My First Blog
This mornings blog post is inspired by a conversation I saw yesterday between two friends about the starting of a new blog. There are many people that have this strong desire to start a blog, but for whatever reason lack the confidence to push them over the edge to actually putting a plan in motion. Some people are gifted with a clear vision for what they want to write about, and a firm purpose to make it all happen. That unfortunately is not most of us. Most of us have this burning desire to write, but are also strapped with crippling self doubt. While I might look like I know what I am doing, I am here to tell you that every single day is a struggle to keep making content. While I have been doing this for six years now, and been doing the every day thing for two… I still don’t really know what I am doing on a regular basis. I take each new day as it comes and try and figure out exactly what I should be doing in the process.
This morning I want to tell you a story about another blog. I started Tales of the Aggronaut in 2009 with a firm purpose, and a vision for what I wanted it to be. The thing is.. I never would have gotten to that point had another blog not existed. Back in 2005 I stared a blogspot blog because I had this overwhelming desire to write. The problem being that I didn’t really know what to write about. I mostly wrote about my misadventures, and a little bit about the ins and outs of our family. But early on I knew there was a big part of my life that I just wasn’t talking about… because I felt like no one would want to hear about it. So my first blog was ultimately a failure because it didn’t really represent my gaming. Additionally Tales of the Aggronaut I feel was an initial failure because it failed to represent more than just my gaming hobby. What finally ended up working… eight years later… was a blending of both. Lots of gaming, but still the freedom to talk about whatever else happened to be happening to me.
My first blog was a blog that hardly anyone read, because I lacked the self confidence to talk about it publically. It was very much a private journal that I let the occasional person know about. The folks that did read it seemed to like it, and urged me to do more, but in the back of my head there was always this nagging voice. “There is nothing you have to say that isn’t already being said… and being said better.” This is the voice you have to ignore to be able to keep blogging, because it never really goes away. There is not a single day when I don’t hear it still. Every time I hit the publish button I have to hold my breath and close my eyes and click it… because even after doing this for all these years I still struggle to defeat my inner doubt. It would be amazing if I could tell you that it just magically goes away, but I can at least say that over time it lessens. The voice has less sway over me than it once did, which I guess is a step in the right direction.
You might say to yourself that you have nothing to say, and that others are saying it better… but the act of you saying it makes it special and unique. I could read fifty blog posts on exactly the same subject and each and every one would have some nugget that the others did not. While we might be espousing the same ideas… each of us is adding our own experience to that mix. Right now, before you start down this journey you might believe that you don’t have a voice worth hearing but I am telling you that you do. Be honest with yourself, and write about the things you want to write about… and somewhere in between your voice will trickle to the surface. Blogging is not about being controversial or brilliant, but instead about being honest and letting the world see who you really are and what think. This act of sharing is precious, and makes whatever it is that you choose to share more than worthy of our attention. We are this culmination of our emotions, experiences, actions and thoughts wrapped up together making anything you have to say on any subject uniquely nuanced.
Lets Get Started
As I wrote to the Wayward Bloggers a few days ago, this morning I am writing to the Reluctant Bloggers. I am addressing the folks that want to start a blog but for whatever reason are being held back from doing so. If you are watching the Newbie Blogger Initiative and feel that tiny tug trying to get you to start your own epic blog, I ask you to hop down off the fence you are sitting on and get started. The Newbie Blogger Initiative is the perfect time to get things in motion because you have an entire community waiting her ready to give you that hand up. There are an almost overwhelming number of ways to get started. Most people start with either a WordPress.com or a Blogger.com and go from there. Blogger is without a doubt the easiest way to get started, but WordPress will make transitioning to a self hosted site in the future less of a hassle. In either case, the act of getting something started is the important thing. If these seem “too real” for you to get your feet wet, then I suggest starting a blog on Anook.com and seeing how things work for you.
Some people are gifted with the ability to start writing quality content from day one. In my permission to suck post from last year I talk about the fact that I was not one of those people. I struggled for a long time to find my format and to find my voice. My blog itself has gone through so many transitions from WoW Blog, Rift Blog, to ultimately becoming a fairly game agnostic blog about me as a person and my gaming habit. The truth is that you should expect to hate the first dozen posts you make within a years time. Like I said there are the occasional folks that can crank out amazing stuff, but I personally would be happy never to see the first several years worth of posts on this blog. The awesome thing about being human beings is that we are able to change and to adapt, and expect your blog and your writing to do the same. Just like learning to ride a bike was wobbly at first, your blog will be a bit wobbly and that is okay. You are doing something that you are going to get better at, and we as a community will be here to help you. Now you simply have to get started.