At a meeting recently a communication professional asked what skill she should look for when recruiting doctors to write for her hospital’s blog. I didn’t hesitate. ‘Passion,’ I responded.
Blogging over the long-term is a slog. You capture an idea, sketch it out, write, add links and tags, basic search optimization, post, promote and hope that it makes a small change in the world. Sure a doc might have backend help on a hospital blog, but the creative process is real work. And the only thing that will keep someone doing that over and over is a drive for what they’re thinking and writing about. It’s the only thing that will sustain them in the long run. It’s the only thing that will overcome the inherent resistance to shape an idea and deliver it to the world.
Voice is key as well. It’s what defines a digital writer and allows their message to carry through the noise. Voice evolves when someone is given license, a space and the permission to create. Voice can’t be seen from across the room. I suspect that medicine harbors some remarkable voices that have never been given space to grow.
The desire for more patients in a specialty clinic might afford a doctor some short-term success. You can sign up someone who ‘likes to write’ or romanticizes the idea of being seen. It’s passion, however, that will allow a writer to take your blog where it needs to go.