I’ve written a couple of blogs over the last year, which weren’t driven from my own desire to write, but from requests that came from friends and work colleagues. I’m always up for having a go at anything new or trying something that will challenge me, push me out of my comfort zone. I had good feedback about my blogs so far. People said they liked my personable style, felt like I was being genuine, honest and that they could get a good sense of the person I am. I appreciated the feedback, and as you will discover shortly, this made a huge difference to how I felt about my writing. Recently I’ve become aware that I am more interested in starting to write and for some reason I feel driven and inspired to write more regularly. How much time can I give to this though? I live a very busy life, working hard in a day job and filling in any other gaps in my life with work as a freelance Mountain Leader.
What pushed my blogging button?
Well, I knew that I needed to start somewhere, and I was really excited to get a place on a free Blogging webinar with Oli Reed (Editor from Trail Magazine & The Outdoor Dad blog) which was hosted by the Mountain Training Association. I went along with an open mind, as I know what the basics of blogging are.
We all have to deal with imposter syndrome at times and I quickly realised that this was underlying my fear of blogging. I’m not afraid to get this out in the open as I know I won’t be the only person out there who has contemplated blogging but has imposter syndrome. I’m worried about my writing style and what people will think about my quality of writing. My spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure. I’m not particularly worried about what I write about, the content or the topics. I do worry about opinions though and the risk of backlash for sharing an opinion, of making a mistake, an inaccuracy or error in something factual. I spend too much time looking at social media trolling and it fills me with dread.
Meeting up with an inspirational and experienced Blogger.
The day after my blogging webinar I had arranged to meet Becky Angell – Becky The Traveller. Becky is a frequent and experienced blogger writing articles on both of her websites. We had been meaning to connect up for a while, to talk about blogging amongst many other things. Becky had already reached out to me after seeing a post that I had put on twitter about the webinar the day before. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to ask Becky but I did want someone to give me that confident push to give it a proper go. When I say a proper go, I don’t just mean this one blog about my fear of blogging, I mean a committed month or two of publishing blogs that might interest, inspire or excite a reader.
Becky and I walked and talked whilst exploring the local footpaths of Nottinghamshire. Becky is full of energy, always looking for another adventure. Becky hosts a website with links to walks in the Peak District and writes about these regularly. The best bit of advice Becky gave me was to be myself, not try to copy or replicate what other bloggers are doing. Blogging is a very personal thing.
Who are my audience, why do I want to blog?
At the minute I don’t have a massive audience and I’m not sure I want a massive audience. Will that make the expectation to blog more difficult? I suppose for now I’d just like to test the water, write a few short blogs about my work, reach out to my followers and connect with other new bloggers to support and encourage each other.
What do people like reading? There are lots of similar blogs out there, and again I start comparing myself to them. I know that until I stop this, I’m not going to take those first few steps forward.
So, here is my first blog… I’ve opened my thought process and anxieties – is this too self-focused, am I naval gazing? Probably yes, but until I get over this fear, I’m not going to be able to put finger to keyboard again, and I desperately want to start sharing some of my stories, adventures, experiences and outdoor life with you all.
I have some ideas for some topics for the next few months. Oli and Becky both suggested that it’s good to have a goal and some content to explore and write about. I’d love to know if there is any aspect of my work that you’d like to hear more about – drop me a line.
Thanks for reading this – constructive feedback welcome!