It’s been almost six years since I started blogging. Not nearly as long as some of my friends, but long enough to have a few things that I know I’d do differently. With the book out and review coming in, like this review from the Vancouver Sun, I’ve had a little time to think about how and why I started blogging.
It’s not hype or urban legend, I did start my first blog on a whim. It was actually my second blog, I deleted the first one within days of creating it, but I still think of it has when I really started blogging. I started on Blogger; it was pretty much the safe bet back then for a free blog. Which brings me to the first and second “if I started today…” today I would start on WordPress.com or use a one-click install on my host (since I had web hosting even then) and I wouldn’t have picked “A View from the Isle” as the name of the blog. Yeah View from the Isle seemed like a good idea at the time. I was living on an island, and I continued to live on an island until mid-2008, but now it’s a little hard to explain.
Using WordPress is obvious, back then Blogger was pretty cutting edge. I hadn’t heard of Typepad yet, and it would be a few months until I switched to Blogware. I started to figure out that Blogger wasn’t all that when I couldn’t use those new-fangled “trackbacks” (they were new back in 2004), but hey starting out free is a smart idea when you’re testing the waters. WordPress.com makes starting a blog, then moving it later to your own domain a pretty easy affair. Blogger’s FTP-based solution for having your own URL was odd to say the least. And speaking of moving to your own domain…
I wouldn’t have used trishussey.com (my original domain), but the domain I have now trishussey.com. Finding a good, clever, and even cheeky domain name is often a matter of sheer luck. Trying to spell trishussey.com is hard enough, okay spelling my own name to people is annoying too, so keeping your domain simple should be high on your priority list.
What about the rest of the stuff? Would I have written the same way? Would I have “gone pro”? Yeah, I would have. It’s funny the only parts I’d really want to change are the boring structural pieces, not the stuff that really counts—the writing.
I’ve managed to deal with moving from Blogger to Blogware (and breaking all my links in the process) and Blogware to WordPress (and again breaking all my links in the process) without doing too much damage. Sure my blog has had lulls. Yeah, I’ve gone through periods of time when I was blogging so many different places that “what’s your blog” wasn’t an easy question to answer (might have done that differently). Through it all there is one thing that has been constant: writing with passion.
You want the moral to this story is? Don’t worry about how you start. Don’t worry which platform you pick or URL you buy (you should buy a URL pretty fast, IMHO). Just start and write. No one is going to laugh at you. No one is going to judge your blog as being less than some other person’s. If you write with passion. If you write about what you want to write about. If you just write what you feel. It’s going to be a great blog.