A week or two ago, on a whim, I signed up for a blogging class through WordPress called Blogging 101.
For my current readers unrelated to WordPress, WordPress is the hosting platform I use to blog, or the Content Management System (CMS). Given that WordPress is big and bad and powerful and user-friendly and well-reputed in the blogging world, they do all sorts of neat things like publish posts with tips, provide new information, offer writing prompts, and much more to help all of us millions and billions of people who read and write blogs.
Did I mention I am not alone in this endeavor?
With that many people, involved WordPress provides many opportunities to learn. Yay WordPress. That’s why I chose you to host my whimsical writing. Hello peers of Blogging 101.
Yes, back to that whim of mine, because that’s pretty much what got this blog started back in the summer of 2011. That and the fact that I needed a creative outlet alongside motherhood. That was a whim, too.
So what about Blogging 101?
Well, I signed up for this three-week course to better myself as a blogger, a writer, a person, a mother, a responsible citizen, a productive member or society, a lifelong learner…
Clearly I have unrealistic expectations for this class.
Let’s just stick with “to better myself as a blogger.”
Plus, I thought it would be fun. And from my very first post until now, that is what Britta’s Banter is all about for me.
Big words here.
Surely I can amp up my word choice by the end of this course.
So yes, about Blogging 101.
The course started on Monday and I just remembered that I signed up for it this morning, which means I am late for class. Going on three, nearly four days late. And that is SO atypical of me. Always the diligent and timely student, I was punctual for class, my homework done on time, the syllabus committed to memory, important dates written in my planner, and my assignments done as directed — I was forever studious.
As of today, not anymore.
I feel like such a rebel for being behind, which is pretty funny because this course is just for fun.
I should have definitely skipped more classes as an undergrad if I knew I’d feel this badass.
Although forever the student and in an attempt to catch up, here’s what Monday’s post should have been about…
Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World
Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post on your blog.
Given that I am obviously Britta and I am here to Banter as I have been doing for the last four years, I find it somewhat trifling to answer that question. I also find it extremely difficult to answer because I am definitely a more evolved and experienced writer and blogger than I was four years ago.
The assignment further probes the why I should introduce myself.
- It gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
- It helps you focus your ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.
To the new readers — I am all about learning, family, honesty, positivism, and sharing experiences through writing. You should read my blog to feel good, as an escape, for humor, or if you like to write or blog and want to connect with someone (ME!) who does too.
To my loyal readers — Hello! Just me again trying something new on the blog and grappling for creative momentum and having FUN.
With regard to the second bullet point, sometimes I feel like I need to create a specific focus for my blog, but I have many interests – motherhood, writing, running, pugs, travel, friends, parenting, ideas, observations – that the thought of narrowing my content into one specific focus suffocates my mind. Finding a focus is something I think about a lot, and maybe I will find some clarity through this course and figure out what I’d like to do with this blog in the future.
Quickly now, I’ll answer the following further probes from Blogging 101, as only a good student would do. Old habits die hard.
- Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
- For me, it’s a form of professional development, although it didn’t exactly start out that way. In order to stay connected, I started my blog as a way to share my life with family members who lived far away. I like to write (it’s FUN!), so it was a good outlet for me after I had my first baby. Over the years, my blog has become a writing portfolio of sorts. Eventually, I’d like to use it as a spring-board to resume my professional career path once my kids are in school. Blogging publicly took some courage on my end because even though I often have an outgoing personality, I am that of an introvert with some of my thoughts and writer-brained ideas. I couldn’t have made the leaps and bounds forward with regard to my writing if I didn’t make my words public.
- What topics do you think you’ll write about?
- Same stuff as I previously mentioned. With no focus, of course.
- Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
- If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
This concludes Day One of Blogging 101.
Day Two was about creating your blog title and tag line. At this point, I am pretty much married to Britta’s Banter. I don’t always love it, but I feel compelled to stay true to my origin. My tag line is: One woman’s whimsical writing. What can I say? I like alliteration. I did get a suggestion from one of my peers to change my tag line to: Writing Unfiltered. Hilarious! I have certainly gotten enough water filter jokes in my life. I am considering making the change.
Today’s assignment was about engaging with the blogging community. I already read and follow quite a few blogs and use my Reader sufficiently so I won’t write a post about the blogs I follow. In the future, I am considering creating a blogroll.
As I move forward in Blogging 101, I’d like to make some more connections with other like-minded bloggers and writers that spark interest or entertain me. But I don’t have any expectations in case I drop the ball again. In fact, I don’t know what to expect at all from here, but I’m going to make an effort toward whatever the course entails next, as well as continue to post as usual when inspiration strikes.
It’ll be FUN. It’ll be unfiltered. Grab a glass of water and join me.