10 years ago to the day (as I’m writing this), I did more than decide I wanted to start a blog. I registered for my very own free account on WordPress.com, took a deep breath, and wrote my first-ever blog post.
To be honest, I didn’t take it too seriously. I mean, technically, my very first sentence publicly visible to the world was “Hello, people of Earth!” Ah, 2009. How I miss thee.
I thought that blogging was going to end up being this thing that I started just to see if it caught any traction. I was 16, had just gotten an essay published in a magazine for the first time, and was convinced I could write and publish a book before I turned 18.
And to do that, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a blog like Meg Cabot’s blog. She was my favorite author, and we had the same name, so. Why not?
Many times when you’re that young you don’t tend to stick with things for very long. You end up trying a bunch of different things and abandoning most of them for things you like more or are better at or that will get you college scholarships or whatever. But also when you’re new to something. You’ve never tried it before. You want to see what it’s like. If it’s worth the effort. If you’ll fall in love with it.
I never thought I would fall in love with blogging. I am shy. I don’t like sharing personal things about me with even people I know. And somehow I knew that blogging about writing would mean I’d have to be open and honest and admit when I failed and let people know when I’d succeeded.
Mostly, I figured no one would read it and I’d have no social accountability and I’d just give it up after a while.
For a while, no one really read it at all. The content wasn’t great, it wasn’t consistent, and for the first few years, I mostly just complained about school. (And for a short stretch of time I became very obsessed with saving the environment/planet? That was weird. Not that I don’t still care about the planet. I do.)
But the most unexpected thing that happened after following through on my decision to start a blog was that I figured out I REALLY LIKED TO BLOG.
Even when no one read what I had to say, I felt better just having released it into the world. And I started to learn a lot about writing and publishing and being professional online just by keeping up with my blog.
So after taking a chance on something I’d never done before — just to see what might happen — I decided to keep doing it. I still figured I’d give up eventually, like when college got too busy or something. But oops, I never quit. In fact, my blog survived the end of high school and college and grad school and now it’s a decade later and it’s a bigger part of my life than I ever imagined it would be.
From what I can remember (it was a long time ago, after all), I didn’t hesitate when the thought of starting a blog popped into my head. I didn’t sit on it for months wondering if I should do it. I didn’t spend weeks trying to come up with the perfect name — I just picked one (Writer’s Blog — agh) and would end up changing it about four times before it became Novelty Revisions.
Basically, I had the idea to try starting my own blog. I obtained the right tools (a WordPress domain) and went ahead and published my first post right then and there. I didn’t worry about whether or not I’d be bad at it (I was). I didn’t worry about what other people might think about it (my friends and family thought it was cool even though they never actually read it).
I didn’t even listen to any of the excuses that might have distracted me or prevented me from doing what I wanted to do. I just decided it was going to happen, clicked a few buttons, and made it happen.
The thing about creating is, you don’t know what something is going to be like until you dive in and start doing it. You don’t know the time commitments, the energy requirements. You don’t even know if you’re going to like it or what skills you’re going to need to work on improving the most until you’re in there figuring it all out.
So my advice to you, if you’re thinking about starting something but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to make it work, is to just sit down and give it a shot. You have absolutely nothing to lose. And you never know if, 10 years later, that will have ended up being the best decision you ever could have made.
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 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.