A filming technique whereby the focal point is drawn towards the viewer.
Critics of the blogging craze frequently carp about narcissism and the veritable tidal wave of low quality copy rife with unsubstantiated opinion that appears daily. I get it and agree, for the most part, and worry that I am merely adding to the content clamour. When I started to blog back in 2011, in a conscious effort to contribute something useful instead of just more stuff, my goal was to take a more journalistic approach to my subjects. Despite my efforts, in the last six months or so, my writing flagged, bogged down, proceeded in fits and starts until, finally, I realized the problem. I’d lost focus.
The experts seem to agree: getting a firm grasp on your objectives before beginning any endeavor is critical to success, however you define it. That goes for blogging, too. Maybe double.
The problem: when I started blogging, I had only a muzzy notion of what I was trying to achieve. As a result, I wrote about everything, from language politics and policy, translation and writing, and the freelance experience to gallery openings, local eateries and the joys of teaching. Eventually, however, I lost my sense of purpose.
Changing platforms, as mechanical as that sounds, has given me an opportunity to rethink and redefine my objectives. For some reason, “pull focus”, a filmmaking term, popped into my head and inspired my fundamental goal: drawing the focal point toward the reader.
Specifically, the goal of writing this blog is to reach out to a highly diverse bunch of folks that includes freelance writers, translators and social media pros with whom I share many interests and challenges. Pulling focus will require working hard to tune in to what matters, to celebrate the joys of the work we do and the contribution we make, and to do my part to tackle the many challenges we face. Technological innovation, especially in social media, translation and communications, the primary driver for most of the changes currently rocking our world, will also turn up regularly.
I still favour a journalistic approach, publishing posts less about what I think and more about sharing knowledge gleaned from interviewing fascinating people, traveling, participating in confabs, and attending cultural events. Because I am a voracious reader (and suspect that you are, too), reviews of relevant books will also be a regular feature.
In closing, although I may indulge in a rant from time to time or go off the rails into some totally (seemingly) unconnected space, I promise I will never publish a soliloquy about my socks, embed a cute cat video, publish my favourite curry recipe or share my deep thoughts about the newest reality TV show.
Photo credit: Tomasz Sienicki via Wikimedia Commons.