A couple years later I found that journal and I was so embarrassed by how “little kid” it was. “Oh my god, what was I trying to write! My handwriting was terrible. You are sooo dumb!” I was critical of myself and vowed not to write anything again. Of course I wrote a lot of things (mostly about boys) that would appear in the first two to three pages of blank books that were abandoned only to be found later by an older, wiser me who couldn’t believe how stupid I used to be.
The worst criticism I ever gave myself was after I read an eighth grade journal in high school. I had been gaga over a boy in eighth grade. I mean, crazy-out-of-my-mind about this boy who was actually quite mean to me (It turns out he was gay! Poor thing probably was just trying to get away from me. My “gaydar” still sucks by the way) Middle school is basically a terrible time for everyone and I moved twice if you can imagine!
Anyway, I just tore into myself when I read my little scribbles about my unrequited love. “You were so silly and just stupid.” I may have even thrown it away because I don’t have clue where that journal went. Anyway, I basically didn’t keep a journal after that. It’s really a shame how hard we can be on ourselves.
Thankfully that friend introduced me to blogging. I found the experience to be very different than writing in a journal. The pros to blogging are that it’s much easier to see how you change over time, it’s easy to share, it’s searchable, and it’s fun to do something online. The big con for me was that I missed writing by hand. I have distinctive handwriting and I like to write things by hand (that’s why I have always been a letter writer). It sounds vain to say I like my handwriting, but it’s true. I also like to read something written by my loved ones in their own handwriting. Everyone in my life has handwriting that suits them. For example, my husband has deliberate printing and never does cursive, which suits him perfectly as he is a logical, mathematical thinker. I just like looking at words written by my husband or my mother or my sister. They could write the phonebook and I’d enjoy it.
Well, that was a tangent!
Tips on starting a blog
1) Decide what you want out of a blog — personal, political, food, cooking, issue-based (adoption, infertility, etc) There are zillions of great blogs out there. I love following people’s journeys.
2) Start it up without telling too many people — I started up my personal blog and emailed the URL to my entire address book. A few months later I realized that I wanted to talk about people who had received the link by email. Don’t make that newbie mistake! Start blogging with a small audience and widen slowly.
3) Don’t worry about posting daily — I’m only posting this much because of being in the middle of this amazing project.
5) Choose wisely — Blogger (blogspot) is a great platform if you, like me, don’t know that you are doing. WordPress is another option but I think you have to be a little more savvy with plug-ins for designs, etc. Blogger takes care of the “behind the scenes” stuff.
Any other tips that I’ve forgotten?