I started blogging in 2005, not too long after I had Gabe. As a new mother I was desperate to hold onto the fleeting moments of his early babyhood, and I had started a Microsoft Word document on our computer detailing some of his milestones, our experiences and my feelings. It broke my heart, however, when our hard drive crashed and I lost everything I had accumulated, including this document.
I’m still a little sad about it – can you tell?
Thankfully I’d uploaded all my pictures to Shutterfly and only had to order a cd to get them back. It cost $20, which was a cheap and worthwhile replacement in my mind!
Also, yhat should also tell you how many photos I was taking back then. If I had to do it today it would be droves and droves of cds. Also droves and droves of money. Speaking of which, I had really better back up my pictures. I don’t think they’ve been backed up since… oh, 2006?
Yikes! Maybe someone should introduce me to Carbonite…
Anyway, my blog has gradually morphed over time, first being completely private, and gradually becoming more and more public. What started as a place to record a laundry list of the day’s or week’s events has turned into a place I’ve documented and worked through some of the most significant events of my adulthood. Sometimes I skip back through the archives, and every time I do I’m so thankful our hard drive crashed, because if it hadn’t I wouldn’t have had the impetus to write like I have.
When I started linking my blog posts to Facebook, sometimes real-life acquaintances and friends would stop me and mention my blog. Invariably they’d all say something like, “I wish I could do that!” and follow it with some reason they didn’t think they could. But here’s the thing… they could.
If you’ve ever wanted to write, you can start a blog. If you’ve ever read someone’s blog with a pang of jealousy, wishing you could put things in black and white like they do, you can. If you ever thought back on the events of your early parenthood (or any other events, really) and wished you had a record of them, you can start now!
Know this… blogging is not hard!
It’s not; it really isn’t. You don’t need to know a lot about the internet or html or photography or Photoshop. Blogging can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. If the complexity overwhelms you, then keep it simple! Honestly, it’s as easy as going to www.blogger.com and clicking the orange “Get Started” button. Or if you don’t want to use Blogger, try www.wordpress.com. Their start button is orange, too! :) Both these options are completely free and can be as public or as private as you want them to be. You don’t have to mess with tons of fancy settings or anything – you just create an account and write. If you can write an email you can blog.
The other thing to know? Writing is easy, too.
You can worry about writing beautifully, grammar immaculate and stories almost poetic. But don’t.
Write for yourself.
Write what you love.
Write your life.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You will never regret having a record of your events, thoughts, and feelings. When you look back over them it won’t matter how well they were written – you’ll only wish you’d written more. And really, the only way to discover your voice and become a better writer is through actually writing. You have to DO it. Don’t wait until you have it all together or something interesting happens or you know how you want to word things – just write it now. You’ll treasure it later!
There are a million bloggers who know more than I do about blogging and do things better than I do. I’m not qualified to give any sort of advice on writing techniques or SEO. There are lots of times where I read elsewhere enviously, wishing I could write as grippingly or humorously or poignantly or optimistically or thoughtfully or as sweetly as someone else. But when I look back at the body of work I’ve created and the memories I’ve collected for myself and my family, I count it as one of my most worthwhile creations, efforts of which I’m most proud. Some of it’s good. Some of it… not so much. Some of it makes me weep and some of it makes me cry tears of happiness. But I have it and I love it. And you can have it, too.
Blogging and writing aren’t for everyone, but if they interest you – even a tiny bit – take the plunge. Don’t wait for everything to be right – just write about the here-and-now while you journey to the next destination in your life. Write daily, write twice a year, write poorly, write beautifully… just write!
P.S. – If you decide to take the plunge and get stuck on any part of the set-up process, feel free to let me know and I will do whatever I can to help. And if you do take the plunge and decide to blog publicly come back and post the address to your blog so I can visit!