I have a blog. Obviously. It’s fairly new and not very large. I started my blog on December 5th 2012. But, my journey into the blogosphere started more than a month before that, on around October 29th 2012. What happened on October 29th? My best friend/brother-in-law started a blog.
His name is Bob, and we’ve been friends since the 6th grade, which was a long time ago. He’d been talking on and off about starting a blog for a while, and then one day he invited his Facebook friends to help him pick a name for his blog (he decided on bobsabloggin, which I think is a great name), and he started one.
I immediately followed his blog via email, and instantly became curious about the corner of the internet that is WordPress.com. So, I started poking around, seeing what they were and what they did and how they did it. Seemed pretty interesting. I ended up following The Daily Post as well, just because I wanted to see what the Daily Prompts would be every day.
Now, he hasn’t posted very much, (Though what he has posted is worth reading in my opinion. You can check it out here if you’re interested.) but I found myself going to WordPress even on days he didn’t post anything, just to continue to see what was there. I became intrigued, really. I wondered to myself if I could be a blogger. I thought that even if I started one, I might post a few things, and then let it die a slow death, letting it sink forgotten into the dark pit of derelict websites that no one visits, remembers, or knows about.
Back in high school, when the internet was still relatively new, before Facebook, before blogs, before MySpace and Live Journal, back in the day when chat rooms ruled (anyone else still remember what a/s/l means?), a couple of friends (Bob included) convinced me to build my own personal webpage. There was a site you could go to, where you could create your own page and personalize it. But it wasn’t a point and click, drag and drop style personalization. You pretty much had to have some understanding of computer programming to make this site work. I had no clue what I was doing. With much help from my friends, I created one of the most boring web pages in the world. I visited it a few times, never really learned how to do anything with it, or why I should do anything with it.
It died a slow death. I wonder if that site is still out there, floating around in the dark, dingy alleys of the internet slums, waiting to be found again. I hope not. Hopefully whatever space that page was taking up was put to better use.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that I imagined that if I started a blog, it would end up like that very first webpage I had. But, the difference is, others convinced me to create that page. This time, it was me myself and I trying to figure out if I wanted to start a blog or not.
Several reasons as to why not to start a blog kept drifting through my mind, including:
– 1. You won’t keep up with it. Why bother starting? (As previously discussed. See previous 4 paragraphs.)
– 2. What would you blog about? You could never pick a subject and stick with it.
– 3. Who would care? Would anyone really want to read anything you posted anyway?
– 4. You hardly ever post anything on Facebook. Do you really think you would write in a blog?
– 5. You aren’t finishing the partially written stories you’ve started. Why start a blog? Why not just write in your stories?
I did come up with a few answers to some of those reasons, as listed below:
– 4. Facebook is like a group conversation. Short little tidbits of silliness/drama/gossip/comedy/tragedy/like this if you support [insert random site/cause/group], ignore if you drown kittens posts and so forth. I never did participate much in conversations that involved more than two people, in person, on the phone, or online. A blog is more me telling stories, sharing experiences, in ways that don’t seem to work very well on Facebook.
– 3. Well, my wife would probably read them, even if no one else ever did.
– 5. I’ll finish my stories. Someday. I’ll still work on them. It’s not like I’ll forget about them. What’s the difference between not working on them as much as I should and blogging, and not working on them as much as I should and not blogging?
– 2. Why do I need a specific subject? I don’t have to have the kind of blog that gets featured on Freshly Pressed. It’s my blog, I’ll blog about whatever I feel like blogging about. So there! (Yes, the conversations I have with myself inside my head sometimes sound like a petulant six-year-old trying to be stubborn.)
– 1. Why not? If I never start, I’ll never find out, now will I? At worst, I’ll have a blog to add to that first webpage, a Live Journal, a MySpace page and probably an email address or three to the web pages I have added to the forgotten and abandoned detritus littering the dregs of the internet.
– 3. And if no one reads or cares about my blog, then no one will care when or if I fail to continue blogging, and leave my blog to, well, see Answer #1.
