So, you want to start a blog. Perhaps you’ve already created a blog, but now you’re stuck with an itch you can’t scratch. “What do I write about?” Maybe your frustration goes a bit deeper than that. Maybe you’re not feeling inspired to write. Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret.
I’ve been there.
I learned the hard way that you can’t wait for inspiration to hit you. You must be the inspiration you seek. People follow leaders, not ideas. Always remember that you will find yourself in your struggles and forge yourself through your efforts to succeed at something.
Let’s talk about the scary part of writing: starting out.
Before you write your first post, you want to write an introduction. Introduce yourself to new potential readers. Who you are, what inspires you, where you come from. People want to know the who’s behind the creation of the content they’ll inevitably fall in love with.
Don’t chase an audience. Let your audience find you.
When you’re writing from the heart, people who are like-minded will inevitably connect with what you’re doing.
What the heck do I write about, anyway?
The reality is, your possibilities are endless. Right now, grab your phone. Or, you know; if you’re in 1953, a pen and a paper. Make a list of all of your interests and skills. Here’s a random example.
Even though this example list may not be the best or most detailed, there’s a lot you can pull from. Each of those things can be an categorized page on your site, with their own list of entries.
- Movies & TV: Write about a specific movie you’ve watched. Why did you love/hate it? What did you take away from it?
- Poetry: Share some poetry. Talk about your love for poetry, why it exists.
- Psychology: Write about what you’ve learned, your favorite aspects or subtopics, what part of psychology is most useful to you in your life, etc.
- History: Write about your favorite subtopics. Write history-based articles as educational resources for children or adults.
- Cooking: Share some recipes or some of your favorite dishes. Write about your first time cooking. Write about a time you tried cooking for someone and failed or succeeded, or a time you enjoyed cooking with someone.
Okay, you get the point. But before we go any further, a word of caution.
Don’t think too much. Just do. A lot of writers, especially in the beginning, write draft after draft, wanting it to come out perfectly. It won’t. That’s okay. Your first few articles probably won’t be your best, but they are the beginning of an amazing journey of self-actualization and growth.
Something I find myself doing quite often is searching for muse. As a result, I pull myself together and say: “Just start typing.” That’s right. I just start typing randomly and seeing what pops up. That’ll probably be my topic. Sometimes, I will go to Dictionary.com and choose a random word and write about a story that word reminds me of, through personal experience.
See, when we rely too heavily on whether or not we feel ready, what we’re going to be faced with is stagnation. That isn’t okay. You won’t enjoy writing every piece of writing you share, but here’s the truth. Someone will always enjoy one or more of the stories you share. That means every post you share will be a post that someone out there will like. Multiple someones. Multiple people your content has reached. That in and of itself is huge.
The struggles of writing.
Yes, the reality is that you have to put in a lot of effort for little recognition. At least, for the first few months or first few years. You’ll spend nights coming up with headline after headline, writing and deleting drafts, etc. But if you believe in the work you do, so will others.
It’s also important that you stay detached from your own expectations. “But what if people don’t want to hear what I have to say?”
Let me tell you a brief story. A former college professor of mine told me about his first job interview. He was overwhelmed, anxious and didn’t know what to say. He took long pauses when answering questions, and he began to sweat. At the end, he left knowing that he wouldn’t be hired. He barely said anything and he couldn’t keep his composure. A week later, he got a call and it turns out he was hired. “But sir, I was a total mess. I bombed that interview, I barely said anything!” He told his boss over the phone. “Really? You seemed pretty calm and collected to me. I would have never guessed you were nervous.”
What I’m trying to tell you is that your own expectations will be your only true roadblock. Always remember that the person on the other end does not feel how you feel, and how you feel will influence the way you perceive certain things. They won’t necessarily see things in the way you do.
It’s like when you see “college degree required” written in a job posting. If you let that stop you, you won’t be very successful in life. Now, I’m not saying that this always works, but having a portfolio of your work and experience doing something will almost always be more impressive than “What’s required.” Express your talent. It’s like negotiating. Sell yourself to an employer despite what their requirements are. They may take a chance on you because they love your grit. Remember that sign is there to weed out the lazy and the quitters. Those who look at that sign as a challenge to be a part of something despite the lack of (something) will sometimes succeed. Be a part of the successful statistic that tried.
So, right now, stop reading. Create a site. Already created one? Just start typing. About anything. Go. Remember. The beauty of art is that it’s all about what you create and why. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be true to you.