Last time we discussed promoting the idea of professional geekery, I discussed sharing your mistakes, since mistakes are great to learn from, and you might as well share your greatest screw-us to spare people some pain. Now, though I'm sure all of us have some spectacularly displays of dumb, let's take a positive focus for this column.
So you want to promote the idea of professional geekery, that what you love can indeed be your career, your calling.
There's many sites out there that are quite inspiring – I'd like to think we're one, of course. There are plenty of examples, from 3 Geeks and a law blog, or even community-industry focused blogs like the Smart Bitches that are great for professional geeks.
You probably read a few.
So, start writing for them.
Really, you've probably got plenty of stories to tell that promote the professional geek, profan, protaku dreams. Maybe they're cautionary tales of what happens after you graduate, grand adventures, or stories of a successfully tame career. Either way you have plenty of things to say (even if, as noted last time, they're warnings).
Think people don't want to hear your stories? Well you won't know if you try.
Even if you're telling a tale everyone else has told, changes are you'll be reaching people who need to hear it and happen to this time.
Even if your story is so weird or hard to relate to, chances are someone can – and has been waiting to hear about a person, experience, or career like theirs.
So, go out and contact the people at these blogs and sites and start writing for them.
Now I don't recommend just asking "hey, can I write," even though that may work. I also don't recommend going super-formal unless said site seems to encourage or want that.
Here's what I'd recommend:
- Have an idea of what you want to do – a column or two, a series, or a regular. Include that in a letter.
- Be friendly and social, don't go overly formal unless, again, it's strongly encouraged.
- Be willing to propose writing a few articles ahead or even delivering a whole series.
- Stay in touch – follow the site or contact on twitter, add them on LinkedIn, etc. Don't be wham-bam-goodbye.
- Become part of the community or form bonds with the people you work with.
Go on, share that professional geekery. In fact, we'd love to hear from you here, and you can contact me at my site.
– Steven Savage