Today is the official announcement of my blog. I actually started blogging three months ago, when I was doing interviews for my recent column about blogging. It became clear that anyone who is very serious about their career should have a blog, and I didn’t have one.

It turns out, it is not that easy to blog. Well, it’s easy to write a blog for an audience of six best friends and your mom. But if you want to be seen as an expert in your field by making a significant contribution to the daily community discussion, then you need to think things through a bit.

Fortunately, I’m a person who loves to learn something new. Here’s what I did:

1. I called all the people I knew who were bloggers and asked them about their technique.

2. I spent two hours a night for a month reading other peoples’ blogs. I read hotshot blogs, like Lifehacker and smaller blogs like Communication Nation.

3. I started blogging furtively. I told only my blog mentor and my brother (who said “You should get a better picture of yourself.”)

Today is the last step: Announcing the blog to everyone else.

It turns out that I really love blogging. It appeals to three very big aspects of my personality: I love to write, I love routine, and I’ll read anything. This last thing is genetic, I think. My mom will read anything, too. My mom has an amazing memory, and she was on the game show Jeopardy. I don’t have her memory, but I’m a good synthesizer of information, and blogging is a great outlet for that.

According to the guys who wrote the best selling book Freakonomics, the idea of talent is overrated. What makes people stand out — concert pianists, Olympic athletes (and probably big-time bloggers) is that they love to practice. They love to do it day in and day out and so they get really good at it.

This is the reason that people should do what they love — because that’s what they’ll be really good at because they’ll do it a lot. So I’m happy to have found something I love.

For those of you who are still looking for something you love, you should know that I did not know that I would love blogging before I tried it. In fact, before I tried it, I thought blogging would be a daily pain in the butt. But I took a risk because I know you can’t find what you’re really good at without trying a lot of things.

Blogging is a very big time investment. And it’s not like I'm getting paid to do this. But you cannot get paid to do everything in life. I have made almost all my big career steps by doing something that I did not get paid for. I have written business plans with no assurance that they’d be funded (I got the money). And I have contributed time and ideas with no assurance that I’d get credit (I got a job).

In this case, I’m not really sure where the blog will lead, but I feel strongly that I need to be doing it, to contribute to the online conversation about work and life. Some days I worry about how much time I spend on the blog, but I tell myself that good things happen to those who take risks to do things they love. So, I’m doing that. We’ll see what happens.

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15 replies
  1. Vidya
    Vidya says:

    Hey Penelope,

    Congrats on the Blog! I really love reading your ideas and your blog is now a nice part of my day to refresh me(like an afternoon cup of coffee).

    Vidya

  2. Noel Jensen
    Noel Jensen says:

    I have been a big fan for years. I wish you great success in this new medium. (
    I also gave you a shout on my new blog as well.)

    Noel Jensen

  3. Dale
    Dale says:

    Hi Penny,

    I finally made it over to the blog. I like it, but for us tech challenged folks, could you write a blog about accessing RSS feeds to get new blogs. You mentioned it in an email and I do not really know how to do it.

    Keep the faith:)
    Dale
    P.S. The Howard Stringer statement you mentioned seems unwise not only because it is so patently “P.R.ish,” but also because as his child, how does is feel to read that your dad prefers to work than spend time with you? Life is all about the choices we make, even in the fake world of the public media.

  4. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Hi, Dale. You can receive the blog posts via email by entering your email address in the subscribe box on the sidebar on the home page. This way you’d get all the information without having to deal with RSS.

    Penelope

  5. Tim
    Tim says:

    Penelope,

    I’ve been a fan and receiving your column for maybe a couple of years, now. I’m glad to see you have a blog! I can stop saving them all! Anyway, what is a permalink, and what happens when I press it? Like you, I’m weaving my way through the brave new world of blogging.

    Tim

  6. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Hi, Tim. That’s a great question, and I ended up asking my best technical advisor (and ex-boyfriend) the same question a few weeks ago.

    Each blog entry has it’s own URL. So if you want to send one of my blog entries to fifty of your friends (great idea, huh?) then you can click “permalink” and copy the URL from the address window into an email for your friends.

    I hope this makes sense. If not, maybe I will publish the phone number for my ex-boyfriend or something….

    Penelope

  7. JJBorden@webtv.net
    JJBorden@webtv.net says:

    Penny–
    Superb story in 6/25/Boston
    Globe.

    Re 75 pc of lookers-up having
    less negative thoughts—
    what is source of “data”.

    We re in 25th yr of turning people on to the sky i.e.
    making them “sky-aware”

    Such people( those who are sky-aware) share 5 personally
    and societally valuable attributes.
    Would you like me to mail you
    some info and a beautiful
    Skywatcher’s Cloud Chart?

    We’ve been written up in NYT,
    Time etc. but need someone like you to better tell our story. More Sky !!! Jack Borden
    http://www.forspaciouskies.com

    also ck

    http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org

  8. Carol
    Carol says:

    Here’s my 2 cents worth on careers.

    I’ve been employed with several large companies, including the world’s biggest petrochemical giant. I’ve done contract work, and I’ve even gone into business. I’ve held well-paid executive positions. Today, I own several web businesses. I’ve learnt that there’s NO job security, no matter how hard-working and dedicated you are.

    You only have security, and immense satisfaction, when you know how to fish for yourself. The internet is HUGE and filled with amazing opportunities. I decide my own income and my time is my own. I only wish I had started earlier.

    I had to change my mindset, leave my comfort zone, and learn new things. I’m so glad I did. Don’t EVER depend on employment!

  9. Cory Miller
    Cory Miller says:

    Penelope, as you can tell, I’m about six months or so late on commenting on this post … but I totally dig it!

    In six months, you’ve managed to get on LifeHacker, Delicious and probably countless others I’m unaware of … doing something you evidentally love doing.

    Doing what you love is great advice and a good reminder to me. Thanks for the excellent tips!

    –Cory

  10. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    >>3. I started blogging furtively. I told only my >>blog mentor and my brother (who said "You >>should get a better picture of yourself.")

    LOL

    That’s what family is for!

  11. Angel
    Angel says:

    First blog I read about blogging. Thanks for the good advice! I want to create my own and just thought I would do a Google search and came accross your blog. I also enjoy the way you write. Simple and to the point!

    -Angel

  12. Scrappier aka jan
    Scrappier aka jan says:

    If I didn’t live in Chicago and you N.Y., 

    I’d ask you to lunch.  

    We’d become good friends.  Bounce topics off each other. 

     Your “top three” is my top three.

    I’m so glad I found you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Smarter Stuff says:

    The Brazen Careerist has a blog

    Check out Penelope Trunk’s new blog: Brazen Careerist I’ve always been a big fan of her pseudononymous writing about career strategies. She has a punchy, no-nonsense style and great voice. Her post officially announcing her new blog is an excellent

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