To Blog, or not to Blog, that is the question…

“To blog, or not to blog, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to blog
The slings and arrows of an outrageous log,
Or to take a pen and strive to document
And by not opposing end them.
To create a lasting monument…”
(A whimsical take by Ernie)

Documentation is so very important. Whether it is preserving pictures you have taken, sounds you have heard, music that has meaning, important legal information, or just a way to journal and remember your everyday activities. Documenting your life activities not only helps you recall the things that are important in detail, but it is a valuable way to relive certain events when you want to or need to. As an example, my “grandpa” name is Pop. I have four grandkids now and three of them are of speaking age. When they first started to speak, I wanted to record them saying “Hi Pop” in those cute voices.  When my youngest grandchild gets older, I will ask her to do the same thing. The other day I went back and listened to those recordings, and it completely melted my heart. I have also started to write down some of the funny things that my grandchildren have said so that I can remember them later and share with my grandkids when they get older.  I mentioned in a previous post that I take pictures of just about everything. On Sunday evenings my wife and I often spend time looking at those pictures so that we can relive the things that happened that week. I have even found that it is important to take a picture of where you park at the airport. This has saved me a number of times as when I return from trips, especially longer ones, I often don’t remember where I parked. There was one time I did not take a picture of where I parked and I had to go to airport security to ask them to help me find my car.  It was truly embarrassing!

I spent over 30 years in the field of human resources. There is an old saying in human resources, “if you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen.” Of course, that’s not true. Things absolutely happen even if you don’t write it down or take a picture or record them in some way. However, it is a lot easier to recall exactly what happened if you document. And it is a lot easier to get those events or facts straight when you document them immediately. When you document what someone says, or how they feel, or just the situation in general, you get a very good clear picture that you can go back to later. This was especially useful in my career in human resources. I could often conduct an investigation, write down what was said, have the person I was interviewing review and initial the statements, and come back to it later if needed. There is also another phrase in human resources that goes, “people don’t argue with their own data.” When you write down what people say or do, it leads towards the credibility of the actual situation or statement if you need to review it later.

The main purpose of this blog is to document my online journey.  Each week I ponder what I have learned and what has been beneficial to me.  Then, I type out a few words and hope they are helpful to the reader.  In a previous post, I discussed the importance of notetaking and I presented several ideas how to record those notes.  As I progress in setting up my online business, I have come to really appreciate the value of documentation as I remember the steps I have taken to get to where I am so far.  I also value reading other blogs as it is so helpful for me to read what others have learned. I have avoided so many mistakes and made so many good decisions by learning from others!  A BIG THANK YOU to those who have documented their online journeys so that I can learn from them!

When I first decided to do this blog and document my journey, I had no idea where to start.  So instead of wracking my brain, I decided to google information about blogging. There is a lot of information out there…maybe too much.  But below are some helpful ideas that I discovered and use when I prepare to write this blog:

  • I first decide on a topic. Choosing a topic can be hard only if you make it hard.  As I discussed in a previous blog, I take a lot of notes so I often refer to those notes in choosing what to write.  Normally, it is what has been helpful to me the prior week.  I start by researching and gathering information.  If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I try to incorporate a personal life story or event to support my content.  I end with a few quotes from people who are a lot smarter than me and then a few bad dad jokes.  Humor is so important and if I can make one person smile, then the post was worth the time it took me to write the blog.  That is just my style. 😊
  • I next create an outline. I try to organize my ideas to serve as a roadmap when I finally get down to writing my first draft.
  • I try to incorporate a few pictures or images to not only to support my style, but to help bring the reader into my blog.
  • I read other blogs to get some good ideas or blog structure. I never copy a blog post as that would be unethical without a specific reference citing or receiving permission from the blog author.  I do look at blog posts from others to see what topics are popular and how they approach similar subjects.
  • I try to pick a heading that will draw a reader to look at my blog post – a hook, if you will. I don’t always get it right, but I enjoy brainstorming on the title of each blog.  In this blog post, I used the famous statement/question “To be, or not to be…” from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and recreated the opening sequence with my own much more positive twist on the famous scene.
  • I try and plan out the timing of writing my blog post based on my outline. I usually start on Tuesdays and work a little off and on with hopes that it will be ready by Thursday.  I then reread on Friday and ask my wife to read it for her critical eye on how it may be perceived.  This has been so valuable for me as she is very honest. I try to post early Saturday mornings.  This process helps me stay organized, set deadlines, and ensure that my post is out for publication.

