Blogging for beginners: overcoming ‘the fear’ with help from friends
Caroline O’Doherty recently asked me for recommendations for sources of information to help her kickstart a blog. We agreed that it would make a great topic for a series of blog posts. Last time around we worked through the issues of choosing a name and a topic. That was Caroline’s homework for last week.
In this third post Caroline tackles her fears with a little help from some friends.
By Caroline O'Doherty
Initially, I struggled a little bit with my third homework task for this project.
Stephen asked me to write 200 to 300 words or so on what I plan to write about, and to think about a name. A simple enough task on paper but after a few days passed an email arrived in my inbox from Stephen and I realised I’d procrastinated the week away.
Obviously this is a lot more than 200 to 300 words but I thought my initial experience may help others in the same boat.
One of my favourite quotes is from him of electric razor fame, Victor Kiam.
‘Procrastination is opportunity's natural assassin.’
I was letting ‘the fear’ take hold a bit. I knew what I wanted the blog to be about and in my mind I had already planned out quite a few steps but fear was eating away.
I am guilty of being someone who often worries a bit too much about what other people think, and so Victor Kiam’s quote is written on a post-it note attached to my laptop as a reminder not to over think everything.
I shared my concerns with Stephen who said “I wholly understand but truly this is fantastic. It's part of the process. You're feeling exactly what everyone feels when they start a new creative project. It's also why this is much better than me having just pointed you at a book.”
Friends in the north
Stephen gave me some excellent advice, and within it set me my next assignment but he also encouraged me to brainstorm with a friend to unlock new ideas and suggestions. Timely, as a university friend was coming up from London at the weekend.
I told my friend Charlotte (@lottaluv33) my plans and my fears and she soon knocked those out of the park. Charlotte and I met on our first day at university. We were both staring at a timetable on a wall, realised we were in the same classes and started talking. No fear, just getting on with it.
In fact, I found out this weekend Charlotte wanted to start a blog too and after a few drinks, we’d cajoled each other into ‘getting on with it’.
That wasn’t the only thing to happen over the weekend which inspired me to run with my first idea. On Sunday morning, Twitter was awash with remarks about an article in The Guardian by Andy Beckett that posed the question: The north-east of England: Britain's Detroit?
Understandably lots of north-east people who I follow on Twitter weren’t happy with this article.
Paul Smith (@paul_a_smith), a friend and someone with a brilliant creative and analytical mind wrote the perfect response and as Sunday night drew to a close, I was inspired by two friends to get on with it and forget ‘the fear’.
A name and a topic
So my blog is born.
I've chosen a name. It will be a blog celebrating everything that is unique, inspired and different about north-east England.
It will feature posts relating to lifestyle and business, celebrating the cool, unique ideas that are born and developed here. I think there's room for a blog that mixes the two.
It’ll be a creative hub of inspiration that I hope in my own little way will provide a counterpoint to Andy Beckett's doom and gloom view of our region.