Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More Lessons on the Web

I just popped over to ProBlogger and found a great post for newbies titled Lessons From the Heart for Would-Be Bloggers where Darren summarizes the points in Joshua Porter's 9 Lessons for Would-be Bloggers. I remember resembling most of what is written there; okay, I still resemble most of it. Anyway. Where was this post three months ago when I was quaking at my keyboard and staring blankly at the monitor? No matter what level blogger you are, you will find yourself nodding in agreement with at least one of the points and no doubt have an "aha" moment as well.

I definitely identify with Point 1 "It's only an initial fear." I can still have an anxiety moment about an occasional topic but it is nothing like the sheer terror of writing my first take on "About Me." In fact after finishing most posts now I already have an idea of something I would like to chat about another time. I really worried - needlessly I might add - that I would not be able to think of a thing to write about, let alone something that somebody else might find interesting to read about; and in turn write some more about on their blog. That's awesome.

The ones I am chewing on, and I think they go together are: Point 3 "When in doubt post" and Point 5 "Everything is beta." This is interesting because I find my self caught between two schools of thought. On the one hand I started blogging to stretch my writing legs as it were. But I also want to be taken seriously as a quality writer. So...how do I experiment and take risks with new ideas and material without sacrificing my hope to move into legitimate (also known as paid) writing gigs?

While Joshua and Darren correlate the process of blogging being like the beta or test versions of programs and software, where the developer knows it isn't in its best or final version releases it for a test-drive by all kinds of users who hopefully give constructive feedback about what's missing or isn't working as described, I am not sure it works to have too many posts that resemble walking in circles. I want to be part of a community where there is mutual support as well as give and take; but I don't want to be the group project nor did I come to the online world looking for a project to rescue.

All the same, I do feel that my blog is not in its best or final form. For the time being I am using a standard Blogger template which is really non-creative in the larger sense. I have changed some of the defaults but my sidebar organization definitely needs tweaking as my categories have grown. But all of its warts aside I am accomplishing my number 1 objective which is developing ideas and writing about them regularly; as well as writing about my process regularly.

The offshoot of all this is that I have started to see a shade of my writing personality that has been previously undiscovered, but more importantly I have starting homing in on a type of writing I want to pursue and I have begun to be able to imagine myself engaged in that work. I am certain that I will blog again on various parts of this discussion as I continue to hone my online identity and what I want my blogging to stand for.

So, thanks to Joshua Porter for putting together a great list and to Darren for bringing it to our attention.

EDITED

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