Baby Steps to Blogging–Part 1

Introduction to Baby Steps to Blogging

Computers and the internet have been a daily part of my life for nearly twenty years. I use them to pay bills, connect with family and friends and to buy and sell on sites such as e-bay and Amazon. Despite my everyday use of them, I still struggle.

My first computer was a bit of a novelty. I played games and used it as a word processer—after I learned to control the mouse (don’t laugh). Seriously, that silly thing had a mind of its own!

It was some weeks, maybe months, before I realized the words in blue were links (what is a link, anyway?) that I could click to open another page with more information.

Fast forward to August of 2012–I began green blogging. The name I chose was more appropriate than I knew at the time: Journey Through Clutter Jungle. This was / is the name of a current work in progress. I plunged through several posts before the evil spirits of doubt and indecision blocked my path. Over a year later, I got the courage to try again. When I did, I somehow lost the best clutter post I had written into the vast unknown of cyber space. Attempts to re-write it resulted in a writing so inferior to the original, I just. gave. up.

Green blogging is a term I use to describe myself (and others like me) who attempt to do something we know nothing about. It seems the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know enough. Admitting this taught me to be happy marking my progress in baby steps.

Today I am beginning a series of posts titled Baby Steps to Blogging.

 

Dictionary.com defines blogging as a website containing a writer’s own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites. This gives us a basic idea of what a blog is supposed to do. So just where do we begin those baby steps?

 

The first step is to choose a blogging platform.  Everyone seems to have different definition of platform. Since we are taking this in baby steps let’s consider the platform to be the place you stand to present your message, or the online site you use to share your message.

There are many blogging platforms to choose from. I  have tried several, but narrowed it down to two that I like the best. Blogger.com is easy to use. Wordpress.com seems to get more attention from other bloggers. Either can easily be made to work as a website later on if you so desire. Look several over and choose the one you like the best.

 

The second step is to find your focus.

  1. What do you write about? Which of these topics reflect the message you want to share with your readers?
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” Is there a connection between your passion and the topics you write about? The blend of these two is most likely what you want focus on as you blog.
  3. Use your writing skills to make up a sentence or short paragraph that describes this. Consider this your mission statement. Use it to help you focus on the message you want to share, lest your blog become like the Urban Definition of a Blog.

 

Begin Blogging. It’s OK to write about subjects not contained in your mission statement, but tie them into it whenever you can. Be yourself. Your readers will get to know you by what and how you write. Try to give them something worth reading. Pick a time to blog each week or month or whatever interval works best for you. Be consistent to post at that time. Start slow by Blogging in Baby Steps.

This post is part of a series titled Baby Steps to Blogging. I hope it will help you on your blogging journey. What have you chosen as your mission statement?  I encourage you to share it with me in the comments section. I want to invite you to come back next Thursday for Part 2 of Baby Steps to Blogging. Choose to follow me by e-mail if you would like to be notified of new posts to my blog.

Marthajanecurtis.com

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher or Writer–Which are You?

I attended my first writer’s conference on May 19, 2012 at the invitation of my writer friend.  At the time I did not consider myself a writer, but it sounded like fun. It was a one day conference held at a Church in Cushing,Oklahoma. Donna Goodrich was the only speaker. I learned many things that would come in handy

IF I WAS A WRITER, THAT IS!

Donna taught things like:

  • How to find interesting topics to write about.
  • It is importance to use proper grammar and punctuation.
  • If you use something written by someone else, give them credit for it.
  • Construct good titles for your stories and books.
  • How to prepare your manuscript for publishing.

I learned all this and much more at that conference. In fact,

I found it to be quite interesting, 

but I was not a writer.

Since that time I began attending a group for writers in Tulsa. 

I learned many things that would be helpful if I ever did decide to become a writer.
Speakers kept talking about being called to write.

I wasn’t comfortable applying that tag to myself. 

I had many things I wanted to share with my children and the children I taught in Vacation Bible School each summer and others with whom I associated.  I home-schooled my daughter from preschool until she graduated high school except for a year and a half in the middle. I even taught my grandsons for two years. 

So you see, I was a teacher, not a writer.
I found myself writing daily. I wrote school lessons and Bible lessons and plays. I wrote a program for a three day home-school history learning activity called “Wagon Train Camp”. I wrote pages of notes every morning as I read my Bible and studied. I often thought how great it would be if I could share what I had learned with others. 

But I was still just a teacher, not a writer.
One day as I browsed through my Facebook feed, I noticed there were many posts complaining about the condition of our economy and talking about what our government officials should be doing and not doing. That day I began writing a post of my own. The subject of my post was that we as Christians need to quit griping to each other and start praying. The only way for our nation to remain Christian, is for us to be truly Christian and spend time on our knees praying for our nation and its leaders.

 As I wrote, I realized what a small audience my post would have with my barely more than one hundred Facebook friends. It needed a bigger audience to have the impact I had planned for it, so I created a blog on which to post it. A blog still had limits, I realized, but it was a start in the right direction. The more I thought about the thousands I wanted to reach with this message,

the more inadequate I felt as “just a teacher”. 

I wanted the message God had given me to impact the world, not just those who were within the sound of my voice or who would read my measly Facebook page.

It was then that I felt the gentle whispering of the Holy Spirit, “How many more people do you think you can teach through writing?”

 You can reach the world through writing!

Then I understood. God had been preparing me all along to write for Him. I am still teaching, but I am doing it through writing. I have the opportunity to share what God has given me with the whole world.

Because… I AM a Writer.

First posted on marthajanecurtis.com