So, long story not too short, I decided to start a blog. I got the name “memoirs of an unremarkable man” from a partial story idea I had (with a main character with the name of Al Shifts). I had thought of using it as the title of the story, but I haven’t written the story or even figured out the basics of an actual story line, and I felt it worked well for a blog.
So, without any real clue what I was doing, I found a theme, and got started. I have had this blog for 24 days (25, now that it’s past midnight), and this post is my 21st one.
In that 24 (25) days, I have discovered several awesome blogs which I thoroughly enjoy following, and been amazed and grateful that 27 people would be interested enough in what I have to say and how I say it that they would follow my blog. 27! That may not be a lot to some, but I honestly never expected more than my wife and a few of my friends to even pretend to be interested in my blog. And I find the Views by Country in Stats absolutely fascinating. Who in Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, or Canada would want to look at my little blog? Amazing.
I submitted to an ongoing segment called Through Our Eyes, and was selected to be a featured artist for it. Click on the image in the upper left of this page to see my contribution, or here to find out more about it in general. Thanks to Pondering Spawned for putting this amazing idea together!
I have explored a bit more and found a few writing challenges/contests, some at least I hope to participate in the near future. (I want to work on writing short pieces that I actually finish. Maybe if I finish shorter pieces, I’ll get used to the feeling and will work on finishing longer pieces.)
I’ve exchanged a few comments with some awesome, positive encouraging people, Pondering Spawned (see above), Bagley777 (check out her blog (My Teen Writing) for some great short stories and poems), and The Cheeky Diva (down to earth humor and all around zanyness (Is that a word? Not according to WordPress’ spellcheck…)) just to name a few.
I spend hours and hours writing posts, then rewriting them and proofreading and correcting them and then correcting mistakes I missed but my wife found when she proofread them. (Thank you, awesome wife!)
I love it. Writing blogs, having people actually view my blog, reading awesome posts that other bloggers write or looking at inspiring photos people post, actually interacting with some of these incredible people. I found something new and exciting, but something I feel I can keep up with, even if no more than 27 people follow my blog. It’s not about having the most followers, or the most likes. It’s about writing what I want to write, and discovering great new sites, and introducing myself to interesting people.
Then, something truly amazing happened. My wife started asking me about blogging. Not just what I was writing about, or what I was reading, but the different themes WordPress has, and how things are set up and what things do. What you have to understand about my wife is that she is a very private person. She pays attention to the privacy settings on her Facebook posts. She doesn’t get out much, because for the most part, she doesn’t care to interact with most people. And here she is, thinking about starting a blog and posting her thoughts and opinions out there where anyone on the internet could see.
Well, she decided to be brave and start her own blog. The Illusion of Controlled Chaos. She created it, but before posting anything, she spent days finding the theme she liked best and tweaking the options until she got it as close as she could to how she wanted it to look.
When she first started publishing posts, she was almost afraid to have anyone see them. Then after she had written a few posts, she started asking me for ideas on how to increase traffic to her site. Now she actually wants people to read her posts.
My wife has caught the blogging bug.
So, I told her a few things I have picked up from almost a month of blogging (and no, I do not consider myself an expert in any way, so if you have any thoughts, I’d be grateful to anyone who would be willing to comment any ideas here or on one of her posts), and told her I would link to her blog from mine. So here you are, but I warn you, my wife can be very opinionated, and she doesn’t like to hold her punches. I think one of the reasons she started a blog is so she wouldn’t have to hold anything back.
So, having been warned, click here to check out her already controversial posts. If you comment on her blog, remember, you don’t have to agree with her, but you’d better be nice to her, or I might have to hunt you down. With all due respect.
Not that I’ve ever seen a comment that wasn’t encouraging so far, but I did read about one. And it’s worth reading about, so here’s yet another link: Fishing Is About More Then Just The Fish… (Never Insult A Writer…).
And so, to my lovely wife, to me (since I’m still new at this) and to anyone else out there that is just starting out on their own blogging journey, Welcome to the Blogosphere. Just remember that blogging is a journey, not a destination.