How do you start a blog?
Heck if I know.
Every good origin story begins with some kind of crisis, some turning point where the protagonist’s ordinary life is changed forever by some incredible event or revelation (Mutant spider bite! Murdered parents! Existing, in the case of Superman). Similarly we know that the laws of physics demand that there is no effect without a cause. I did not wake up one day and decide to write a blog. So why am I writing one now?
The first and most typical answer is “Why not?” This is the age of the internet after all. Everyone has a blog these days. However, that fact has been more a hindrance than an inspiration for me. I don’t like to follow the crowd. The more people are doing something the less likely I am to be interested in it. I also have competitive desire for success in everything I do. What’s the point in starting a blog when it’s bound to be lost in a sea of other blogs? This my constant excuse for avoiding blogging like the plague: “Everybody has a blog and nobody actually has readers.” I wasn’t going to clutter up the internet like every other ninny talking to themselves in cyberspace. Content in the moral superiority of my stance, I didn’t give blogging any further thought.
But you know what? That’s a terrible excuse. Right now, with no blog, I have zero readers. This will remain the case until I start a blog. Sure, lots of people have blogs and yes, most of them fail miserably. The same is true of everything in life. If you don’t try then you’ve already failed.
So then my excuse is that I have nothing interesting to talk about. But that’s a terrible excuse too. Everyone has interesting things to talk about. Everybody’s life is a unique story, and nobody’s existence is nonstop tedium. Can you have a satisfying conversation with your friends? Then you have at least mildly interesting or entertaining things to talk about. No, the real excuse the whole time has been this: “I don’t want to take the trouble to turn interesting things in my head into coherent posts that other people would want to read.” Thinking things is easy, writing those same things down is hard. Well I’d like to be a writer someday so I better start writing now. Journey of a thousand miles and all that.
That’s the thought process, but I still haven’t explained why I’m starting this blog. I could go into the long and boring details and maybe in future posts I will. But I want to be totally honest here: I’m starting this blog because I want to be a writer and sitting on my duff reading books and dreaming about writing them will never get me anywhere. Recently something drove that home for me. To make a long story short, I’ve been trying to become a freelance writer and I can’t think of any reason why someone would hire me over the thousands of other aspiring writers out there.
Growing up I would read any interview with a famous writer that I could get my hands on, looking for their key to success. Each one of them said the exact same thing: “If you want to be a writer than write.” Write often. Write all the time. The only way to become better at writing is practice. There’s some talent involved but it matters less than you’d think. It’s not the talented who succeed, but those who actually start writing something. So I’m starting.
In the coming days I’ll be talking about the blog format, topics, schedules, etc. But I thought this would be a good way to start out. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But that’s the great thing about blogs. They’re like seeds. It doesn’t matter how small or dirty they are at the beginning; it’s about what they can grow to become.
Wow. That sounded really corny. Let’s hope this seed grows into something that takes itself a little less seriously.