How are you supposed to start a blog post?
Or a blog, for that matter?
It’s been nearly a year since I decided I was going to start another blog. I have piles of post ideas for later, next week and month and year. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the first post, the very beginning of my blog should be.
It should be witty, I think. Creative, certainly. Helpful in some way, and memorable.
My first blog post must cast a vision for the blog’s future, without being too specific. It should also introduce me. That means it needs to capture my voice completely.
And to top it all off, it needs SEO… Which I’m told stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is supposed to help me appear in Google searches. Beyond that, I am clueless. So I need to do my own Google search.
Speaking of Google, I also did some searches about “How to Write Your First Blog Post,” and “How to Start a Blog.” I found several excellent sources, and as I read, I nodded along, thinking, “I can do this. I have to do this.”
Then I sat down before my white computer screen, blinked along with the flashing cursor and tried to write a suitable beginning.
I typed several lines and backspaced them all. I wrote a few more, and deleted everything again, except the middle.
How could I have so many middles but no beginnings? Why did I know what was supposed to happen at the end, but not now?
My conclusion is, I will never land upon a perfect beginning. As much as I want a smart, smooth start, there won’t be one. Beginnings are messy. Life itself begins amid chaos. It will probably be at least a decade before I find out firsthand, but from all the moms I know, I can conclude that giving birth is not neat or comfortable. It’s painful and messy and scary; but, it’s just the beginning. After the birth comes raising the baby. Even if the beginning wasn’t perfect, there’s a lifetime ahead. All thanks to that difficult start.
If I’m waiting for a perfect start, I’ll be waiting forever. There won’t be a middle or end unless I jump in to the beginning… Take the plunge before I know the depth or catch my breath completely. I’ve moved my “Blog Launch Date” too many times already. Despite my excuses about domain names, image software, and social media, it’s really been because I couldn’t find a starting point.
So this is my start. Right in the middle of my tangled mess of thoughts. This is my push, the delivery of my blog into the world. It’s not the time I expected, or exactly how I envisioned, but it’s still time.
Now that it’s arrived, I’ll be able to help it grow. It’s going to be just as messy as the start, I’m sure, but I hope you’ll stick around to share it with me. I hope you’ll also share your own ideas and growing projects, messes and all.
After all, isn’t that really what life and writing are about? Seeing and sharing beauty not in spite of imperfections, but in them.
Starting because it’s time, not because everything is perfectly in place.
Sometimes that means beginning in the middle.