This blog has become fun for me and I look forward to publishing it every week.  Hey, even if only a few read it, it serves a purpose.  So, to answer the question “To blog, or not to blog” – I guess I’ll blog!

“Documentation is a love letter to your future self.” – Anonymous

“Blogging is like a diary that the whole world can read.” – Jeremy Wright

And, as usual, a few VERY bad Dad jokes:

Why did the blogger become a chef? Because they were tired of writing about “half-baked” ideas!

What did the writer say to their blank page? “I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank!”

Until next time, STAY FRESH, friends!

30 thoughts on “To Blog, or not to Blog, that is the question…”

  1. Hi Ernie,
    I enjoy reading your blog posts, your writing style is fun and interesting! Excellent post!!!
    Love your “whimsical take ” at the beginning. The dad jokes, always great. Look forward to your future posts Ernie!

    1. Hi Denny and thanks for your comments and visit. Yeah, each week I try and do something a little fun and different to engage the reader. I do find the blog writing process enjoyable. Have a great week!

  2. Hi Ernie,
    I used to do this very same thing when I was younger. Jotting down events and important moments in my life. It was so rewarding to look back and see the things that happened at those times, or the things that changed. I got away from it for some time now. Blogging is kind of the same thing. It’s nice to be able to look back and see your accomplishment over time of Blogging. It’s nice you have your wife to proof read for your blog post too. I usually ask my mom to look over mine. She’s very critical too. 😊 I enjoyed your blog post today. Thank you!

    1. I agree! It really is nice to look back and remember how far we have come. Having a second set of eyes, like your mom, really helps to find holes in the message, catch spelling and grammar errors and give feedback on content. Thanks for your visit!

  3. Ernie, what a great post. I love that you record your grandchildren; kids grow up so fast. It is nice to look back on the pictures and recordings, appreciate the time spent, and take joy in the memories. I take a ton of pictures and I love how the phone and social media apps like Facebook will show you a memory; sometimes, I forget just how many great adventures I have gone on. Life moves so fast, and taking the time to look back and reflect can be so powerful. A blog is a public way to track your progress and hold you accountable; I am looking forward to a year from now when I get to look back on all I have accomplished, read old blog posts, and remember all the steps along the journey.

    1. Thank you so much! The public expression of a blog is a great way to remain accountable and follow your own journey. I, too, look forward to coming back in the future to see how I have progressed. Thaks, as always, for your faithful visits, friend!

  4. Hi Ernie,
    I’ve done the exact same thing with airport parking! Taking a quick picture is a fantastic idea, especially after a long trip. Dragging bags around a parking lot in the rain is not fun. Your post is great – I loved how you delivered information and facts in a fun (funny), authentic and personal way.

    Looking forward to your next post,

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement! Yes, after I learned my lesson about airport parking, I’ll never make that mistake again! Thanks for your visit!

  5. Well Ernie, to blog or not to blog that indeed is the question.

    I recently gave myself the title of ‘content creator’ and I was so pleased.

    To me, it’s no longer a question.

    Blogging, I think is one of the foundational pillars in the growth of an online business.

    And you do it so well.
    Am inspired

    1. I love it – you are a content creator and I follow you on your blog! Having your owned asset is so beneficial and a blog is a good choice! Have a wonderful week!

  6. Ernie, I love this and all your posts! Interesting idea to take a photo where your car in in an airport. Truth be told, I should take one every time I go shopping😁
    Blogging is like your picture taking hobby- the only difference is blogging isn’t a hobby- it’s become a business!! That is an amazing revelation!

  7. Ernie,
    Like you I take notes during the week documenting what I am doing and completing. You should see the size of my notebook. LOL! This fuels the ideas for my blogs. However sometimes a random thought enters my mind and that is what I write my blog about. I love that you take a picture of where you park at the airport. I really should do that myself.

    1. I bet if we put our notebooks together, we’d have a pretty good-sized book! If I don’t jot things down quickly, I will forget. I have proven that over and over! Thanks for your visit!

  8. It’s a good question, Ernie, particularly when there are AM programs that claim blogging is unnecessary for driving traffic and revenue. All you supposedly need are targeted email lists, the right hook for an email or ad campaign, and a great landing page (sales funnel). But you can’t prove that by me.

    Keep it up!

    1. Thanks, Tony! I have learned, and agree, that having an owned asset is something I can control and develop. My owned asset is my blog. I like it and if only a few read it, no worries. Some may disagree. At least I will be able to document and track my progress. But I do thank you for reading mine and commenting!

