I first started writing fiction in Word documents I would store in my pen drive. These documents became a place for me to explore my imagination. I first found out about ‘blogging’ when I was 12, as almost everyone in my year was using Blogger. This was the start of blogging for me.
In this article, I will be sharing on why you should start a blog, adapting and shifting our content over time, and expanding our content:
1. Blog as a way to express yourself
Back then, the trend was to create a blog to journal about your daily life. Initially I viewed blog posts more so like a journal entry — except that the audience that could read my words were much bigger.
My blogging journey started with me sharing about my day and what I felt. At the time I had no idea who my audience were, nor was I familiar with analytics or statistics. Blogging was my personal safe space, where I could process my emotions and spur on my creativity. Being vulnerable not only helps us to express ourselves, but there could also be others who could relate to your work as well!
2. How to begin? Just start!
After some time, I decided to revamp the concept of my blog as I was no longer interested in writing about what I ate in a day. I deleted my old blog and started a new one, catered more towards my thoughts and reflections on causes I cared about. That is the beauty of blogging — you are free to change up your content and your concept!
Other than Blogger, there are platforms such as WordPress or Medium where you can post your work and build a following. The platform you choose will also depend on the type of work you are putting out there. Whether it be fiction, non-fiction, op-ed, poetry, music, art — there is a publication out there for all genres!
3. Be open to explore more genres
I initially started blogging to just write about my day, but since then, I had the opportunity to write on more genres. Platforms that accepts guest submissions and contributions can be the first step towards expanding your writing portfolio. Not only can it be used as a form of practice and honing your craft, you can also explore genres other than what you usually write! It will be best to first try out for platforms that are reviewed by editors. This is an opportunity to improve on your craft based on the feedback you receive! There are also organisations that post up call for submissions or host writing competitions. These are often advertised on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
4. Learn how to present your work in different formats
I use Canva to present a bite-sized version of my work on social media and add more colour to my feed! With our busy lives, we do not always have the longest attention span. Hence, having excerpts of your work presented in an image can attract your audience. From colourful designs, intricate infographics, lists, videos — these are other formats you can consider to bring more awareness to your body of work!
5. Dive into your passion — but be disciplined to work on it!
Starting our own blog feels like a personal project. When we are trying to build our portfolio, we should strive to be disciplined in updating and creating more content. This discipline also holds us accountable to actively take steps to nurture and improve on our craft. From writing on a voluntary basis (guest writing) for the past few years while juggling university, I needed to learn how to balance my time without sacrificing the quality of my writing and my studies.
Putting your work out there also opens up doors to more people, more voices — or a lack of response sometimes. Do not feel discouraged by analytics, comments, statistics, and numbers. Though it is important to know how it works, remember what and who you are writing for. Through contributing and building your body of work, you will be able to discover the genres you have a knack in writing about. Learn about what your audience are responding to. Combine those two together and build on that!
6. Expect rejection — but do not be afraid of it!
When looking at our favourite authors, we see the success of their published work. Beyond their portfolio, we do not see the countless of rejected pitches they had to go through before their work was acknowledged. Rejection is normal. Expect it — but do not be afraid of it! A piece may be rejected because it may not fit the style of that platform. They may be looking for a different perspective, more research, more emotion.
A rejection or rejections does not make your work worth any less! Rather, be brave to just try. Start putting your work out there. Seize opportunities, even if you have doubts on whether you will be able to achieve them. You will never know who and how far your voice may be reaching.