On going in the right direction

Image: Josefa Holland-Merten

The latest exchange from my irregular, random, experimental, wacksydaisical Q&A (which you can submit your random questions to here).

I want to start blogging but I can’t seem to come up with any sort of overall theme or direction — how do I do that? Or can I just stumble along and write whatever until I figure it out? Should I call my blog whatever?
-Michelle

Hey, Michelle!

So, you want to start blogging, huh? Well, I think that’s groovy.

The advice I’m going to give you pretty much flies in the face of the ‘branding experts’ out there. So brace yourself.

NOW, there’s a million different ways you can go with this. But, you asked for MY opinion, so here goes nothing…

I think you should make your blog YOU. Have an opinion before you start — at least an inkling of one. If you don’t have a definite opinion, at least have a question.

Write what you’d want to read from you if you were a reader. (I know, it’s meta, but hang in here.) Would you want to read crap? Probably not. Would you want to read yourself describe your lunch? Probably not. But if you wrote it in an interesting, insightful, entertaining way — maybe so. Would you want to read yourself drone on abstractly about stuff that makes no sense? You get my point…

I think you should just start. As long as you can see the road directly in front of you, you’re good — that’s all you need to make it to wherever it is you’re going. However, if there’s mud all over the windshield, you’ll want to clean it off before your foot hits the gas. Get a little clarity. Enough to get started, at least.

Also, Michelle, know that you’re going to write a lot of shitty posts before your good ones start showing up (and even then, you’ll still write shitty posts on occasion). There’s absolutely no way around this that I know of. So you might as well start now (if you haven’t already).

Fuck the branding experts. Fuck coming up with the perfect name for your blog or the perfect headline or the perfect anything else. Give us YOU, Michelle. That’s what we want to see on your blog. Even if you’re writing for a particular ‘niche’ (sorry, that word is like fingernails to a chalkboard to me). Even if you’re writing fiction. Put yourself in everything you do.

The rest is up to the gods.

Godspeed,
Jonas

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