I’ve only been blogging here since September, but online diaries have been around for so long that I’m not under any illusion whatsoever of being more than a very tiny fish (think the runt of a litter of plankton…) in an unfathomably large pond. That doesn’t mean I haven’t learnt something from my experience so far, by any means. The concept of writing letters to a past or future self fascinates me and always has done, so I thought I’d have a go at reflecting on what I didn’t know about blogging when I started, and what I wish I’d known.
Blogging is demanding. Between thinking up and actually writing out, photographing for and scheduling a regular stream of posts, it takes up far more of your time, imagination and mental capacity than you would think when you first sign up.
Along those lines…it will completely permeate your consciousness. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself thinking about it nearly 24/7, and in the real world, either inadvertently mentioning it to someone, or biting the words back for whatever reason. Case in point: my mum. I wasn’t sure if or when I would ever tell her about this, until it was done for me. Never have I known such self-consciousness as when she mentioned it to me… thank God she seems to like it!
That self-consciousness? Yep, it hasn’t disappeared yet. Every time I link my blog on Twitter or a new post is publicised on my Facebook, I wonder why I’m doing this and why anybody would want to be reading it, and live in fear of the day when someone asks me why on Earth I bother. Yes, I have an answer, but still. Putting everything on the table like this can be really quite unnerving, especially when it gets personal.
It can be a blog-eat-blog world. How you choose to interpret that statement depends on your personal experience of writing, negotiations and diplomacy.
There’s no such thing as overnight fame in blogging. It takes the aforementioned time and dedication, complete ignorance of your self-consciousness, a sprinkling of luck and good timing and no small amount of talent for writing and marketing to get anywhere.
It introduces you to concepts you never thought of, let alone thought you’d have a need for. SEO, strategy, media kits…come again?
You become fiercely protective of what you write. It’s your published work over which you hold intellectual copyright. It’s a representation of you, and call me narcissistic, but I do live in fear of the day I come across my work being plagiarised or otherwise used without my knowledge or permission. There are more examples of it than you would think, and it gives me the heebie-double-jeebies.
To liven the list up… how rewarding it is to click “Schedule” or “Publish” and share what I have to say with the world, for better or worse. How exciting it is to have an email alerting me to new followers/comments/likes, hell, emails in general. And overall, how fun it can be.