In 2010 I took a big gulp of courage and published this blog. I had been thinking about it for some time and really had no clear vision what I wanted to write or say, but I thought I could do something that would provide a creative outlet for myself and hopefully not embarrass my family too much. Almost two years later I would have to say it’s one of the best things I have done.
For me creating my blog was not as hard as I thought it would be. Maintaining it is another story. Keeping it current with content that others find interesting and perhaps witty is a daily challenge. I have published hit and miss pieces but I have seen my blog grow from that first subscriber (thanks Mom!) to so many more that I am truly grateful. From the Mudroom has made such a difference to my life that I have found it easier to move forward in other directions that I was contemplating. While this blog is still not where I want it to be, and it’s ever changing, I do feel that I can offer a bit of advice for those that are thinking of taking the blog plunge.
What I Didn’t Know Then and What I Know Now and Not Necessarily in this Order:
1. Network, Network, Network: I spend a portion of every day (insert “I don’t have a life” here) commenting on my favorite blogs. I have stumbled across some amazing sites and have corresponded with fascinating people I am certain I would not have found had I not been trying to promote my own blog. Everyone wins.
2. It’s Not a Competition: You will always find blogs that you feel are better than your own. Don’t judge your site on another person’s talent or experience. Let it inspire you. But that’s life in general isn’t it?
3. Update Regularly: I personally won’t read a blog if it hasn’t been updated within the past two weeks. I don’t know why. I just move to something else.
4. Spell Check is Not Always Your Friend. While it is helpful, spell check can take you on a wild ride faster than your teenager with his learner’s permit. Regard this feature with caution. It may take your story to a whole new unintended meaning. Also, if I wanted to read something incoherent with spelling errors, I would pick up my son’s homework.
5. Be Inspired: Not all of my posts have been my favorite. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to speak in simple sentences as I’m in fetal position somewhere because I forgot to refill my meds. Thus, writing something that might even be remotely thought-provoking or humorus is sometimes difficult. When this happens, it’s time for me to get outside. Or call my girlfriends. Or read a book. Or call the pharmacy. Anything but sit in front of a computer.
6. Content Counts. Unless I’m related to you, I really don’t care if your child moved from a bottle to a sippy cup. However, if you make it humorous or put a different spin on it, then I’m all yours.
7. Blogs Ripen at Different Stages: It takes one post to set your blog into a different stratosphere. I wrote Empty the Tank that changed everything for me. The response I received from that one piece of work prompted the editor of our local newspaper to offer me a column, creating a whole new audience for me. Another, I Would Hope, was picked up by a popular website and shared with their readers. You never know. Just keep writing.