It’s actually been over a month since I’ve written a blog post (which is unusual for me). There are several reasons for that, which I’ll get into. Let’s start with the first.
For anyone that knows me, you know that I read a lot. I’m always learning. Through this process, I like to take something I find complicated (or confusing), deep-dive into it, and then write about it in a simplified manner.
But sometimes I don’t know what to write about. Sure, there are a lot of topics that could be written about, and the cloud is ever-changing. But a lot of the time, I don’t want to come off as copying what other people write about. If someone else has already written about it, why should I (and potentially come off as just copying their idea)?
This in itself is something that I struggle with. My approach to writing my blog posts has always been about quality vs quantity, and I try hard to write about real-world scenarios I’m encountering with clients, etc. I feel that this adds value to the community.
But then, on the other hand, I see individuals that write what I call “fluff” articles. Some of them are quite literally nearly a copy/paste of some existing Microsoft documentation, with their own screenshots inserted, and that’s it. Something like, “how to query Azure Log Analytics” with a few of their own simple queries they’ve used thrown in. Or, an article about some new tech, that just has a bunch of links to the official documentation.
To me, this isn’t quality. But, it bothers me to see articles like these, because those sites/blogs get more traffic, attention, whatever. Those “fluff” articles still count (quota-wise) towards someone’s MVP evaluation and status.
So it’s a struggle to think about “what should I write today” that hasn’t already been written about, and that isn’t an article for the sake of an article. Most importantly, will it contribute back to the community by providing value.
This one is the biggest factor. Tied closely to the writers’ block section, it can be hard at times to see all these amazing things that other people are doing (and sharing), and then look at what I’m doing.
There are many individuals in the MVP community, that work on some very interesting things, and thankfully share their experience, code samples, etc. But that’s also hard because a lot of the time I feel that I’m not working on anything interesting, or have nothing of value to contribute (this then feeds back into the writer’s block issue).
You start to think and feel like you’re not good enough, or you could never contribute something on the level that others are.
A good example of this is the recent call for submissions to speak at the Microsoft Ignite event. I’ve delivered presentations to User Groups, colleagues, I’ve presented at the Global Azure Bootcamp for the past several years, etc.
But, knowing the calibre and quality of other’s that submitted session ideas to present at MS Ignite, or Experts Live, or any other large-scale high-visibility event, I’ve never felt that I qualify. I’ve always felt, I don’t have anything to share that someone else couldn’t (or isn’t) already presenting (or could present better). If you were to compare me and my experiences, contributions, etc. to anyone else, I wouldn’t even be on the radar.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for all those that submitted sessions, and were selected. But, how do others deal with these types of feelings?
The last thing is about the future. Of course, change is constant. But if you stop and reflect back through your career, all the places you’ve worked, environment’s you’ve been exposed to, and experiences you’ve had, it may be that you can only appreciate it after the fact.
I remember many years ago when I joined a datacenter team, and I was forced into learning System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). I didn’t want to learn it at the time, but I had to (mainly because no one else on the team wanted to). But from that experience, it led me to learn some of the other System Center products (like SCCM and VMM). From there, I followed the System Center path and had additional opportunities to learn more SCCM and VMM, and eventually the rest of the suite.
And then my career started to become a little “cloudy” ;-), and I started learning Azure (back in the day of the “classic” portal and XML files!). I gained experience with setting up Site-to-Site VPNs, VNets, etc. and have been growing, learning, expanding my experiences even since.
Who knows what the future will hold!