Joining the blogging world is a little like starting high school in the middle of a term. You know when everyone's already at that point where they've forged friendships and created alliances? Where everybody already knows where they're meant to sit and what's cool and what's not? As an outsider, you're kind of excited to have your first day - but you're also kind of terrified because you know that initially you're going to be alone. You know that those first posts you write will probably be read by your eyes only. You know that you're probably going to write tweets that no one will respond to and you're frightened that you're going to look like a total loser.
It's daunting, right?
But we all did it. We all started somewhere. We all took that leap into blogger or wordpress and created an account that would allow us to express whatever emotions we wished about a topic of our choosing. For me... this topic was books.
I'm a self confessed bookworm. I always have been. I'm totally proud to be a bookworm - it's a badge I wear with honour. If I'm not reading, I'm writing... and if I'm not writing, I'm reading. It's a mini obsession for me. Now, I've stalked a few book blogs in my time in search of bookish recommendations - so I finally decided to start my own. I took the leap into blogger, tried to figure out what the heck I was doing, spent a whole afternoon trying to think of a blog name that wasn't already taken, created my blog, created a twitter account and... voila! My blog was live.
I was giddy with excitement. Seriously, you'd have thought I'd created a masterpiece. But what then? Even after you've worked hard to create your blog and twitter... you're still the new kid sat in the corner. You still don't know anyone. You still have all these bookish thoughts and opinions that you're dying to share - but you still have no one to share them with. It's kinda disheartening....
...For about an hour.
Seriously, that's all it took for the twitter followers to begin. The people in the book blogging community are generally super friendly. Don't get me wrong ... it IS like high school in the sense that everyone DOES already know each other, and everyone HAS already created friendships and alliances, but they doesn't mean that they'll sit there - 'Mean Girl' style - refusing to be your friend and judging you. That doesn't mean that they'll ignore you when you comment on their tweets. Actually, it's quite the opposite! You tweet them... they'll tweet you back. You comment on their tweets and they'll reply. It's that easy.
They may even check out your blog.
They may even comment on your blog posts.
They may even invite you to be involved in blog posts that they're creating.
They may even make you feel less like an outsider than you thought.
Forming friendships is tough - even face to face - so no one can expect to become instant BFF's with the first person you meet on twitter or through your blog... but that doesn't mean that you won't make friends at all, right?
I've been blogging for about 7 weeks now. My blog doesn't get updated every day - mainly because I don't always know what to write and whether or not people will want to hear it. I try to get involved in the weekly meme's that I see floating about and I try to write reviews of the books that I love. At the moment I feel like I have a trillion reviews in my head that I need to post, and I want to read the trillions of reviews out there on other peoples blogs. I try to tweet every day and I try to engage with people that I never would have met if it wasn't for twitter and blogging. In the last seven weeks I've been able to interact with people that I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to chat to. I've managed to have the bookish conversations that I craved prior to this venture, and I've managed to laugh - alot - throughout the process.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that blogging can be a really rewarding venture, and if anyone out there is sat on the fence wondering whether or not to start their own blog... my advice is; DO IT! You sometimes have to put yourself out there in life. You sometimes have to get out of your comfort zone, and blogging is a great way to do that. It's early days for me but I'm having an awesome time joining the book blogging community and I'm sure that you can achieve the same gratification.
And for all the time-served, existing bloggers out there... take a moment to think about all the newbie bloggers and tweeters out there. Make a friend. Make someone feel less like the awkward kid that is sat in the corner on their first day of high school because, trust me, you'll make their day! :-)