Blogging is the easiest way to tell a story. It’s almost free marketing that is always on, always distributed, and always accessible.
There are great ADR professionals such as Cinnie Noble, Tammy Lenski, Victoria Pynchon and a few other high profile ADR practitioners, capitalizing on their blogging efforts. But for many ADR professionals, other than the contributors at Mediate.com (and here at ADRTimes.com), blogging is still viewed as a “one-off, one-time” thing.
There are many objections to blogging but three are primary:
- I don’t have time to blog.
- I don’t know what to blog about.
- I’m not a writer.
Let’s break those down:
I don’t have time to blog: ADR professionals lead busy lives. They mediate, negotiate and arbitrate complex issues that place psychological and emotional strain on them. Then, they return to homes where they may be confronted by more conflict (Ever hear the joke about the mediator who mediated their own divorce proceeding? I have. It’s depressing.) And, peace building professionals are exposed to more conflicts in social media feeds and from popular culture.
Then, there are children, partners, and responsibilities. By the time the end of the day comes, they are ready to do what their clients do: Go to bed and go to sleep. Then they get up and repeat it.
Who has time to blog?
Well, I’m writing this article in between just having fed my four-year old daughter and working on a client project. What I have found is that there are spaces in the day where thoughts worth blogging about can come flooding in. And, when we sit down at our seats in front of the computer, time becomes available, in spite of distractions, children, clients and other responsibilities.
I don’t know what to blog about: There is so much conflict in the world, at both an organizational and individual level, that I am often surprised by how many peace builders believe this. Peace builders witness disputes in line at their favorite coffee shop in the morning. Disputes occur at local school board meetings, attended the night before. There are disputes in our social media feeds, or even in the newspaper.
When I started blogging regularly, I worried about filling digital space with something meaningful. Then I had a revelation: The number of people consuming content in a digital space will always outweigh the number of people creating content in digital space.
I’m not a writer: Many people stop writing regularly about the same time they put college (or high school) in the rearview mirror. Writing is hard, but for the peace builder, writing is the best way to explore and develop thoughts about process, procedure and practice and to grow the field. We need more writing, not less.
And, putting together a sentence or two is really all that it takes to begin. Once that happens, the real struggle becomes how to improve writing, rather than how to start.
Questions or feedback about this? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me via Twitter @Sorrells79 or check out my Facebook Business page and leave a comment there, or message me on LinkedIn.
By Jesan Sorrell