My Gran was always saying to us in jest, “pay attention!” Probably the best advice she or anyone else could have given.

I recently attended a seminar and workshop on blogging called Mudanawat. I was checking out one of my regular on-line forums and noticed a post saying Jeremiah Owyang, a Web Strategist, would be the keynote speaker at the event which was held to encourage more bloggers and therefore more blogging in the State of Qatar. The seminar would be held at one of our fairly new hotels, the Sharq Village, which I had not yet had the opportunity to visit. They would provide a free lunch and I’m always up for a new learning opportunity, so I signed up immediately.

Sharq Village

I have always had this feeling that I would love to write about something. Whenever I thought about ‘writing’ however, I always envisioned it to be about writing a book. If there is one thing I have learned about myself in the last couple of years is that I am a person who likes quick results. I’m not one well suited to take on long, drawn out projects. If you ask me to do something – great. But I want to take it on, figure it out, action it, complete it and not sit around waiting for months or years to see results. A book – not likely.

But blogging seemed to be the perfect outlet for me. I could write, add a few photos, express my opinion and move on. What a concept! Many others must feel the same about the desire to write or communicate with others, as Jeremiah noted that of all bloggers 72% currently blog as a hobby while 28% blog professionally. So the majority are not doing it for money.

But what would I write about?

Do you love to read? I thought pretty much everyone did, but I guess that’s not the case. Probably more people watch TV than read. Or they listen to music, surf for endless hours on the internet, connect with friends on Facebook, or play video games in their leisure time. But for me, reading is my passion. While reading it seemed as though my Gran’s words kept coming back to haunt me as every book I picked up kept referencing the need to “pay attention”. I figured there must be something to that.

You may decide to read what I have to say, find I’m utterly boring, only never to return. You might think I’m totally off my rocker or have pie-in-the-sky ideas (which is usually the feedback I receive). Or maybe we’ll find common ground or mutual interest which might lead you to check in from time to time and provide your opinions and comments along the way. And perhaps through our conversations we’ll learn to pay attention to our selves, to each other and to the larger world around us.

Clear as day, I can recall my Gran’s voice as she said “pay attention”…. and I’m sure she’s glad I finally got the message!