Penelope Trunk

I was like a lost puppy.

I knew I wanted to write a blog. I had this huge idea, to create a little place on the internet where young, career-driven girls like myself could submit articles relating to business and busting through the glass ceiling. I got so caught up in the big picture, I basically forgot to write.

And when I did start to finally sit down and write, I realized, “Wait, I don’t really know anything about this topic.” I am not being negative, I am being realistic. Why would someone possibly take my advice when many blogs already exist that offer fabulous career, leadership and business advice– all for women. Oh, and all of these words of wisdom were coming from seasoned experts. While here I am, some 23 year old girl.

Per usual, I had started a massive project before really thinking of a clear game plan. And whether my final goal was achievable, without quitting everything else going on in my life.

Then, I had a life-altering experience. I discovered Penelope Trunk.  More specifically, I stumbled upon her post all about starting a blog.

I have been doing this all wrong. I need to pick a topic I know about. A topic that inspires me. A topic that I hope will relate to my future career. Do I want to be a career coach? Not exactly. Do I want to start some organization promoting women in the workplace? Not really.

The problem with me is that I love everything. I love reading and learning about all things. (Which is why it was basically impossible for me to choose a major in college. I ended up going with history because my father told me it was “reputable.”) I want to write about women in the workplace. I want to talk about emerging economies. I want to talk about the newest technology trend in China. I am all over the place.

But one of Penelope’s most important points about starting a blog is to pick a clear topic. Something that you are passionate about, and perhaps pretty well informed already would be good.

Realization sets in: I should write a blog about Asia.

Okay, more specifically– a blog about Asian development and trends: business but also social related. But not the entire Asian continent. Just East Asia and Southeast Asia. That is: Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the ASEAN.

I mean, for Christ’s Sake, I am in Thailand as I am writing this. I wrote my entire senior thesis on Singapore’s economic development from the 1950’s-1980’s.  My final semester at college I interned at a Massachusetts government agency, where I assisted the Director of Business Development in Greater China. And in 2011 I spent a semester in Shanghai, where I studied and worked at a Chinese medical supply manufacturer.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to spew out a resume. I am just trying to make a point (to myself, primarily). If I know anything at all, I know Asia. I may not be “expert” level status. But I sure know a lot more about Asia than giving career advice. If anything, I need a career advice myself.

So tada! There is my beloved topic, at least for now. Unless I decide to get totally invested and change my mind once again.

Another important bit of advice Penelope gives is to write everyday, for a month straight. She claims that if you can do that, you can write a blog.

Maybe this moment of clarity came at an unfortunate moment in time, seeing that I am about to go gallivanting around Vietnam and tropical Thai islands for the next three weeks. Not exactly the ideal time to start writing everyday. We’ll see what I can do, though. I can always start full-time once my life falls back into a normal schedule.

I’m just thankful I gave up on the whole career and female empowerment topic. Other ladies already have that covered. And they’re doing an amazing job.


Image Credit – Penelope Trunk herself via her personal blog.