Have you ever read how-to guides for blogging? If you haven’t, I’ll give you a few of the highlights:
- Make an introduction post.
- Create a posting calendar. Stick to that calendar. It should be broken down to the hourly, with your posts scheduled to optimal times of day for maximum chance of exposure determined by very official-sounding people.
- Should you feel the need to stray, create a new blog.
- Cross-post your blog posts to every single platform ever. Don’t think too hard about the fact that this renders following the blog pointless if you get the exact same content on Twitter.
- @#$^ Twitter.
- Don’t swear. It’s unattractive.
I may be paraphrasing a bit, but you get the gist. Blogging should be a business, even if it isn’t making money, even before you know anyone is listening, before you’ve moved beyond “I just want to write about writing.”
I made my URL. (I wanted to get it while the getting’s good. I already am stuck with unfortunate e-mails.) And then I waited.
While I waited, I tried to think of an introduction. I tried to form a thesis statement for this blog to build upon, like a research paper. I tried to create a calendar with categories of posts. I thought of some clever names for them like Flash Fiction Fridays and Sonnet Sundays and I tried to create a theme for every day of the week. Was I going to blog about book reviews? Currently reading lists? Talk about my favorite authors? Blog a book?
While I waited for all of that to come together in a brilliant flash of inspiration, I changed the theme. Again and again and again. Nothing looked quite right. This was probably because there was no content on the homepage, and I knew I needed to change gears–at least temporarily. If I didn’t post something, I knew I never would. So I talked to a friend, and he suggested I share my “Love in the Stars” haiku series, which I had written inspired by his own haikus (found on his Instagram) and then tucked away in my Google Drive.
Another friend reminded me about a story I had been sitting on for a while because I wasn’t sure what to do with it when it’s finished. And I read Book Riot’s YA newsletter, and I had a lot of thoughts I wanted to put down but no where to put them. A tweet from an old favorite author reminded me of when she was the only author for whom I would venture outside of the fantasy genre, and I wanted to talk to her.
I was reminded, over and over again, that all I wanted to do was talk about writing. I wanted to share small projects, ones I liked but had no plans for. I wanted to share my favorite books and authors. I wanted to discuss trends and tropes. I want to have a conversation with people who love reading and writing. While human beings are creatures of habit, and a schedule is likely to form organically because I am no exception, I don’t want to worry about what day of the week it is.
I hope that’s alright, dear reader, because we have a lot to talk about.
P.S. I might make fun, but I did do a lot of reading to find out why I was unsuccessful in blogging in the past. I particularly liked this post over on Jane Friedman’s blog.