Authoring a blog is a strange combination of easy and difficult. If you’ve chosen your subject matter carefully, it’s easy because you’ll be familiar and comfortable with the material. It can be difficult when you start factoring in finding ENOUGH material to provide interesting content on a daily basis. And if you’re committed to your blog, you SHOULD be posting daily content, even if it’s a short post that contains nothing more than an inspirational quote you found online or something. In fact, there are days where I post nothing more than an inspirational poster with a short, four-line paragraph beneath it. I find this provides my readers with a break from some of the wordy, long-winded posts I’ve written.
Sometimes I find it difficult to get my ideas into words. By this, I mean that even if I have a great idea or concept for a post, finding the right words to put into print for others to read is often my biggest obstacle. I fully admit to researching most things I write about, including the martial arts and Diabetes. “But Shawn, you’ve been doing martial arts for over thirty years and you’ve had Type-1 Diabetes for almost forty… Shouldn’t you know everything there is to know, by now?” First of all, don’t be a smart-ass. Second, a wise person is only wise once they understand that they DON’T know everything.
And the idea behind this, is that sometimes you will use someone else’s information or draw on someone else’s expertise. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, so long as you cite the source of your inspiration. Give credit where credit is due, if you will. Otherwise, it becomes good ol’ plagiarism, which if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is claiming someone else’s work or information as your own. Not only is this a major faux-pas in just about every academic, professional and even personal circle I can think of, it’s also downright inappropriate.
We live in a society where the world’s information is at our fingertips, what with smart phones, tablets and the general use of the internet. Knowing where your information is coming from and ensuring that it’s okay for you to share it are important aspects for any blogger. If you have the means to reach out to someone to discuss the use of their materials, then do so. They’ll definitely appreciate it. Follow this up with citing your sources and giving credit where credit is due, and you’re all set.
Lastly, what you write about should be part of who you are, something you’re intimately familiar with. I could easily start a blog about quilting. I’d probably find myself able to research the subject and even manage a number of posts about it. But ultimately it would lack a certain chemistry since I know NOTHING about quilting and wouldn’t exactly be passionate about it. So you need to make sure those elements are present in order for your writing to mean something. Happy writing! ☯