I’ve been blogging since 2003. While this might sound like it was a rather long time ago, it was actually pretty late by most standards.
It’s true: I was totally late to the game.
I’m saying this to encourage you.
Just Get Started
I think everybody feels like they are the very last person on the boat when they start blogging. I know I did.
Here’s what I wrote in one of my earliest posts.
“…despite the fact that part of me is convinced that once I start a blog, such a thing will suddenly cease to exist — will become so immeasurably passé and unhip that it is outlawed — despite this firm belief, I am, indeed, starting one.”
I felt like I was the last person on the face of the earth to start a blog. But I really wanted a reason to be writing every day. I knew that I was a decent writer, and that with lots of practice I could become actually good at it. So mostly I started blogging because I wanted to force myself into a discipline of regular writing.
Why Do You Want To Write a Blog?
What is it that you want to get done by writing a blog? What’s the goal? Make sure you understand your objectives very clearly, and then let them guide you. Write them down and tape them up next to your computer screen. This will help you when you don’t feel like writing, and when you don’t know what to write about.
Do you want to reach a new group of people? Do you want to reach the people you already know in a new way? Do you want to connect with like-minded souls? Or just share your passion with whoever wants to listen?
Be clear about what it is you are trying to achieve with your blog, and the rest becomes a whole lot easier.
Your Goals Will Trump Your Fears Every Time
I finally decided to get started because I realized that my fears and my goals were actually completely unrelated.
I feared that I would look foolish, and like I was jumping on the me-too bus.
My goal was to become a better writer.
So really, even if my fears came true, that wouldn’t necessarily get in the way of achieving my goals. So I shrugged… took a deep breath… and I got on with it.
And now it’s 2009, and suddenly 2003 sounds like it was a really long time ago. And I have different goals now, taped up next to my computer screen. When I don’t know what to write about, they whisper in my ear. I also have different fears. But the goals are still very good at shouting those fears down.
I do not tape up my fears next to my computer screen. I try to give them as little bandwidth as possible.
So get started. Because I know you have goals, and I know that they are stronger than — or even better, entirely unrelated to — your fears. I also know one more thing.
We need you.
We need you to tell us your story. We need to hear your voice. That’s how this place works. It gets stronger when more people play.
So raise your shoulders to your ears. Let them down again. Take a deep breath. And begin.