Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Before the Blogging Begins

Join everyone and their brother/dog/cat/goldfish/houseplant/*insert-living-thing-here and decide to start a blog. Most websites announce it "only takes a few minutes!"

First, you'll just need a blog name to establish your URL address on the web. Spend oodles of time thinking of the perfect title. Discover it, along with your other 49 uniquely creative, one-of-a-kind blog names, has already been taken. Repeat.

Research Blogger, WordPress and others to see which provides the better platform. Will you go with the freebie sites or purchase a completely customizable domain? The answer becomes clear the minute you see the phrase "html coding" for the latter, which brings back horrific memories of high school classes and your general lack of expertise in the mathematical arts. Shudder. Realize the success of your blog will probably have very little to do with where you host it and a lot to do with the quality of your content...but, no pressure. Ignore first wave of panic.

At this point, you may also begin to wonder when you will have time to create posts for said blog. This is because your only opportunity for brainstorming uninterrupted seems to be either when a) walking the dog; or b) taking a shower...neither of which is conducive to jotting down thoughts in any medium, except maybe shampoo bubbles, but lack of bubble longevity could be a problem. Make a note to email shampoo companies to propose longer bubble life. Waffle back and forth some more about whether you have what it takes to write a blog. Panic for second time. Decide not to start a blog.

Remind yourself blogging is supposed to be fun.  Besides, nobody is going to read it anyway, except maybe your husband, and only because he lost the coin toss vs. your mom. Worse, picture lots of people reading it, but hating it. They will finally create a Dislike button on Facebook just for your blog. Picture how people's hateful comments will crush your dreams of ever becoming a published author. Or, picture yourself on your favorite late-night talk show saying, "Well Conan, my whole gazillion-dollar empire all started with my first blog." Tell yourself the whole thing is a learning experience and before today, you'd never heard the term "Search Engine Optimization," and your life was still complete.

Commit and set up your URL. Sort through the myriad of potential templates and layout themes. Get carried away contemplating header design. Experiment with multiple fonts and sizes. Hate them all. Nothing seems to express you the way you want to be expressed. Remind yourself it's not about the's about the writing. Yet you can't help but think how cool it would be to have a blog that's well-written AND pretty.

Worry your blog will be so horrible, you'll be placed on some kind of Publishers' Black List of Writers to Never Work With.  Realize you just ended that sentence with a preposition, when you know better. Epic fail. Decide not to start a blog. 

Suggested Time:  3 minutes
Actual Time Spent Physically Setting Up Blog:  4 hours
Obsessively Over-Thinking It Time:  100+ hours
Real Feel:  2 months

If you have a blog, how long did it take you to set it up initially (never mind installing social media gadgets and the like later on)? Is blogging in general a lot more time-consuming than you originally thought? 


  1. As a recipient of one of those early stapled manuscripts, I'm thrilled to see you are finally reaching the masses, sans bindings! Thanks for not making me do the math myself (talk about an epic fail) and for making me laugh out loud.

  2. Why thank you! I haven't given many of those stapled copies away, so you should really hold onto that. It'll be worth a lot of money. I'm totally serious. You might get, like, a whole $.05 for it if you choose the right recycling center. Actually, it's better not to delay. Go find a recycling center pronto.


One thing I'll always make time for:

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