In 2002, when I started blogging, most bloggers used Live Journal or Blogger. I had my own domain name. It felt a bit like floating untethered in a vast outer space. I liked it. My IT son maintained my site and taught me simple code, like image tags and hot links. He designed my wallpaper and added a blog roll plus a few other sidebar things. I only accepted one small text ad, because they paid me a lot of money. They sold computers. That is the only ad I ever had. I now pay WordPress $100 not to have ads.
My topic was writing and publication. I used my own works-in-progress and my problems plus solutions with manuscripts for some posts. I also blogged about submissions and rejections and acceptances. I did this every day for ten years. It was very casual and breezy. Writing about writing is the first blogging rule I broke, but I don’t think it was a rule then. If there were rules, I wasn’t aware of them. I still write about writing sometimes. I actually wrote my first book about writing. There were lots of “How to Write” books, but I could not find one I liked for my creative writing students, so I wrote and published it myself. I bought the books from the printer and sold them to the college bookstore, who sold them to my students. Once I made my money back, I got the book up on Kindle and gave away copies at workshops. I shipped Amazon a supply of print books, but they may be sold out by now. I was blogging about these processes through it all. And I still write about writing.
There are plenty of blogging rules, just google and you’ll find them. I do read the rules and blush at how many I’ve broken through the years. I’m no rebel, I just didn’t know. There seemed to be, when I started blogging, a kind of “no rules” mentality. I never revised a post. Blogging was a raw form, or so I thought. I do revise my posts now.
Another rule I still break is the one about the right way to choose titles. There is even a tool that you can submit your title to and it will tell you how clickable it is. I did that one time and scored poorly. I fixed it to the instructions and they gave me a really good grade, but I forgot to compare how many more clicks I got to those other posts I gave arty titles. When I was thinking about this post today, I only had a vague title. I had an idea for a subject, and I liked the title: “What It Is.” I knew it would not score high on the title name tool. I didn’t care. I’m drawn to intriguing titles that only make sense as you read the post. I can’t be out in space alone on this one.
My subject was going to be the state of things in my country (USA) from my point of view, but I really don’t like writing about politics (although I am interested in the topic and read a lot about it) and what can I say about Covid? I had it, it wasn’t fun but my breathing stayed ok and I never had a fever, so not that bad. I’m 65, it lasted two weeks, I stayed home, there are no vaccines, even for my 83 year old dad. I am sure I wrote about my own Covid adventure back in November when I had it, so basically I’d be bitching about the general state of affairs (political *cringe*) and the fact that I’m still wearing a mask.
But I liked that title. Which I ended up not using. Still, it got me to where I eventually found myself. Right here, like always.