By: Marilyn L. Davis
Your Blog – Your Perspective
“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”― Ernest Barbaric
How Do You Start Blogging?
If you aren’t sure whether you’re ready to give advice, suggestions, or directions for your subjects of interest, but want still want to start a blog or site, then your content might be prompted by what you’re reading. So, what grabbed your attention today?
- Did that information enrage or engage you?
- Do you share the article’s perspective?
- Can you write about a counter-point?
- Do you have more current information?
- Can you expand on the news in your area?
- Could you write about the subject better?
- Is the article or blog true from your perspective?
- What do you know about the issue from an insider’s view?
How Can You Write with Confidence?
Several years ago, I was encouraged to start a blog called From Addict 2 Advocate. I’ve been in abstinence-based recovery since 1988, opened and ran an award-winning residential recovery home for women, and created a recovery curriculum. You’d think after writing 400,000 words for that curriculum, I wouldn’t have any hesitation in writing a 1000 word blog post. Well, I did.
I don’t know any writer who doesn’t have reservations about putting themselves out there for public scrutiny. We feel vulnerable, exposed, and apprehensive about how people will judge our words – will they like what we write or be critical?
Then, my good friend, Scott Biddulph, asked me to write a post for Two Drops of Ink. Now, I was genuinely proud but more anxious about writing about writing. I didn’t think I had enough education or experience in that subject to write about it.
But I wrote one, and it got great comments, and I haven’t regretted overcoming my fears and just doing it. So, now I had two subjects I could write about with a little bit of confidence.
What issues or topics don’t scare you, and you think you could write about them with some authority?
What Do You Know?
“We write what we know” seems obvious, but that is where we begin. If you’re an expert in something, qualify it for me. Not just with letters behind your name, but tell me your process, your struggles, and your accomplishments – and then how you felt during each stage of that process. I’m not talking about a blow-by-blow, long-winded narrative, though, but enough story to pique my interests.
Whatever knowledge you have about the topic, it is your writing that will make it worthwhile. Your distinct tone, style, and phrasing can and will make it original, which allows you to produce a stand-out blog.
Write About Your Passions – It’s Contagious
“Whatever your passion is, keep doing it. Don’t waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace. Excel at doing what your passion is and only focus on perfecting it.”― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Even with all of the personal blogs today, you still have an opportunity to create exciting pieces that others will find enjoyable, make someone think, or start a discussion on the merits of the information.
Obviously, my passions are recovery and writing, but they may not be yours.
My Problem – His Passion
I’m like many of you; I understand the computer enough to write. I have a trusted computer expert to fix the problems, and I’ve used his services for over twenty years. Not only does he fix the problems, but he also gives me great analogies or metaphors for what happened.
When I had RAM issues, he commented that my desk was always clear and organized. I might have a cup of coffee and one or two reference books on one edge of the desk, but my usual writing method was organized and uncluttered.
I gave him that look that we all do when someone states the obvious – waiting anxiously for anything we don’t already know. He asked me if I could write if my desk had:
- All my references books stacked upon it
- My dog’s leash draped over the monitor.
- Cat snacks to throw on the floor so Jackson stays off the keyboard.
- Snacks and drinks for me in case I get hungry.
- Twenty-seven sticky notes to remind me of whatever.
- because she will have to go out during my writing
- A basket with pens, paper clips, butterfly clips, extra glasses, and a fingernail file in case I break a nail while typing.
The ‘Aha’ Moment for You and Me
I laughed and said that no, all that would be distracting, as well as disorganized and messy.
He then told me that my jumbled RAM was just that disorganized and messy. Although the RAM was a big desktop, I slowed down its effectiveness with all the “might needs” that cluttered my desktop.
I had large files for images, drafts of pieces, sites to visit, and several open browsers. Who knows when I’d need a link for an article? I’d have eight or ten Word documents available, too. Who knew when the darling of last week would work? Then the nine tabs to game sites. Ah, I see the problem.
Make a Process Relevant for All of Us
In other words, just too much stuff working at any given time. My computer was messy when I wrote, and I was expecting my computer to run too much at one time. I’m a woman who thinks anything beyond adding and subtracting for a checkbook is too much math, but I was overloading my computer’s ability to process, much like advanced math is for me.
He then told me the facts – do this, do that: start bookmarking sites and files, and that when I need something, it was in the file cabinet or drawers of the desk – those hard drives or history, or searches. He made sense; it wasn’t like I had to walk somewhere to retrieve them.
Either search or history told me where the information was, and if I didn’t need it, then it was filed and ready for another time. Now, I’m organized at my virtual desk, too.
Does everyone have a computer geek who’s a storyteller? No, but that’s the power of storytelling. I learned about how computers function because I could understand the example. I learned a valuable lesson, and we stay loyal to those who teach us something.
What Can Your Blog Teach Me?
With so many blogs today, it's hard to imagine that anyone needs another post or a how-to, but when you write from your point of reference, it may mean that someone understands a topic from an entirely different perspective - yours. Click To Tweet
I know you have information that I need, even when I don’t know it.
I hope that you’re encouraged to get your knowledge, humor, how-to, or suggestions out there for us to read.
Because how you say something will touch others in ways that my words can’t—that simple.
Submissions Open on Both Sites
Not ready to start your blog but want to share your writing? Is it poetry, prose, or problem-solving for the writer and blogger? Then send a guest submission to Two Drops of Ink.
Know something about addiction and recovery? Then consider a guest submission to From Addict 2 Advocate.
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, and Books A Million.