The dentist says, pass me size six and size eight. I was like, wait, did he just say size eight?
See, I’m at this dental clinic. I’m having my second phase of the root canal treatment. Before the Doc started on me, I told him casually, sort of giving him a cue, ‘I hope I don’t end up with a swollen cheek because tomorrow is my birthday.’ He didn’t promise me a thing. He said that I’ll feel a bit uncomfortable and that might affect my birthday, ‘birthday boy.’ (He didn’t say that last part though).
So yeah, I went ahead and endured the sheer agony of a root canal treatment, my fingers crossed, that I wouldn’t end up with a swollen cheek on my birthday. (My cheek is fine.)
Today is a special day, as you can already guess. Here’s another thing you probably don’t know yet; in twenty days from now, my err, well our blog turns one. I’m pretty excited about that too.
I’ve had quite a couple of guys ask me, how’s the blogging life like? How do I start a blog? How have you kept yours running despite the humble audience? First, I’m grateful for the handful of fans, ‘Amigos’. You have listened in and secretly root for me even when I feel as though I’m all alone here, sharing my own thoughts to self. Thanks for being there for me.
Secondly, I have obviously amassed some few lessons in the one year I’ve kept this blog going. Not too much like Biko would talk about, but enough for me to write a post about.
I figured as I turn 26 on the last day of August 2017, why not talk about 26 random thoughts about my blogging journey?
What do you want to blog about? I knew I wanted to reconnect with my love for words. Written words. I needed a platform to write and I honestly think I’m a born romantic of sorts. My topic would be love. Did you know I had another blog before this? Yeah, I called it BORLE (based on real love events). I run it for two months, then my juices went low. It died a natural death before my second attempt at blogging.
Love has always been an innate thing to talk and write about.
Blogging is work. You set a deadline for yourself (mine is one post every Thursday) and each week you have to deliver. If you’re really sold on it, you will do your level best to meet the deadline. Truth is, sometimes you fall short, but not always. All that matters is consistently giving it your level best.
It’s a lonely profession. Haha, did I just say profession? Well, a lot of the times, you will feel lonely while you work your ass to come up with something worth reading or looking at. That’s why you need loyal readers to keep you going. Most of them are actually your friends. (Again, thanks Amigos for holding it down for me).
What inspires you? Find your muse. Something or someone that spurs you to come up with creative ideas to write about. (Hey Reina!)
Your writing will get you a job or pay the bills. It’s true. For almost one year, I’ve been a freelance creative writer and all my clients have come through this blog. They look at it, sample my work and go like, ‘hmmm, let’s give this guy a shot at it.’ There’s this section I use to pitch new clients. I call it the Words Shop.
Sometimes you suck, other times you’re on top of clouds, eating grapes. It’s the life of a writer I guess. Having good stories to write about and not so good ones as well. But keep at it anyway.
You learn how to be consistent, disciplined and intimate. If you love what you do, it will get a hold of you and bring out the best in you.
Writing is an act of faith. It keeps you believing in something. A brighter future forged from your endless efforts writing.
‘Hey, I love your blog.’ Once in a while, a random fan will rub your ego. It doesn’t happen as much but when it does, you’ll crave ice cream to sweeten the feeling just a little bit longer.
You never know where the journey will lead. Writing is like releasing your boat into waters and going to wherever it may take you. You silently hope it leads you to an island with gold and treasures spread all over the land, with a sign planted in the middle, ‘it’s all yours, kid.’
You ask; why?
You question why you keep at it and fall short for answers. It’s heck mysterious.
It validates your gift. If writing is the only thing you have on your hands, trust me, you will find a way to make it work.
‘So, what’s the best story you’ve read on the blog?’ You’ll ask. She will go on and tell you the details of what the story entailed and the parts she loved the most. You’ll feel like a superstar. More ice cream, please.
The blog will listen to you. It becomes your space to bleed your heart at times. Where you find freedom in your words.
‘What if I wrote a book? Would anyone buy it?’ You toy with thoughts of being an author at times. These dreams seem so real.
‘Is it gon’ pop?’ That’s a J. Cole line by the way. Some stories have that viral potential as you post only for them to garner minimal views than expected. Well, just another day, right?
Hmmm, nice logo up there. Yeah, blogging gets you a self-important attitude.
You want your kid to read your thoughts someday. And hope the internet doesn’t mess you up by erasing your blog.
It helps you dream. The blog is your intellectual asset, a real estate you plant your dreams and ambitions. It will pay off, someday.
‘Did I write that?’ You will go back to your older posts and wonder, ‘hey, wait a minute….was that me?’
You create magic. What you write about comes to pass and you feel like the newest magician in town. Takes time though.
You’re scared. That you tell too much sometimes.
A story hook takes you captive at night. You lose sleep thinking of the introduction line. Such nights are beautiful.
The sun will shine on you, often. You’ll feel good about what you do, proud even. Your writing becomes purposeful.
You will need a good website developer to walk the journey with you. Steve Obbayi has been that ninja for me since I started. When I notice something isn’t functioning well on the blog, instead of trying to google those website codes and tricks, I call him and he fixes it for me. He also hosts my blog. Cool guy.
Eventually, you watch your blog turn a year old. You smile, knowing that the journey has just begun. More is to come.
I couldn’t be happier. A toast; for much more.