Everything begins with words. Words make sense of a senseless world. Psychologists agree that writing is one of the most therapeutic exercises for any human being. I believe writing every day is important because it unleashes your creativity, it shows your determination, and it keeps your sense of wonder alive. You will discover yourself through the power of words.
One of the easiest ways to keep track of your writing is by blogging.
What is a blog?
A blog is a ‘web log’ and it is, in essence, an online diary. Anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can set one up.
How do I set up a blog?
There are many sites that offer free blogging. I would suggest Tumblr or WordPress for beginners. Both sites offer free templates and tutorials. You don’t need to know anything about writing code or designing a website. You will receive a free blog site with an address you’ve chosen. This is the address you will give to family, friends, customers – anyone who might want to take a look.
Once you’ve created your profile you’ll be asked to write your post and upload pictures. (Don’t panic! There are buttons for all of these. Follow the prompts.) There is a tag section for blogs. These are the words you most associate with your blog. Add these tags when prompted because they help people find your blog in searches.
After you’ve checked the post all you have to do is click the publish button. Your post will be visible and you will have become a blogger. Remember that you are writing for an audience and you should write as clearly and as well as you possibly can. You don’t have to write something new every day. You can share another blogger’s post or simply add an inspiring quotation or picture.
What can I blog about?
You can blog about anything. You know what drives, motivates, inspires, and interests you. You might be passionate about cupcakes, or cats, or reality TV. You might want to blog about all three. Or you may want to write about something traumatic that’s happened to you or your family. Whatever it is, there’s a platform for you. I blog about writing every day on Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Google+ and Posthaven. I post my book reviews on Goodreads. Once you find your passion you will find there are many communities you can join.
Why should I blog?
- It will encourage you to write every day.
- Your creativity and passion need an outlet.
- Your stories will help you discover who you really are.
- You will raise awareness for your personal or professional profile.
- You can build up a following and create a community that supports your interests.
You don’t have to blog to write though. Using a diary, or paper, or simply writing on your PC is just as good. You need to create a writing routine and establish a habit. Take an hour every morning before everybody else wakes up or an hour late at night when everyone’s asleep. Writing every day will help you create a great story when you decide to eventually write a book. You will realise there is no muse. It is you and a blank screen, or a blank piece of paper. If you treat writing as a job, or a dedicated hobby, with deadlines and rules, you will succeed. If you treat it as an artistic experience you will not become published which is fine if you’re not interested in that aspect. But if you do want to publish, find out how to write, find time to write, and do it.
My Five Top Tips for Aspiring Writers
- Write every day. Read every day.
- Learn how to write a book. Go on a course or do some research.
- You need 10 000 hours practice before you’re good at anything. Start writing now.
- Brand yourself. Think about how you, and your writing, could become a product people want more of.
- Become ‘social media’ savvy. Spend two hours a day online as a ‘writer’. Join Tumblr, Goodreads, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Amanda Patterson is the founder of Writers Write, a company which offers business and creative writing courses countrywide. She has written more than 20 courses on writing. She has a following of more than 100 000 people from her blogs and social media platforms. Her company’s motto is: Write to communicate. More than 150 Writers Write students have been published.