Confessions Of A Beginning Blogger
NOTE: This post was previously published on the St. Louis Bloggers Guild Site.
I am new at blogging and thought that sharing my point of view might be helpful to those who are thinking about beginning, or who have “only just begun” a blog. On the other hand, these thoughts might also interest those who are thinking about giving up blogging or never even thought about it.
Actually, the word “interest” plays a big role in writing and reading blogs. Of course, I mean interest as it relates to motivation. One of the first things I discovered about blogging is that I must be interested and, therefore, motivated to do it in order to continue it.
Why blog? When I first started, this question was always in the front of my mind. My first answer was that I wanted to publish something that I had written. I have always had a desire to write and be published. In my previous life as a teacher, I tried more than once to write a textbook. I usually made it as far as the first chapter and quit. I could never make it past my own criticism. OUCH!
Earlier this year, I went to The Atlantic website and read an article entitled, Why I Blog, by Andrew Sullivan. That article, more than anything else, literally “set me free.”
Andrew Sullivan’s article “set me free?” Yes, and in many ways. You see, when I tried to write a textbook, I wrote using a prescribed “textbook format.” A format that is like the other textbooks and would be acceptable to a publisher. After all, if I write something like a textbook and a publisher will not publish it, then what?
About fifteen years ago, I spent a month writing a small pamphlet on time management. It was designed for use in a study skills course. I mention this because the writing of this pamphlet was successfully completed because I knew it would be published. The lesson here is that one reason I blog is because I know that when I want it to be published, it will be published.
From Mr. Sullivan’s article, I realized two important characteristics of blogging. I call them my “blogger FREEdom rights.” They are: (1) FREE to format any way I want and, (2) FREE to publish anytime I want. These two are powerful, in my opinion. Think about it. What newspaper, magazine, book publisher, newsletter, journal, etc. will allow a writer such freedom? I might be wrong, but I think none.
Now, my blogger FREEdom of rights are fundamental principles that I like and adhere to, but since I have begun blogging, I have come up with a few other “guidelines” that I strive to follow:
One is keeping a posting around five-hundred words. Why that quantity of words? Well, I’m not really sure. I think I feel like 500 is reasonable, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. That’s because 500 words just feels right and referring back to my first blogger FREEdom right, I can format any way I want. That’s part of my format. :-)
Another guideline is “writing for learning.” This means that when I blog, I am using it as a way to learn more about what I am thinking and also what I am capable of thinking about a particular topic. This is what I am doing at this moment. I am sitting in front of my computer screen and “confessing” about blogging.
Opps, I’m well over 550 words. If I’m going to follow my guidelines, then I need to stop.
Oh, one other thing. Bloggers love comments. I don’t know why, we just do! Please comment.