit of time out from writing about running and do what I think is referred to as a “meta-post”.

This is because I wanted to share my experience so far with the WordPress community, which I have to say has been overwhelmingly positive. I have been working hard to get my posts out there and have had some really good feedback already, including well-intentioned practical pointers for improving the site. (A special shout-out should go to Raj of XDrive here, who reminded me to remove my social icon widgets until I was actually using them. This made me go through and check what other parts of the template I hadn’t personalised as well.)

I have also tried to make it a rule to check out the websites of bloggers who have expressed an interest in my site. (I’m curious to see who all these other bloggers are, and what they’re about.) This means I have read things, seen stunning photographs (and even heard music) I never would have come across browsing Facebook or the BBC news website. These have often been things that are quite removed from my own experience, and, without being too corny, I feel that my world has expanded just a little bit because of them.

Some savvy marketing people might say I have been networking hard.

But I don’t see it that way.

The trouble is, I hate the word “networking”, because to me it has always had that connotation of looking over someone’s shoulder at a party instead of really listening to what they’re saying. (You know, that clichéd check to see if someone more influential has just entered the room. It’s a trope that’s used in a lot of films, and for good reason – it’s a genuine satire on something that really does go on.)

In short, the way that networking has been explained to me has always made it seem highly disingenuous.

My friend summed it up very well in a text he sent me when we were at the same graduate recruitment fayre:

The joy and wonder of meeting new people reduced to a single word: networking

So perhaps it’s time we turned the concept on its head. To pull out another piece of business terminology, let’s give “networking” a re-brand. Let’s call it “engagement”, or “human connection”, because it just sounds nicer to me, and it removes that unwelcome sub-text of “I’m only talking to you to see what you can do for me”.

To me, the best part of engagement is that the interaction itself has intrinsic value: it enriches the lives of both people involved just that little bit, regardless of whether it opens up an opportunity to promote your own project or not.

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I love running, but don't always train in the way that I should. I started my blog in between my first successful completion of a marathon (although I wrote the first post a few days prior to that) and my first ultra marathon, which was the first half of the 100k "Race to the Stones". Maybe part of my reason was to publicly call myself out on my own stated goals. I chose the name "half arsed runner" because I wanted to show that my motivation levels are far from perfect, and that it's OK to be human.

15 thoughts on “Thoughts on my first week of blogging”

  1. Nice post, I’m also new to blogging and I agree the depth of information and personal experience here is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced!

    I ask myself these questions and may expand in post of my own, but since I’m here – Do you think you’ll stick with it? Would it matter much to you if nobody commented/liked/read your material?

    I have no idea whether this for me is just a fad or whether i’ll stick with it for the next 40 years (I really hope I do)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Buddy, that was just WOW! I’m impressed with the way you described networking and how you would like to re brand it as engagement or human connection! I totally agree with you. Networking sounds too business like but engagement or human connection sounds more positive and forthcoming!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you! Depth of information is a nice way of putting it, at least with the blogs I have seen. I hope I’ll stick with it. There’s always the possibility that I will run out of things to say (no pun intended) but at the moment, I can’t seem to get the ideas down fast enough. I have a few key messages I want to get out there so yes, I do care that people are reading. Mostly I want to present running as fun and accessible, and hopefully get some people to give it a go, but I am not ruling out writing about other topics in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Today is the first week of my blog as well. Reading this post really resonated with me, especially the networking side. I feel like bloggers as a group should support each other. We are one huge community that enjoys expression and wants to share what we love with the world. I have not had any negative experiences on any social platform (yet- because I know trolls are a thing) which reminds me that the people of the world embrace each other more than anyone likes to let on. I look forward to more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. consider me you no.1 supporter in the movement of changing networking to human connection. It does sound more appealing and humane to me than networking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blogging is a fun activity just like running. I have been doing both for a while now and really enjoy the interaction with others around the world. Congrats on your first week!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you – I am often told at work that my career could go further if I made more effort to network, but I don’t know how to do that, so I talk to people normally and see where it leads me. When I have to go to a manager’s conference, I try to get out of there as quickly as possible as there’s too much of this pseudo-meaningful business speak!


  8. I have been blogging for a year and half without trying to follow anyone or getting a follow back. And then few days back I decided I want to engage with more people after realising that me personally blogging on my own helped me build a new muscle network in my brain. I have major part of it being just praticing 3 things I am grateful for for about a year when My life was hit by a tornado of 6 degree.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have heard that some scientists believe that the brain has an inherent negative bias, the idea being that the more paranoid you are, the better you survive in the wild! I’m not sure about that but I think a daily practice of gratitude can only be a good thing, and a mood-lifter in general. Writing daily and reaching out to others very likely does create new neural pathways. In terms of following, I think it’s best to just follow what you want to see more of in your reader rather than going down the follow-for-a-follow route.


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