This week marks the second birthday of my blog, Storypot.
When I first launched this blog, I wanted to create a place where I could showcase my children’s stories, with very little commentary.
By February 2006, I knew that plan was not feasible. As I mentioned in this post, it was turning out to be a nice vault, but had very little character.
So I started chatting a bit about my writing processes, and the issues that affect and influence me as a writer. I also introduced you to Baby, my daughter and muse.
The blog continued to evolve for the next two years, helping me learn and grow as a writer.
I’m not going to rehash some of the lessons I learnt then, as I’ve already written about them here, here and here.
But I will share some new insights that continue to resonate with me:
1. For some people, a blog takes time and patience to build – There are times when I can’t believe how long I’ve been blogging and how much I’ve learnt in the process.
I know that in December 2005, I wouldn’t have had the courage to try to build the blog that Storypot is today. It would have been too intimidating, requiring too much time and investment I didn’t think I had.
Starting out slowly, with no pressure to do no more than post something when I had the time/energy was a better approach for me.
2. Don’t be overwhelmed by other people’s hype – At first I was intimidated by the bloggers chatter, the communities they built and how they all seemed to be friendly with each other, and popular.
By comparison, my blog seemed dull, and by association, I also felt dull. This was made worse by the fact that not many South African writers are bloggers. So I felt alone. But I just kept putting in the work, because I enjoyed it, and now two years later, I can see the initial results of that labour.
3. Lessons from your first blogging venture can be used going forward – Even if the first blog seems like a failed experiment, or doesn't seem to bring out the results you hoped for, the experience is not in vain. For me, blogging on Storypot is a labour of love and a way to share my creative writing, so just being able to post something and know there are people who will read it is a measure of success.
I’ve also realized that it is an ongoing course on how to start and manage a blog. I’ve applied many of the lessons from my experience to my other blog, Mobile Life. As a result, that blog is growing fast, and doing well enough to support my sushi addiction, even though I only started it about 4 months ago.
4. Done right, your blog is an investment in your career – The interesting thing about a blog is that is grows and evolves while you’re not looking. And if it’s populated by quality content that your target audience needs, you stand to build a powerful body of work, and a strong reputation. The next thing you know people will find you and your work with very little effort on your part.
P.S. The delicious cake was one of my birthday presents earlier this year.