Whenever I would get together with other professionals who work in the continuing education industry, we would commiserate about the challenges of juggling the rules, paperwork, customer service issues, and relationship building with regulators and even our own content creators, that come along with getting programs accredited. And most "outsiders" didn't understand what we did, much less the challenges we faced.
I was looking for a way to continue the conversations I was having with people in the CLEworld about the challenges of accreditation. And then someone suggested that I start a blog. While I'd certainly read other peoples' blogs, and even some from other experts in various areas of the legal industry, there really wasn't much out there focused on CLE, and certainly nothing focused on accrediting CLE.
"But is that because no one cares about accrediting CLE?," I thought? Not true!
I knew from the spirited and sometimes heated, but always engaging conversations I was already having that there was an audience. Not a large one. But I didn't care about the numbers. I wanted to share my knowledge, let others know about changes or updates, and get feedback from the people who really "got it" - those few who did (at least as part of their jobs) what I did.
In researching blogs and blog writing, I knew that I had to have a readership goal for my blog - which would determine how often I needed to post. If you want to grow your blog and increase your readership, then blog post frequency is important. One article likened this to a newspaper. Would you continue to buy a newspaper if the articles in it were the same day after day? No. So to get new readers, and to keep your existing readers, you need to post. A lot. (According to the internet - and isn't it always correct?)
And so I began writing (way back in 2009) with the goal of posting at least twice a week, and more if I could. I created a recurring Outlook calendar event to make sure I was setting aside time in my day to write, and to remind myself of this goal. Go Gina!
But I soon found out that two things kind of got in the way for me: 1. I didn't have the time to devote to writing well researched, relevant, and interesting posts, and 2. Things don't change that frequently in the CLE world.
For the first point: Like many of my fellow lawyers, I'm a perfectionist. And I'm driven to be the best at what I do. That means that I tend to obsess about the things upon which I'm working and hold myself to sometimes impossibly high standards. What to talk about? Big decision! Then I would take hours to write a single blog post, ensuring that I "wordsmithed" each sentence. This takes a lot of time - time I didn't really have as I actually have a full-time job actually doing the accreditation! I've since eased up on myself and can often "dash off" a blog post in a few minutes (not this one, however...baby steps!).
The larger obstacle for me is often the second point: Change is SLOW in the CLE world! How often do the CLE rules change? How frequently do regulators decide to handle an issue differently than before? Without constant change (which I'm certainly NOT arguing for!) determining topics for my blog posts was more challenging than I first realized. I didn't want to blog about me - my personal life or activities - there, I was SURE, no one did care!
As time has continued to move forward, I've learned a lot about how much blog posting is enough, for me and for Gina's CLE Blog. Do I always meet this (now reduced) goal? Certainly not. Sometimes it is for lack of time, and sometimes it is for lack of topic.
But I'll keep on trying. And I'll keep on encouraging my readers and colleagues to converse. Let me know if you have questions. Let me know if you want to vent. Let me know what is going on in your professional and personal lives. THAT's what Gina's CLE Blog is about.