Well, it’s been nearly a year since I began blogging which was a new year’s resolution I actually kept. I’m afraid the one about maintaining a healthier lifestyle as usual didn’t last long at all – no surprise there then!
So how have I found blogging during the last 12 months? It’s been mixture. Firstly, I was apprehensive and very quickly got writer’s block in that as soon as I sat down with my laptop in front of me, all the little ideas that came to me in the strangest of places, disappeared and I couldn’t think what to write. I was also anxious. Anxious that people wouldn’t like what I wrote – even worse – people wouldn’t read what I wrote. I became worried. Worried that not only would I struggle to think of something to write but struggle to find the time.
After a little talk with myself (I do that quite a lot) and a little grounding from friends and fellow bloggers, I set myself some ground rules (in no particular order)
1. Aim for one blog a week
2. Not to beat myself up if I couldn’t achieve this
3. Jot down ideas for blogs as they come to me
4. Share my opinions on other people’s posts from my own perspective as I would if discussing them with a friend or colleague
5. Share any hints or tips that have helped me
6. Write as naturally as I speak (within reason!)
7. Be nice even when I disagree
9. Write as if everyone is listening
10. Accept that maybe no-one will
What have I learned from the whole blogging experience?
I’ve learned to keep a record of my ideas in one place. I have two tools to help me with this. I have a notebook I carry around with me where I will write down any little thing that comes to mind and write rough notes or even a first draft. I have also found Evernote invaluable and as I speak (sorry – write), I am drafting this in Evernote now. The beauty of Evernote is that it syncs across platforms which means if I have access to the internet, I can log on and write. It also allows me to collate any research I need for my blog posts.
I’ve learned to speed up my writing process – although I still struggle with this. “I didn’t have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead” a quote often attributed to Mark Twain (amongst others) is so me.
Blogging has helped me analyse and consolidate. I’m a magpie with information. I was in danger of just collecting great stories, statistics, presentations and hiding them away in my Evernote library – where they sat. I do that with books too. It’s almost like if I collect enough books I might absorb their riches by osmosis! I would read but not always analyse. Blogging has helped me analyse and make sense of things. It has helped me form my own opinions and reasoning.
More importantly, I’ve learned to believe in myself, in my experience and in my abilities a lot more.
If you haven’t thought about blogging before. Go on – jump in with both feet. I wholeheartedly recommend it. And if you have started blogging recently I would love to hear your tips and experiences.