Back in April I was flushed with enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to get started on my blog. Since then I’ve had several ideas and started several posts, but each time I convinced myself that I didn’t really have anything important to say. All the blogs I read are by really cool people who have cool things to say. What on Earth made me think I could/should do it too?
I’ve been ‘dabbling’ in social media for a while now, both personally and for work (including a couple of blog posts) but I feel like personal blogging is my ‘final frontier’. So I was going to have to change my thinking if I wanted to get started. And the logical, sciencey side of me thought the best way to do it was to have a closer look at the blogs I read (and that have inspired me) and see if I could find something which made me think I could do it too.
The first person to really open my eyes to what blogging could be like is the really ace Pip Lincolne. In true fan-girl style I’ve already drafted a post about how she has inspired me to get back into making stuff, so will leave most of my gushing until then. But her blog showed me an online world I didn’t know existed. After reading it regularly and following the links to many others, I saw that there’s a whole heap of people out there talking about … well just stuff, really. Of course they’re incredibly talented people, but they seemed to be ‘normal’ people, just sharing what they’d made or what they were doing with the rest of the world. And it looked really fun!
Then there are the science bloggers. I’ve been lucky enough to meet several in real life, for example (using their Twitter names, links go to their blogs) @ScientistMags, @ososcience and the folks at @_bridge8. Of course they are very clever people who write and do very clever things, but because I’ve also met them and have had conversations with them in real life and on Twitter, I know that they are also, in essence, just people, sharing what they are passionate about and interested in. Some posts are thoroughly researched and meticulously put together. Others are reflections on or descriptions of events. It seems that there are no real rules that I need to be scared of breaking.
Then there are the ‘agvocates’. It feels like there has just been an explosion of people writing about their lives producing the food and fibre that so many take for granted, too many to name here. Links to many of these can be found here, or follow #agchatoz (or @agchatoz even) on Twitter for regular links to interesting posts. I love agriculture and admire those who not only do it but who also take the time to share how they do it with the rest of us. It’s just so interesting to read about other people’s lives.
There’s also the Adelaide social media crew (follow #socadl/@socadl on Twitter) and the people involved in social media that I’ve met through work, many of whom blog for work and personally. They are bright and engaging people who have been eager to share what they’ve learned with ‘newbies’ like me, both in real life and in their blogs. I’ve learned a lot from them.
And lastly, two people who deserve a special mention (again Twitter names with links to blogs). @AlisonFairleigh is passionate about many things, but this month she is writing a post a day to raise awareness of cuts to the ‘Better Access’ scheme for mental health. And @belle_baker (aka @SimmyCattleAU, who I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in real life) has set herself the challenge of writing a post every day this month, just because. By challenging ourselves to do something difficult and meeting that challenge, we become more confident in all areas of our lives. If these two inspiring women can manage 30 posts in November, surely I can manage one?
So, through this post – half research, half tribute – I’ve been reminded that people are fascinating. Whether it’s the drive to creatively express themselves that makes them want to write or whether it is nobler to take up a cause and write ‘to take arms against a sea of troubles’, the blogging world is an amazing place. And the only way I’m going to learn more is to dive right in. So here goes … *pressing ‘Publish’*
*pressing ‘Edit’* P.S. Although this post was about getting the confidence to write, of course I couldn’t have started blogging with some technical support/advice. So a big thank you to (again Twitter names with links to blogs/sites) @fang and @Sam_Grains (aka @Net_De) for their help and advice with WordPress.