Friday, July 25, 2014

Blogging on the Regular: Thoughts On My 1st Year

Happy 1st Birthday Meager Words! I've been blogging semi-seriously for about a year now, and I've enjoyed it much more than I expected. I had a blog several years ago while I was working in campus ministry, but it was more of a confessional style online journal.  Last year I decided to start writing again shortly after the birth of our third son. I knew that it was going to be harder for me to get out and about, and I needed some sort of outlet.

Blogging has proven to be a great outlet for me since I tend to communicate more clearly in writing. It has also been such a mind saver. I hang out with three kids four years old and under everyday. I love it most days! But I can only take so many children's songs, ABC's, and repetitive questions. There are times when I feel like I am losing any intelligence that I may have had.

If you're thinking about starting a blog, I say go for it. You've got nothing to lose, and you'll have a blast. I've learned a great deal about myself and the art of blogging this year. Here are a few of those lessons:

1. I love to write- I've always been a journaler. I think my parents encouraged me to journal when I first began learning to write, and I never stopped: well, until I became a mother. I just don't always take the time or have the mental energy to write and reflect everyday anymore. Blogging has forced me to stop, reflect, and be creative.

2. Writing is hard work- Writing consistently is no easy task-- even for a natural writer. I've tried to post weekly this year.  Coming up with something to write about and then actually sitting down to pound it out requires serious willpower and effort. I don't always feel inspired. I've had to post some things I didn't think were very good. I've had to get over myself, and get it out there.

3. If I'm going to do anything worth doing, I have to work through my fears- Blogging is pretty personal. Every time I sit down to write --especially articles that deal with my personal viewpoints--, I have to resist the temptation to think too deeply about what other people will think about the things I write. Sometimes I get so scared of being misunderstood that I shy away from writing things I ought to write. The fear of putting out low quality work can also paralyze me, but I remind myself that everyone has to start somewhere.

4. I couldn't live without my super skilled proofreader- I am so thankful that my husband enjoys reading what I write. More than that, he enjoys correcting all of my grammatical errors. I couldn't do it without him!

5. Aesthetics matter- We live in an ΓΌber visual world, and I'm learning that in the blogging world it doesn't much matter how good your content is if the visual aspects of your blog are unpleasant. I'll say it again, people will NOT read your blog if you don't have a clean design and quality pictures. That being said, this is definitely an aspect of my blog that I'm still working on. I'm focusing on taking better pictures and brushing up on my html and css.

Helpful Blogging Resources

1. Five Blogging Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making-

2. Deciding on Wordpress vs. Blogger-

3. Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog Photography-

4. How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)- a great little book!