Blogs. Some of us have them, some of us even do them well. Blogs mean many things to many people, for writers they mean reclaiming much of the writing process, a freedom to write.
For businesses, a blog can mean a direct way to communicate things to customers, to personalize their brand, or simply give information that pertains to their company.
Blogs give artists a platform to discuss their process, and gives every single person with a voice, a platform with which to have said voice.
Blogs let people become writers, even in their spare time.
Blogs are awesome! Blogs can even help you make money and build and entire career out of. A blog is a place where you can go and publish your writing, your stories, your life, your opinion, your everything. Your blog is your place to be you.
I have been told by so many friends through the years that I should have a blog, a place to put my ramblings, my short stories, my daily goings on…even my rants, which they claim can get hilarious, but I never bothered to actually start one.
As you may know, about a month ago, I made the choice to start a blog! This is NOT my “What blogging has taught me” post, as I think that post is better done around six months or a year, versus one-month in. This IS, however, a small blog about one of the key lessons I have learned, which honestly so important is, it needs a blog post now.
Blogging is awesome for so many reasons, but the biggest, best one, I have found thus far, is as follows.
I’m an accountant at my day job, so it is pretty damned annoying for accountability to be the main advantage to my evening job of my blog.
Accountability. The blog forces it.
I committed myself to posting Monday through Friday (excluding some holidays), with the option of expanding into weekend posts.
I considered doing the blog three days of the work week and then adding a weekend edition, but I like doing at least five, and the added pressure keeps me writing. I figure, at least in the beginning, maybe it isn’t a bad thing to force myself to post several times a week. It forces me into a very good habit, but also builds a back catalogue of blogs if any potential reader wants to spend an afternoon reading away. I am one of those readers, and they say write what you want to see. So, I am.
There are few tools that can kick down the door that is creative writers block and say “just fucking write some damn words, you moron!” like a blog deadline you imposed on yourself, and a whopping four people will notice if you don’t make it.
Hell, even one person will matter.
Technically, having zero current readers isn’t a discouragement from writing, because of future readers.
One person, a YEAR from now, seeing I missed it, matters.
I don’t want to miss a deadline, but more importantly, I don’t want to let someone down. Letting someone down with my writing is one thing. Someone not liking my topic, style, or overall tone, is something I can deal with, but someone not getting to read it at all, when they wanted to? No, that is something I can’t handle.
Once you commit to doing something, to putting out content for your readers, you have no choice but to actually commit to it.
Even if your word processor starts acting up. Even if Microsoft word starts saying nearly every single word is misspelled, and you find yourself staring at a page of typed text, wondering how on earth every single word you have just typed is underlined with red squiggles, telling you, a writer, that you can’t spell.
Even when your laptop has a low battery, or a buggy word program that claims nearly every word is misspelled, you power through, you fight through the irritation, the uncertainty, the exhaustion, and you type your blog, and you post the damn thing.
Because you made a commitment.
So, you may get frustrated, but you keep going. In my case, my partner, Bret, kept me from throwing my laptop in frustration and storming down to my office to finish my blog, and after much work, and a little time, managed to fix my laptops “misspelled words” issue.
My word had some how been turned to the language Afrikaan.
Annoying? Curious? Yes.
But, still, I kept writing because I need to make sure I have tomorrow’s blog scheduled, before I go to bed, because I don’t want to risk not having it up. I made a commitment.
Blog’s force accountability.
But they also force growth. It isn’t enough to just type up my thoughts once a day until it hits whatever target number, I get the best views from, and post it with well picked Instagram and Unsplash photos. It isn’t enough to research academic articles and post my own analysis of actual studies and evidence.
All of these things matter, generating some great content is awesome, but I have to grow my knowledge, my writing skill, and also my creative projects. I can’t talk about being a creative writer and only write my blog, I must not only write on my projects, but finish, my creative projects.
So, for me, this means finish up some key elements, and posting some short stories to help weave together some of the characters and stories. It also means designing and detailing some of the parts of my universe that need defining details added to. At the moment, I find myself building and rounding out Flake City.
Flake City is a writing project very near and dear to my heart, and as the entire story takes place inside Flake City, it makes me build and detail the city, that much more. I am looking into possibly printing up some shirts or hoodies for the universe, probably just to wear around myself, after I publish a short story or two that informs the Flake City universe.
Flake City is meant to be a mixed multimedia art project, which looks simple on the surface, until you dig deeper, so I have been spending a large amount of time building it, and alas, my blog forces accountability.
I must not only write and maintain my blog, my write and maintain, while growing, my creative writing.
But it’s not “have to” is it? It really becomes more of a “gets to”- because the blog does force accountability and being forced to say “fuck it” to other obligations and just write, feels pretty damn good, and I really enjoy it.
My blog forces me to write every day, every day I find myself writing anywhere from one to four thousand words, and then holding myself accountable for building a universe.
My blog forces accountability to write, sure, but, more valuably, it forces to me put writing first. No more can I allow other peoples needs or shortcomings to get into my free time. I have no free time. My blog is my free time, and in my blog I talked about my creative writing, and not I am being held accountable for my creative writing too, so now, I have to write, and no one can get in my way and guilt me into prioritizing them above myself, because it isn’t about just me.
That is pretty cool. I rarely take time for myself, and as a future blog will outline, you have to take time for yourself. And for your passion. Blogging forces that.
Because my blog forces accountability. Sometimes what we need to do is force ourselves to be accountable, force ourselves to create. We must keep pushing ourselves towards our dreams, we can’t allow ourselves to fall behind.
Do whatever it takes to be accountable for your art, to make sure you are actively pursuing your art. Be accountable for your art.
Maybe that means a blog, so you have people reading your commitments. Maybe it means booking a art showing, so you have to get to work. Maybe it means putting your music out there, even if you think people may not get it. It means going to the theatre and rehearsing a show, even when you are dead tired.
Because it is totally worth it.
Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Poshmark, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.