I’m often asked, “How do you start a blog?” “How do I find what I want to write about?” “How do I become successful at blogging?” “How do I get traffic to my blog?”
The first blog post I ever wrote was for a blog my mom and I started to chronicle our adventures as a family. I still remember clicking "post" - and being stunned by how many people actually enjoyed reading what I had written.
That was eight years ago. Since then, I have written hundreds more posts for our family blog and eventually for my own. As I dug deeper into the world of writing, I discovered numerous ways to reach out to the blogging community, meet new people, and even began submitting articles to larger websites.
I learned by trial and error - in everything from design to writing style - and that method proved to be not only fun for me, but successful.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of bumps and mistakes I could have certainly avoided... if I had known they were there.
I was given the privilege of reading this booklet not long ago written by Rebekah Black, a young author who blogs at The Narrow Road for Teens. She wrote this quick-start guide for beginning bloggers and let me tell you, it is a gem! Not only does Rebekah write in a fun, easy to read style, but her tips and tricks are clear and simple, turning the world of blogging from a mountainous task into a breeze.
I loved the step-by-step path to success and simple layout, and was especially encouraged by the fact that this young author gives you tried and true techniques that she has used on her own site. It is a neat tool that will give any beginning blogger a head start in the blogging world.
Snag your own copy and I know you won't be disappointed!
Are you a beginning or veteran blogger? How did you begin and what do you wish you had done differently? I would love to hear about it!
Note: I received a copy of this booklet from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I know this post is late, after all, National Novel Writing Month was in November. But after a busy Christmas season and a fresh start to the New Year, I decided to give you a peek at what it was like for a first-time NaNoWriMo contestant to write 50k words in 30 days
What is National Novel Writing Month?
National Novel Writing month, affectionately called NaNoWriMo, is a challenge for fiction writers (and the occasional non-fiction writer) to write 1,600 words every day for 30 days. The goal is to reach 50k words by the end of the month and hold a completed novel in your had.
Why compete in NaNoWriMo?
1. It teaches consistency like no amount of self-discipline can ever do.
2. It forces you to write - not edit. First drafts are not meant to be edited until they are complete and when you are writing this many words per day, you don't have time to do anything but tell the story and hope it turns out read-able.
3. It. Is. Fun.
What was my biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was learning to throw perfection to the wind and just write. With most of my projects, I tend to work over a certain scene several times until it is exactly how I want it before moving on. I find that is the easiest way to erase any obstacles or inconstancies. But when it comes down to NaNo, and the clock is ticking, you learn to jump over the obstacles by either making something up, or promising to come back to it later. Its about the word count, not the content.
What helped me make it through November without getting exhausted or running out of inspiration?
I have always been a pantser - I don't plot, I write on the edge of my seat and wait for the story to unfold naturally from my imagination. This doesn't work for everyone, but it is my favorite way of writing.
NaNoWriMo, however, was different.
I spent the last half of October plotting, planning, and scene-sketching until I knew exactly what I wanted to write every day. This was my greatest weapon during November. Rather than having to worry about a sudden writer's block in the midst of a chapter, I could simply turn to my outline - my "170-bullet-points" outline to be exact.
What was my favorite part?
I loved having a way to track my progress and it was oh so fun watching the word count of my novel climb day by day! My favorite part of the challenge, however, was announcing to my family that I had actually completed it. It is moments like those that I am reminded how they really are my biggest fans.
The Highlights of my journey:
Wordiest Day: 5,184 words on November 13th
Passing 100 pages during the final week (this is always one of my favorites with every novel I write).
November 30th: The day I got a sweet t-shirt out of the whole deal.
So... did I win or lose?
If you haven't already guess, I won. I finished on November 30th at exactly 50,046 words, and I can't wait for next year!
Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo? What was your favorite part? I would love to hear about it!
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." - 1 Corinthians 13:1
Something God has been teaching me is this: I can say all the right things, have all the right answers, and take all the right actions, but without love these works are empty. My words, no matter how eloquent, and my actions, no matter how good, mean nothing without love. I am not living my faith by simply "talking the talk". I must walk my faith and truly live what I believe. But that isn't possible unless the driving force of Christ's love abides in me.
Because I've tried to live a life of love and goodness on my own, and I always fail, ending up prideful and broken. His love is all that will ever be enough.
It is enough to save a world of sinners. It is enough to reach out to a single, broken human and offer life. It is enough to enter my heart and change me from the inside out, until my works are no longer my own but an overflow of His incredible grace.
That is living a life of love - when we stop focusing on our good works, and start simply loving because He loves us.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. - 1 John 4:8
Ever since I was little, I loved stories. None of that has changed as I've gotten older, but my vision has. This blog and website are a part of that and hopefully, as they change and grow, God will teach me and bring me ever closer to my goals. Will you join me?