So yesterday, someone called me a blogger...this took me by surprise. I do write these blogs, but a blogger? I'm not too sure. What makes a blogger? Do you simply need to write in a blogging format? Do people have to read it? Do people have to comment? Does it need to be tweeted? Retweeted? I don't know the answer.
Another interesting thing has been happening, I have had many requests for advice on blogging. What do I know? I just "fell into" this thing and I just can't stop. I kept responding with little tid bits that I have found helpful, here and there. But have decided to go ahead and give this a whirl. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding where/how to start:
1) Start with a purpose. Why do you want to write? What do you want to write about? This is an important step, because this is what will drive everything else. If you are feeling you need to blog, because others are doing it, but are unsure of your purpose...you may not be ready...yet. It would be hard to sustain writing, if the purpose is unclear.
Will you be writing to reflect on yourself, on your practice? Will you be blogging to showcase your ideas, your work? Would you be blogging to share your journey, your learning? Do you want to give readers an insight into your classroom, your site, your mind? Is it a combination? Whatever it is, once you have decided on your purpose, you are ready to roll.
* Can you change or add to your purpose? Of course, we are always evolving. This blog page here, is a spin off of my original blog. I have added two such spin offs in the last 2 weeks as I feel I now have more than one purpose for this site.
2) Read other blogs that are similar to AND different than your purpose, your idea. Pay attention to platform, format, voice, flow, intent. Use these examples to begin to craft an idea in your mind...picture what your blog would look/sound like.
3) Find a platform that you are comfortable with. The common ones I have seen are Weebly, Wordpress, and Blogger. There are others, explore them all and find one that fits your needs. You might start using one and decide to use another. Take the time to play around as it will be difficult to change after you have some followers.
4) Think of a title. This should be something that reflects you and your purpose. Think of something catchy. This is your first introduction to your readers. Take some time to think of something that you are proud of, a title that you love. You can always change it, but once your blog has a following, this might be hard to do.
5) Write...write...write...write. Find what is comfortable for you. Writing in a journal? Typing in a doc? Writing directly into the blogging platform? Write bullet points, outline? Talk into a recording app such as Voxer, memos on your phone or voice typing in a Gdoc. Just get your ideas out. Again, this is personal to you.
I find that this step, for me, changes depending on what I am writing about. For the purpose of blogging, I have gone from writing on a Gdoc, to writing directly into the platform. There are positives and negatives to both. If I am writing about something more personal, I tend to write with a pencil or pen in a journal. You will find what works best for you.
What do you write about? For now...just "word vomit" onto the page. Don't edit, don't revise, just let it flow. Let the ideas go from the brain and/or heart onto the page, unfiltered. Often we start writing about one thing and it takes on a life of it's own and goes another way. So just set aside a quiet time and place to let the words flow.
Is that it? Are you ready to post?? Some may be...but maybe not. What I have found, in writing these blogs, is that I actually go through ALL of the steps of Writers Workshop. I go through the complete writing process. So, this post has taken you through the Pre-writing phase. We will explore the Writing phase in future posts. Happy writing!!
Here is where you will find practical tips, tricks and ideas. Hope you find some useful!