I can’t really tell you when I started blogging.
In high school I had a tumblr before it was really popular (anyone remember the days of tumblarity?) and went on to make DOZENS of tumblrs. Seriously dozens. Every time I got bored I would start over. It was pretty therapeutic actually to start fresh.
I made a WordPress account a while ago under the name The Late Aubade. It was the name of my second main tumblr account and I loved it so much that I wanted to move it over to WordPress and use it just as my writing. Guess what? That never happened. It doesn’t even have one post.
With The Seal Spot, I was determined to make blogging into a process, with a schedule and set deadlines. I don’t have this blog to profit from; my motives are mostly to get me writing regularly and to eventually develop some sort of portfolio I’m proud of.
Sometimes, I don’t feel like it’s really doing it from me.
If you look back at some of my first posts, I’m all over the place. I talk about writing, about photography, about travel, about books, literally anything. I like it. I’m writing a journal, just for me.
Then I started reading up on blogging, and one of the main things people talk about is finding your niche. Taking one topic, one audience, and really fine tuning your blog to suit that audience.
Ok, well here’s the thing: finding that niche is really freaking hard.
Remember in middle school when you sat with your friends at lunch and all of a sudden maybe a year later you realized that each table had a label? Each friend group had a theme, a common thread holding them together as friends?
Personally, I never really felt like I had a distinct label growing up. It hasn’t changed much as I got older. My personality and my interests span across, through, between, around, in and out of labels. I don’t think it’s fair to label myself.
I read blogs about writing and think “I should write that.” I read blogs about baking and think “I should make that.” I read blogs about travel and think “I should do that.” Where do my boundaries stop?
Recently, I tried to dedicate each day of the week to a different part of my life. This was helpful in the beginning because I felt like I allowed myself to reach deeper and not get so stuck in a niche. I could talk about what was going on in my life, what was affecting me, what I was interested in that very moment.
And then I started running out of ideas.
I drafted lists of blog posts ideas, I googled blog post ideas, I went back in old notebooks and highlighted old ideas. And kept moving.
And then I noticed two things:
- Either all of my topics were essentially the same (i.e.: how I was struggling to make friends out of college)
- Or I wasn’t excited to write about them. At all.
By boxing myself into categories, I realized that I was constricting myself to have to write about that one topic and I didn’t have any wiggle room.
So where is my niche? What is my blog about? Where am I going?
I’m not really sure.
I know I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo now so my blog is probably going to focus on writing a lot more this month. Will it stay that way? Part of me hopes so because my writing life is one of the biggest parts of my life, but I’m not going to promise anything.
This wasn’t a planned blog post. I was supposed to write a review on the Dirty 30 movie today. But every time I sat down to write it, I couldn’t. I was stuck. This post needed to come out, needed to leak out of my fingertips and onto the screen. That’s the type of feeling I want to have when I sit down to write something. The feeling that it needs to be here, it needs to be written.