not everyone gardens and wears dresses (part 2)

As you may be able to tell from the title of this post, this is a continuation from an earlier post. As promised, I am embarking on the task to write advice on how to know when you’re ready to start a blog/how to know what you ought to blog about/how to name your blog/etc. Although the first post was only published yesterday, I must admit that I have in some small ways put off writing part 2 (in other words, I came up with 100 ideas for posts that would enable me to avoid writing the rest of this entry) because this is such a daunting task, no? But make sure you’ve read part 1, and here we go . . .

4. Narrow it down. Step 3 was to analyze the kind of blogs you enjoy reading and the kind of test posts you write (for the blog that doesn’t exist quite yet). Now, step 4 is the big dog. You have to take what you’ve learned about yourself and narrow it down to a concept for a blog, which I believe consists of two things: subject matter and style, or personality. I can’t overemphasize the connection between subject matter and style/personality at this point.

Subject matter is the meat of the message. What’s the actual topic of the blog going to be? Sports? Teaching? Learning a language? Your collection of fanfiction pieces? Your daily experiences working at an aquarium?

Style, or what I like to call personality, is the way you approach your subject matter. One way to find out what kind of personality you’d like to have for your blog is to ask, “What’s the purpose of my blog?” and “What do I hope my readers feel about my subject?” Are you hoping they’ll laugh about your daily attempts to feed a tank full of sword fish? Or would you rather they were wiping tears from their eyes after reading your alternate ending to The Notebook? It’s more than okay if your blog elicits different reactions at different times, but it will still be very helpful for you to kinda choose a niche so that readers know what to expect. (This also helps with choosing a blog name.)

So this is the moment of truth! This is when you just gotta do it! You gotta narrow down your subject matter and style. You have to make a choice of what your blog is gonna be like! You can do it.

(As a brief intermission of inspirational quoting, I’d like to remind you of something you’ve probably heard at some point in your life in the context of choosing a career or a spouse: choose the one you can’t live without. Do the work you can’t not do. Marry the person you can’t not be with for the rest of your life. I know those are kinda major life decisions, so how can I even draw a comparison? But I truly believe that a good blog does become part of your life, helps you make sense of things, follows your life. Of course, divorcing a blog is not as big of a deal, so don’t take this analogy in the opposite direction and convince yourself that you can never make a blogging commitment. The point is, blog about what you can’t NOT blog about.)

5. Pick a name. Take a deep breath. All the hard work is behind you. The good news is that your blog name depends very much on your subject and style, so the decisions you’ve already made will make this smooth sailing.

Simplicity is key. Try to keep the blog name easy to remember and related to what the blog is actually about. You can get fun and creative or go with something straightforward. The possibilities are endless.

Just one of many great examples is Themiddlestsister.com. This blog is a web-comic written and illustrated by the blogger and based on her memories of growing up with sisters. She’s one of five siblings, thus, the “middlest.”

Dear readers, I hate to prolong this entry once again, but I know you must be tired of reading. All that’s left is to choose a blogging community and to start blogging, so come back soon and we’ll wrap up this whole starting a blog thing, k?

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blogging: when you hit month two, you sometimes wish you could start over

Two months, my dear readers. Two whole months have I been writing on this one blog! It’s certainly a record. (Well, I suppose it’s safe to say that since my first month was a record, then every month thereafter will be another record. But remember, it’s the small victories, right?) Think of how far I’ve come since my compulsive-blog-creator days! That isn’t to say that (honestly) every time I come up with a post idea, I don’t wish with all my heart that I could start a blog about it . . .

It’s true. Over these last two months, I’ve had so many ideas. I’ve come to see what I’m passionate about and tend to write about. When you hit month two, you sometimes wish you could start over. Maybe I would have created a photography blog instead? Or a blog about Canadian dancing (which I know nothing about, but it would have been one of those learn-as-you-go-bildungsroman type blogs, yea?). But then I remember that through you, my dear readers, I can start these blogs and more!

The world's an open field. You may rove it, run through it, or roll in it. But please, write about it.

I must once again give a big “thank you” to everyone who has peeked at, read through, commented on, spammed up, and even (what!) followed the blog. Thank you to my friends and family who encourage me and often (whether you know it or not) inspire me to write. Thank you also to the bloggers who read and share; I’m just as often inspired by you.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to do a post on “how to know what you should blog about” (although I hope to come up with a more creative title for the post by the time it’s written). I’ve been throwing out ideas, and I know I’m not the only one who struggles with the question, “What do I really have to say to the world out there?” or the question, “What can I write about consistently enough to name a blog after?”

So that’s what’s coming up next. Stay tuned. Keep blogging.