Friday, November 28, 2014

Can You Blog It? Yes You Can!

Someone asked me about starting their own blog this morning, and asked specifically, "But isn't starting a blog cliche?" To save that poor person from having to read a barrage of Facebook messsages, this post is my response. 

Short version: No, it's not. If you want to do it, do it. It doesn't matter if a million other people are blogging, or none. If blogging means something to you, if you have things to say that you need to say, then just say them. Damn the man, damn the haters, and blog it anyway.

Long version: I feel like the question "Isn't it cliche?" is actually a couple of other questions in disguise. What you're really asking when you ask this is, "Isn't wanting to force my opinions on other people obnoxious?" and "Do I really have anything worth saying, when so many other people are talking already?"

The first question is easy to answer. No, it's not obnoxious to start a blog. It's just opening a Blogger or Wordpress account, typing in some words, and hitting publish. There's nothing inherently obnoxious about it, it's a neutral action. There are obnoxious ways to go about it - insisting everyone refer to you as "Blogger Extraordinaire", or refusing to talk about anything else with anyone for months at a time, for example. But the act of starting a blog, of carving out a little space for your voice, is not obnoxious. This fear of being obnoxious applies to men as well, but I've noticed it's particularly prevalent in women. Women are specifically taught by the patriarchal society we live in that their voices are less important, that their thoughts are less worthwhile, and that they should take up as little space as possible. 

As Chimananda Ngozi Adichie put it, "We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, 'You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man." Putting our thoughts in a blog is audacious, and in direct opposition to this idea that we should be small. That's why it feels uncomfortable - but also why you should give it a shot.

Which brings me to the second question -"Do I really have anything worth saying, when so many other people are talking already?" Honestly, I don't know. Maybe you don't. Maybe everything you want to say is already being said in exactly the same way you would say it, by someone else. But somehow, given the variety of humanity, I doubt that.

You don't have to be an expert in whatever you want to write about - oftentimes writing about the journey of learning how to do what you want to do can be just as interesting as a flawless How To. You want to write a baking blog, but you can't bake? That's okay, write about your baking disasters! People love cake wrecks, they really do.

Maybe no one will read it. I can't promise you massive readership, or popularity, or huge mainstream success. But if you're blogging about what you want to see, expressing the things you feel you need to say, then I can promise you one thing: satisfaction.

If you're wanting to start a blog because it seems like the thing to do, but you don't have anything you really want to say, then my advice is don't. If you don't bring anything of yourself to your blog, then it will be boring, and it will be obnoxious. But if there's something you need to say, that you want to say, something you want to see in the world that you can't see out there yet, then go ahead and do it. Are you a plus sized person of colour with a physical disability who wishes there were more beauty blogs from your point of view? (Hell, considering how whitewashed beauty blogging is, you might feel this way just for being a person of colour) Then do it yourself! Start that thing, make what you want to see real. 

Can You Blog it? Yes You Can!


  1. YES. Blogging is about having a voice.

  2. Fabulous post! Well written, and completely true. I echo what you are saying, and truly believe if you want to do something, you should do it. Thanks for voicing this thought so well to everyone :)


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