  9. Ernie, your blog is great at showing how important it is to write things down. You do a wonderful job of keeping memories alive, like recording your grandchildren’s voices and funny stories. You’re not just good at personal stuff; your work experience in human resources adds weight to your message about keeping good records. Your blog helps not only you but also others who are starting their own online journey. And those dad jokes you include? They make your blog fun to read! Keep it up! Thanks , Atif

    1. Thanks, Atif! You visiting my blog is humbling since you do such a good job with your blog and Social Media endeavors! Yes, and the jokes are a way for me to keep a little humor in my work! 🙂

  10. Hi, Ernie!
    I like your take on Shakespeare!
    It’s so nice that you document and record your family as they grow up. And documenting your journey as you develop your business will someday be touching as well. It sounds like you’re used to doing it; maybe that’s why you’re so good at it! As always, looking forward to your next post!

    1. I truly appreciate your comments thinking I am good at this blog. I often don’t think so, but you commenting it makes it worth it for me. You read it, took the time to comment and that is an amazing compliment, so thank you!

  11. True story… Parked at a large long-stay airport car park. Use my phone to photograph zone, row and number…. forgot my phone on the way home! Took two hours and help from the parking attendant to find my car.

    Thanks for the tips and help in this post.

    1. HAHAHA – Well, I only laugh because you and I experienced the pain of trying to find our respective cars! Forgetting your phone is a different kind of pain! Have a wonderful week and Thanks for your visit!

  12. Ernie,

    Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful and insightful post about the importance of documentation in both personal and professional life. Your reflections on preserving memories of your grandchildren’s voices and leveraging documentation in your career in human resources truly resonate.

    I couldn’t agree more about the value of documentation, especially in the fast-paced world of online entrepreneurship. Your approach to meticulously planning each blog post, from choosing topics to incorporating personal anecdotes and humor, is inspiring.

    I appreciate the practical tips you shared, particularly about creating outlines and seeking feedback from others. It’s evident that you put a lot of effort into crafting each post, and it definitely pays off in the quality of your content.

    Looking forward to reading more about your online journey and learning from your experiences.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    1. You are s welcome and thank YOU for taking the time to share your thoughts after you read my blog. I am truly enjoying the documentation process. now to turn this into traffic. But the most important thing is for others to find value and lean. I truly want to help others. Take care, my friend!

  13. Hi Ernie,
    You sound like a very organized person 🙂 I envy your commitment! I endeavor to find a balance in my week. Making time for work and the loved ones in your life is the ultimate success story! What an amazing life path incorporating the documentation of your week to time spent reviewing with your spouse 🙂 And then the memories you are creating for your grandchildren is amazing! All of this makes you the perfect candidate for the blog. Commitment and consistency. Your journey has just begun!

    1. Well, thank you, but I am not organized by nature, 🙂 I need to work at it. Documentation has become fun for me. I can look back and see what I have accomplished and what I can learn from my challenges. I also enjoy reading other blogs! I truly appreciate your visit and comments!

  14. Ernie, another great blog post. I often struggle with what to write about and remember that it’s the journey I’m documenting. So, what have you learned lately? Is what you learned worthy of documenting for the next person? Do I have anything of value I can bring to the masses (assuming it’s getting to anyone to read) that would help or encourage someone else on their journey? When you have difficulty believing in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you or what you say? I like how you take notes; it gives you something to look back on for the week that might spark your creativity to write something you experienced. I need to do that more often to gain perspective and create ideas worthy of conversation. Thank you for a good read.

    1. Thank you so much! I ask myself those same questions that you left in your comments! I truly appreciate your taking the time to visit and read my post. When others read and find some value (or at least a chuckle) it makes the process worth it in the end! Have a great week!

  15. Ernie, I *always* enjoy reading your blog. I know I’ve mentioned to your many times, but you’re such a great storyteller. I don’t feel like I’m reading one’s blog… but rather an enjoyable story for the day. You have quite the gift! I’m also glad to see that you’re documenting your journey in this new online world. If (when!) you continue this journey for another 12 months, just imagine what you will be thinking when you go back and read your initial posts?

    1. Thank You! I truly appreciate your kind words. I really am trying to tell a store by telling stories. I know, a little silly, but it is my way of teaching. I do look forward to “WHEN” I will look back at my diary, if you will, to see how much I have progressed. But, hey, you are pretty good yourself. I think you know I am one of your “true fans” as Dean would say. Have a great weekend!

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