It was January 11, 2009.
I don’t remember how much thought or planning went into the decision (if any) to start a blog. I have a feeling it sort of just … happened.
My first blog post, as much as I can remember, was the first thing I ever published. Not long after that, I mailed myself a proof copy of my first NaNoWriMo book (which at the time was SUPER COOL), and had an essay published anonymously in a creative writing magazine.
Before that, I had never published anything. I had spent almost 10 years writing in journals, composing short stories and song lyrics, outlining book ideas. But though I had submitted a few essays here and there, I’d never really thought of online publishing as an option.
I was obviously a little late to the blogging game, and my blog definitely did not take off right away.
But as the first thing online that was mine … it really meant something.
It meant that when people learned I wanted to be a writer, and asked me what I was doing about that, I had someplace to direct them to.
At that point, my blog wasn’t really about anything — I guess from the start it sort of did end up being a blog about my life as a writer. But not many people my age were doing that at the time (now you’re an outlier if you’re 16 and don’t have at least a Tumblr page).
With very little resources or knowledge of how any of this stuff worked, I figured out how to create a starting platform for myself. It was free, I didn’t really know how to promote it properly, and I was kind of nervous about even letting people read it anyway. But it was SOMETHING.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
If you want to write for a living but don’t know where to start, I’m not sure exactly what’s holding you back. You don’t have to be published in a magazine or have a staff writing job or a literary agent to start building your own success. You can literally sit down and start a blog right now.
It can be about whatever you want.
It doesn’t have to be organized or even look good. It just has to BE.
I think you have to be willing to put yourself out there when you’re starting, whether it’s completely professional or not. Agents, employers, whoever you’re trying to impress — they aren’t going to see your blog the day it goes live. You have time to tweak it, to get good content on it, to make it look nice.
So many people never keep up with a well-written blog because they’re trying to get too far ahead of themselves. Convinced that if they’re not perfect on the first try, they’ll never be successful.
I didn’t start a blog thinking it would be something I would stick with for almost nine years (at the time of writing this). I never thought I would get to a point where I was able to publish a post every day that went out to hundreds of people. I never thought anyone would care about my blog enough to support me financially so that I could keep doing it.
I started out knowing I wasn’t good at it. That no one would read it. That it needed work.
But the important thing is that I started.
I didn’t have a book published. I was, in the writing world, a nobody. A non-expert. I jotted down ideas for early blog posts in the margins of my trigonometry notes.
It didn’t matter that no one knew my name. I just knew I had to try.
Just try. Throw an idea out into the world and see what happens. Stop worrying so much about all this small stuff. Everything changes once you start.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
Hey! I’m vlogging my way through NaNoWriMo. Here’s yesterday’s video.