Blogging 2.0: A Look Back

So, being that this is NaBloPoMo and all, and being that I’m back to writing, and being that I’ve posted daily, it’s hard not to think about what’s been done since I started blogging. Thinking about how I started, I decided to share how I started blogging.

Once Upon a Time . . . 

I think it was back in 2009 when I said, “Hey, I like writing. Maybe I should blog.” Of course, as with most bloggers and writers go, it’s probably not as simple as that–or maybe it is and if it was that way for you, awesome. For me, it was sort of that way, but there’s a good chance I mentioned this before. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and write for public viewing. I mean, everyone was doing it write, I mean right? So, one more blog won’t hurt, right?

And even if no one read what I wrote, I was blogging main for me. To prove to myself that even though I’m posting to the internet, things will be ok. My biggest fear in posting online was that I’d get some pretty nasty feedback. That’s what stopped me from becoming a writer as a career. I mean, what if someone hated what I wrote and wasn’t afraid to let me know it? Could I handle it? Would I keep writing after that?

. . . the journey begins 

So, I jumped off the cliff (metaphorically speaking of course, in case that needed to be defined) and launched my first blog as In My Opinion in June ’09. It sucked. Hard. I did get some views, but it was mainly postings of articles I’d read and I’d offer my thoughts and comments on it. I thought I was pretty clever, giving “my opinion.” It was a bold step since I’m one to hide from conflict and the articles I’d repost were on pretty much anything. And nothing earth-shattering happened. No one completely hated what I wrote so I didn’t get hate mail, or laughed off the internet. In fact, I didn’t get anything at all. And I realized, even though I like reading all kinds of things, maybe reposting articles on computers, or cybersecurity, or government ideas weren’t as appealing to, say, anyone else. Of course, I didn’t know of SEO or anything like that so it was just, “here I am World” and then sit back and see what happens.

Needless to say, that fizzled out in about four months. Running parallel to that blog, I decided to start one that talked about my life. I called that … well, I forget. As you can tell, that one didn’t work either. And after that, I started to lose a little steam. It’s one thing to want to write and a whole other thing to actually write something that people read and if the point of me writing to get over my fear of public writing then people reading blog was an important part of accomplishing that goal.

. . . the adventure continues 

The year 2012 was a turning point of sorts. I decided to get serious. The fall of that year I decided to go back to school and my writing class gave me a little boost. So on September 24, 2012, I jumped off that same cliff and 411 Junkie was born and in the Spring of 2013, I really started to get serious. I put together a game plan on what I wanted to write about and things I wanted to post.

Three years later, I’m still writing because I renewed my love of writing. I have 168 followers, although that includes Twitter followers, which is a lot more than when I started in 2009. I’ve had about 800 views and 15 comments and none of them hate mail.

It’s taken a few attempts, but for anyone who is just starting out or who are thinking about it, the best advice I can give is to just do it. Just write. Write and post. Write and post about things you really love or don’t. But the key thing is to get started. There is a gap between my second attempt at blogging and 411 Junkie. It wasn’t because I was off doing profound things. I spent most of the time thinking what I wanted to blog and trying to plan what I wanted to blog about. Looking back, it hindered me. One day, it dawned on me. Just do it!

. . . when all is said and done . . .

The key thing to accomplishing your goals is to get started, take action. Put one foot in front of the other (again, metaphorically speaking in this case). You never know what’s going to happen if you just stand still. So, jump off that cliff and take that leap of faith. I’m happy with my results. I got over my fear of public writing. While the fear of having hateful feedback will always be in the corner of my mind, I see now it’s a three on my “fear scale.” I’ll recover quickly because people have commented on my posts. They’ve liked my posts. They’ve reshared my posts. I’ve met fellow bloggers and made friends through this blog. So, while negative feedback is always possible, there’s an even greater chance of connecting with others and that’s what matters.

So this is my where I land on my feet, look back at the cliff, and say “Let’s do that again!”

. . . A new start.