I started blogging without really knowing what I was doing. It’s not the way I usually do things. I’ve always been a planner, pondering all the steps and gathering information and doing my homework before taking action. But this time, there was so little I actually knew, I had no idea where to start, and I was itching to begin writing and sharing what I believe with others. The one thing I had down fairly well was the actual writing…so I looked up WordPress on Google, signed up, and started posting. I decided I’d make an effort to learn something new about WordPress every time I posted, and lo and behold, it’s actually working! Sometimes I end up banging my head against the wall when I struggle figure out the most elementary task, like setting up links, but the point of blogging is to get your words out there, and that I can do.
I’ve gotten some great feedback from readers. My intro post was about one of my favorite bands from Ireland, Slide, and it was awesome when their guitar player posted it to their Facebook page on my launch day. My friends and family have been enjoying it. I did a little happy dance the first time I got a comment from a total stranger, and I’ve “met” some cool people thru comments on other blogs. Talk about Channeling the Bliss!
But equally important is the boost in confidence this is giving me. For someone who rarely steps out without knowing if the ground is solid or not, it’s been amazing to be successful without a million hours of planning and scheming. I’m learning that there’s a time for structure, and a time to just jump in. Wisdom teaches us the difference.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, do it now. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about blogging, you can figure it out as you go. Some of the best advice I found about blogging was from Adam Baker’s Man vs. Debt. Basically, don’t try to be like anyone else, don’t try to write like your favorite bloggers, don’t feel like you have nothing to share because you don’t travel the world or whatever. Choose a topic you are absolutely passionate about, just be yourself, and start writing. Your first ten posts might not be that great. You may go for a couple months with only your Mom and your best friend reading them. It may be a long time before anyone leaves you a comment. But keep writing. I’ve been in graphic arts for over 15 years, and I’ve learned that when you’re working on a design, the first one you do might work, the second might be pretty cool, the third will be better, and the fourth will be awesome and your customer will smile. I’m still learning to apply this principle to my adventures in the blogging world, but I keep finding that good work, like good art, is not instant. I just put on more music and keep plugging away.
I write as if I already have fifty readers…not out of arrogance, but to push myself to write really well. I write for that one person who may need to hear what I have to say. I write because my Dad always told me I could do this. And I write for myself. I needed an outlet, and blogging is proving to be a lovely release. Finding a good balance between writing to express myself and writing to inspire others is a challenge I continually keep in mind. I’m just beginning to find my voice, and it’s pure Joyousness, and it’s something you can only get to if you start, and don’t give up because you only get one comment a week.
I learn new stuff every day in the blogosphere. I’ve made some silly mistakes, and some days it feels like one step forward and ten steps back. I’m inspired every week by bloggers I admire, who stretch my thinking and challenge my writing. It’s a very cool world, full of amazing people.
So! What’s your blog going to be about? Write about what you love, what moves you. Pay attention to life. Then share it with us.
And for you curious critters out there who asked, here’s a photo of my tattoo, which is on my inner left calf. Pretty cool, huh?
Fellow Music Freaks!: Everything I do has a soundtrack, and I absolutely love to share music with others, so I’m going to start listing what I’ve been listening to during the week as I write. I’m going to link songs to my posts, so you can listen if something sounds intriguing. And please, please share your favorite music with me! A music freak can never get enough…
Great Lake Swimmers, Ongiara and Bodies and Minds…this Ontario band is led by Tony Dekker, whose lyrics and tunes are beautifully sensitive and thoughtful. “Changing Colors” from Ongiara truly spoke to me this week, as if Tony was swimming around in my head and wrote a song about what he found there. Awesome!
Mike Scott, Bring ‘Em All In…Mike is the leader of the Waterboys, and has been writing from the perspective of his spiritual journey for decades. He’s one of my favorite songwriters, and I love the huge range of musical styles he works within…everything from simple guitar & vocal pieces to full-on punk and huge wall-of-sound arrangements. Check out the title song here.
King’s X, Dogman…and for something completely different, I got this one out when I’d had a crappy day and needed to purge some anger and energy. This album is all about power and crunch, and Doug Pinnick’s voice is a wonder to behold. Here’s the title track…Listen to it loud.