When I began blogging, I had no idea what I was doing.
No, no. Let that sit in a while longer.
I had *no idea* what I was doing. I don’t mean this in the offhanded, playful way I sometimes do. I mean that I knew I had tried and failed a “this is what I’m up to” style blog once in college. I wrote three posts, and forgot about it.
When I decided I wanted to be a writer, chief among top advice was to start up a blog. So I picked a pen name and opened up a blog. Beyond the ‘Hello, World!’ post, I had no idea what I was going to post about. Writing? What about it? Technical matters, things I could research and chew on, just…stuff. I kept on plodding on, figuring that at some point things would start to make sense.
The one thing I felt I did right was keeping it real. To write about what it was honestly like to write. To be honest about the ups and the downs, and sometimes the ‘I Ate Mud Pie and Discovered It was Made of Worse Things Than Mud’ moments.
The best thing I ever did for my blog was not write it for the public. Not write it for myself, because I tend to place other people’s needs first. The best thing I did was pretend I was writing to a friend. Not just any friend, mind you, a particular friend, one with a face and a name, a person who very much exists in real life.
Know what? There are other people who like the way I talk to this friend and they like to read my blog.
I don’t have a huge traffic flow. I write to a small group of readers. I used to think that I needed to have hundreds of visitors a day. I tried that for a while. I did get them, but they went away again. Know why? Because mine is not the Mass Population Blog. It’s the ‘cozy pull a chair up to the fire’ blog. It’s the blog where I roast marshmallows and tell stories.
My visitors stay longer when they pop by. Twenty or more posts per visitor sometimes, more often around 5 posts, but even so. Know how long it takes to read that much material? Yep, it can take quite a while.
My motivation for posting is now to keep my friend updated. That means I don’t neglect my blog for too long, that I can pick my topics better. A secondary motivation is to keep my posting more regular, and this works hand in hand with another goal: To keep up with doing my Doodles. I use them as images for my posts. So, if I go through all my images, it means I need to draw more. Since I post less frequently than I am supposed to draw, I shouldn’t run out of images to use. My habits are self-enforcing in this way.
This is why I blog.
I hope to see all you guys later in 2014.