Posting at My Own Risk

Welcome to the first post from Lisa 2.0. It’s been a long time coming. Just to give you an idea of what you’re going to see here, I’m mostly going to write, link to, and post about things related to books, libraries, and writing since these are my personal and professional interests.

I’m obviously quite late to the game, blog-wise. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for years. What’s held me back? Fear. Risk. Risk has been a theme that’s crossed my radar several times over the past few months. I am a masters student in a library science program and belong to an organization called YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association). Their major initiative this year has to do with risk-taking, mainly as it pertains to service to young adults in libraries (you can read about it here). When I first heard about it at the American Library Association annual conference this summer, it scared me. I balked. I hate taking risks and am very unpracticed at it. Plus, I’m not a fully-ordained librarian, or a fully-ordained anything for that matter, so what kinds of risks could I take that would matter? Then I realized I had this empty blog space sitting here that I’ve been hesitant to use.

“But what could possibly be risky about starting a blog?” you ask.

Well, okay, it might not be life or death, but that doesn’t mean there’s not still fear. Here, in glorious 21st Century digital-confessional mode, are my fears:

  1. My words will be public. People will actually know what I’m thinking about. I might express opinions and people might respond. Perhaps unfavorably. You see, I can’t stand conflict. I am not one of those people who enjoys debate. But I do enjoy writing. This is one way of practicing that. So this is the risk I’m taking: putting my words out there with the chance of being rejected.
  2. No one’s going to read it anyway. There’s so much out there, my words will go unnoticed as insignificant. That’s pretty probable and perhaps justified. But hey, I guess I won’t have to worry about fear #1 in that case. And I guess the real risk of insignificance is expressing nothing at all.
  3. My experiences and opinions are so meager and mundane, they’re of little interest and folks will just roll their eyes and say “Sheesh, another boring blog”. Well, okay. They might. But many interesting blogs have to do with the everyday lives and challenges of people who are not experienced, seasoned professionals. The great Mur Lafferty of the awesome and award-winning I Should Be Writing blog and podcast called herself a “wannabe” when she first started out. Sure, she’s more seasoned and popular now than she was, but her podcasts and blog posts were useful and interesting even before she shed the “wannabe” tag (Incidentally, Mur has several excellent podcasts on fear and taking risks, the most recent of which was #130 in her ISBW “Lite” series appropriately titled “Fear”). And, hey, isn’t this what blogs are for? It could be argued that blogs are a good place for information exchange amongst wannabes, seasoned professionals, and in-betweens. So what if people roll their eyes? I don’t have to see it. I’m behind my computer!

So I convinced myself this was a risk worth taking. And, if you’re reading this, I’ve taken it. We’ll see if this is the last time I do this or the first post of many. Heck, maybe I’ll even be able to report on further risks I’ve taken. I just started a job at a university library as a reference librarian, mainly to undergrads. It simply feels risky to stand behind the reference desk at this point. But it also feels good. And it feels good to step up and take the small, faceless, digital risk of posting this. I hope you, dear reader, will be relatively kind and constructive. Maybe this will get you thinking about successful risks you’ve taken or risks you want to take. Maybe not. Either way, thanks for stopping by—and for not rolling your eyes so I can see it.