It’s always good to start with a question, maybe not necessary, but definitely good. It implies a goal, it gives you somewhere to go.
Sometimes questions are limiting, particularly ones answered with “yes” or “no,” but luckily that is not what I’m faced with. As I thought about what I might write for my first post, I began googling random phrases along the lines of “how to write a blog.”
These are a few of the tips the internet gave me:
- Find your niche
- Don’t blog unless you have a unique angle
- Follow our post formula
Personally, I love guidelines. I especially love guidelines when I’m starting something new, but some of these just don’t seem quite right.
Niches can be good. They can give you direction, but they remind me more of “yes” or “no” questions. I never want to begin a post with an apology because it is off topic or personal. A niche will limit this blog and I have more ideas than will fit under any label I can think of.
Maybe a niche isn’t necessary, but certainly a unique angle is, right? Wrong. Well, sort of wrong. I have a problem with the premise of this guideline. Everyone is unique and as cheesy as that is, it is true. I’ve met a lot of people in my life and each has had a different story to tell. If I ever meet two with the same stories, I’ll let you know.
Finally, I’m going to give the idea of following someone else’s post formula one word: no.
All that being said, my blog does need direction. There are a lot more questions than answers in our world, and this blog will aim to change the ratio. I won’t necessarily start with a question, but I will try to provide my own answers and thoughts on issues and events surrounding me.
I still worry that I will not have enough focus and that I will be throwing words blindly into the tangles of the internet. As much as I don’t really think I would mind that, I wonder if it’s best for me to keep my thoughts in my journal as I have for years. Then my dad says this:
“How can you ever find your voice if you don’t speak?”
I have been speaking. I’ve been writing since before I could hold a crayon and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not afraid to voice my opinions on pretty much anything. Until now, those ideas have lived in the pages of my notebooks and the ears of my friends.
I know how to write for myself, and even for the people I know. But I am a writer, and it is time for me to find my voice in relation to the world and people beyond my small corner of the universe. Maybe no one will read this, but that’s ok. It is available, and, for now, that is all that matters.