Before jumping into the world of blogging, I didn’t understand it at all. A few people suggested I blog but first I had to appreciate some basic things about blogging. I didn’t have to be The Supreme Expert on what I was writing. My well-based thoughts and opinions are good enough. With a background in research I’ve been trained to justify every idea in my head with reams of evidence to prove I was correct in my theory. Not in blogging. I can share my thoughts, change, create and develop. Sometimes people will agree with what I’ve written and at other times, vehemently disagree. I haven’t had to prove my thoughts- not yet at least. The nice thing is that other people get to comment on my blog. We can get a dialog going. I’ve experienced others’ finding their ways with blogging too. I do think that some people are afraid to blog-thinking their thoughts may not be good enough to share on paper. Being human we can have similar feelings. Maybe you’re not a blogger, but then again, you might be.
Here are some elements to consider when selecting your blog’s overarching theme:
Picking your Blog Genre
Choose a blog theme that you will look forward to returning to over time. It should be something you enjoy and a general topic you know something about. Think about what has piqued your interest. There will always be writers who never stepped on a farm- yet, write bestselling novels located in Dilapidated Dairies or on Crow’s Fool Farm. Does it matter whether Carolyn Keene really spent time on Larkspur Lane? Maybe not, but make sure you know about the ‘hood before dropping your protagonist there. The same thing goes in blogging. I like to ready mysteries but I, for the life of me, couldn’t blog on mysteries a few times a week. There are some bloggers out there that are outstanding at this. I’m not one of them. So I mix it up. But if you’ve chosen your theme make sure you can stomach it on the 5500 time that you look at it. Just like writing you will be coming back to it. The joy of blogging is that it shouldn’t be laborious. There is no need to have several drafts and revise incessantly.
Match blogs to overarching blog theme:
Blog posts should, at least a little bit, match what the theme promises. Most writers are amazing people and have vast funds of knowledge. It may be stingy of me to suggest that bloggers keep specific to the genre they’ve chosen. Blogger peeps may blog on various topics. They attach their “other” favorites on different pages, altogether different blogs and add these to their blog rolls or have sections describing and inviting their readers to these other sites.
Look at other people’s blogs. Sample them as you would when picking out your own wedding cake. After a while you’ll see what works and what isn’t too attractive to you. It was disconcerting for me to see the covers of a recommended list of vampire novels at the bottom of a blog themed “Eight Hundred Egg Recipes for the Epicurean” (or something to that effect). It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth. Why not have another blog that the readers can blogroll onto? It could be called “Bloody Tales for the Hungry Vamp.” I don’t mind being surprised but not horrified. I’ve also seen how creative others can be. The color combos, the pics, the videos, the screams are all individualized. See how imaginative and inspired you can be!
The joys of actual blogging:
Enjoy the process. Deciding when to jot your blog down is important too. It’s no fun if you dread your blog as you did your term paper. I find that because my blog is about topics that I really care about that subject matter meanders its way into my thoughts all the time. The trick is to write a few sentences about those ideas right away. This could be in the shower, on the train or walking on Second Avenue in Manhattan. I can use my Dictaphone app on my iPhone or write a short note on my beloved index cards and the foundation is there when I’m ready to really get my blog on.
Choose topics because you like them, know something about them and are pretty good at them. I know about mental health. I’ve been a practitioner for over twenty five years. Living a very spectacular spiritual life gives me the confidence to write on it. I may not specifically say that the topics I choose are a spiritual experience on the outset. But when I’ve written about doing a triathlon or swimming with strangers, ‘you can bet your bottom dollar’ that this is a spiritual experience for me. I guess you should have read my blog entry “Clichés: the new black.” I like clichés, therefore, I wrote an entry on them- despite the fact I get turned up noses about them from most people.
Do don’t tell. Maybe there is something you like to do-like write. Why write about writing all the time? Write shorts or flash pieces. Maybe you “can’t” sell it to a publisher after it’s become part of your blog but you may not have planned to send that piece out anyway. Many of us write about our slices of life but they won’t make it out of the middle drawer unless we take it out ourselves.
My weekly blog entry Palabras is something experimental, growing, and has lived on a few different sites before moving onto my LatinaLibations blog site. In real life I do spiritual readings. Weekly, I do a general reading for the public. It’s not generic but each person who clicks on the site can find meaning for themselves from the reading. This is action I am taking in this form of writing. I’m not telling you I do readings here, I actually do one. By the way, Palabras is Spanish for Words. My Latina-ness was wide awake when I chose this name.
Listen to your intuition when it comes to blogging. Allow blog writing to be one of the more pleasurable aspects of your life. Just like writing, no one is forcing your hands on the keyboard. You’re doing it because you like it. When we begin activities, creative or otherwise, there may be more stress and tension during early involvement in the project. This will change or, at least, feel different after you’ve been at it awhile. I’ve found that my blog has changed since my first entry. It started out basically as a toe dip in the lake. Now I am swimming in the bay area and hope to enter the ocean soon.
Check out my other site www.latinalibations.blogspot.com I recently birthed it and it’s in an early stage of infancy. I may give it a new formula soon. Let me know what you think about blogging!