Today we’re going to talk about WHY you want to blog, and why your WHY matters anyway.
But first, let’s get introductions out of the way.
I’m Claire Diaz-Ortiz.
(AKA @Claire on the twitters.)
I’ve been blogging for 11 years. 11 long-short, fast-slow crazy years of change and growth.
Let me tell you about that first blog.
It was April of 2006. I was in a tiny hostel room in Madrid, Spain. My best friend Lara and I had just begun what would be a 9-month, life-changing trip around the world. We had been living in “random countries” (my father’s words) before the trip, and we would proceed to live in “random countries” after the fact. But this wasn’t a living experience. This was a traveling one. And we had started it.
Days earlier, we had disembarked from a two-week cruise across the Atlantic. This had proved a cheaper way to get to Europe than a one-way plane fare, due to a grossly discounted cruise itinerary that included abundant, no-ports-to-visit, time at sea. In the fancy dining room, day after day, in the one hippie dress we each brought for the length of our trip around around the world, we looked out at the grey water. Each day, in the ship’s gym of floor to ceiling windows, I had pounded out mileage on the treadmill, trying not to lose my lunch as I looked out at the spray. I was running a marathon in Madrid, you see. Obviously.
Our first blog post, on our first long-windedly named blog, recounted all this. And that first blog post was not read by many. Our parents, of course. A few of our friends, naturally. Some random person who wondered what dark internet hole they had ended up in. But over the months, the audience grew. We were in the Canary Islands a month later when I realized that people I didn’t know were actually regularly reading our blog. I remember sitting on the tiny twin bed in that crappy hostel room, responding to comments, and thinking how wide the world really was.
By the end of that year, that blog about two hapless young women bumbling back and forth across a big map of the world had become popular. Wildly popular, on some days. It had started me on a journey that would change my life entirely. Leading me to start a nonprofit organization in Africa with Lara, become an early employee at Twitter, publish seven books, and do a host of other things. (To my father’s chagrin, mostly all in “random countries”.)
All this to say, I’m a fan of blogging. I’ve used it to build several different careers, to turn my own life around, and to connect with a ready and waiting world. And so I’m here to spout its charms.
But before I can spout the ins and the outs, you’ve got to understand why you’re here.
WHY do you want to blog?
Do you want to provide your mother with more frequent pictures of her tiny grandchild as he learns to throw spaghetti on your walls?
Do you want to share your dog training business with the world?
Are you going on a trip and want to chronicle the journey?
Do you love social media and think that blogging might be a way to expand on what you’re posting in other places?
Do you want to create an online diary of your first year in college/in the police force/living in a treehouse?
Do you have dreams of one day earning a living from this whole blogging thing?
Do you embrace the idea of having lengthy conversation with customs agents/tax officials/people sitting next to you on planes about why and how “Blogger” is an actual job title?
All reasons are valid.
But you’ve got to come up with one. One simple reason that gets you out of bed once a day/week/month to hit publish.
Your reasons can change.
But for now, for today, pick one.
Your challenge for today?
Think about your WHY. When you know what it is, write it down. Bedazzle it if you like.
Then tell me what it is if you’re so inclined.