I’ve always had dreams of being a writer. It seems like such a romantic profession—sitting on the beach with a glass of wine while typing away furiously on my laptop the deep and profound thoughts in my head. In my fantasies, the works are always great literary pieces that will be revered and loved for decades to come. Think The Great Gatsby or The Grapes of Wrath. Books you’re forced to read in high school but don’t really appreciate for another twenty years.
Inspiration from The Bachelor
I’m also a fan of The Bachelor. Yes, this aspiring literary giant enjoys watching a ridiculous TV show about twenty women vying for the love of one vapid but apparently irresistible man (to be fair, I also equally enjoy watching The Bachelorette).
Last season on The Bachelor one of those twenty women was a blogger from New York. Can’t remember her name at the moment, but I remember watching the bio piece about her life. They showed her sitting outside a hip little café in New York, sipping a Starbucks coffee while writing her blog. She was chic and cool in the way only true New Yorkers can be, and her profession—Blogger—added to her cool, unattainable mystique (she later showed herself to be a tad coockoo on the show, but that’s beside the point). When I watched her drinking that coffee and writing about whatever it was she was blogging about, I thought, “She’s living the life I was meant to live.”
Bloggers are Authors Too
I’d never really thought of blogging as actual writing. I mean, isn’t blogging just someone writing about whatever silly thing they think other people want to hear them talk about, like their trip to Asia or the seafood risotto they made for dinner last night? Could blogging really be as cool and purposeful as The Bachelor contestant made it out to be?
Well, the simple answers are yes and yes. Blogging is writing, and can inspire others as much as a great novel can.
What You Should be Blogging About
A couple of months ago I overheard some friends at work laughing about what someone named Claire had said. When I asked who Claire was, my friend Sally replied, “Oh, just this girl who writes this amazing blog about her house renovations.”
An amazing blog about house renovations? Kind of an oxymoron to me, but I figured I’d check it out since Sally and Courtney thought it was so great. And what I found shocked me. The blog was funny and entertaining, and laced with great pictures of the updates to the house. And despite the fact that I could give two licks about home renovation, I found myself going back to read the updates every week because the author, who was passionate about the changes she was making to her home, was able to put that passion into her blog and make it inviting and accessible to everyone.
And passion really is the key to writing a successful blog. It’s what makes you excited to sit down and share with hundreds, thousands, or maybe just tens of strangers, your take on a particular topic. It’s what will push you to keep blogging even after a long day at work, or a long day at home with the kids, or a long day of whatever other responsibilities you have. And it’s what makes others excited to sit down every day and read what you have to say.
Maybe you love cars. Or travel. Or Berber carpet. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you love it.
You are Already an Experienced Blogger
The idea of starting a blog seemed daunting to me. What in the world could I talk about each week that would keep readers interested? Sure, I have interests, but ones that I could talk about endlessly without the information becoming stale or boring?
Then out of the blue one day, my friend Robin made a comment about my social networking habits. “You won’t see Alisha commenting on Facebook unless it’s about food or animals.”
That’s when I realized I was already blogging, just in a non-traditional way. I had no problem constantly talking about my personal passions with others, I just wasn’t doing it in a structured format.
WordPress is a great blog tool that makes blog creation super easy, even for the most un-tech saavy novices like me. But the most important tool you have to make your blog successful is your passion. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of information you have to put out there, because trust me, you’re already doing it. Whether you’re talking with friends, posting recipes on Facebook, or pinning pictures of cool jewelry on Pinterest, you are already blogging in your daily life.
So I Love to Talk About Bugs. Now What?
Don’t be afraid to take the leap, start a blog, and share your passion with the world. A quick online search will return blogs about illustration, love, travel, photography, humor, food, nature, and culture, and that’s just the first page. Blog about whatever you’re already talking about. Being a great author doesn’t always mean creating great literary works. The home renovation blog that I follow is just as enthralling and inspiring to me as The Great Gatsby. And yours can be too, as long as the work comes from a place that you’re excited about.
Now take a deep breath, find a spot outside that cool little café in town that you love, with your coffee/latte/cappuccino of choice, and blog.