After reading Rosie’s latest blog on how to blog, I thought I’d write a blog about blogging – how I started, why I blog etc. for those of you who would like to find out more.
So, I first started blogging in October 2014 (nearly 3 years ago now!) I never intended to have this many blog posts. I originally decided, a few weeks before Dyspraxia Awareness Week, that I would like to write a Facebook post to raise a bit of awareness of dyspraxia amongst my Facebook friends. I used the notes app on my phone and began to make a bullet point list of areas dyspraxia affects, adding to it every so often. Eventually I had enough to make it into a post. I’d realised that it was too long to post on Facebook as a standard post, so I decided to set up a WordPress account – “Just for a one-off post”, I thought to myself.
So I wrote my blog post, shared it during Dyspraxia Awareness Week and was really surprised with the feedback I received! I didn’t really think much more about it (I was in year 13 doing my A Levels and those next few months were particularly difficult). It came to January the following year and I was sat there doing revision. Well, attempting to but whilst my mind was wandering I thought “I’d like to go into more detail about how dyspraxia affects me and write another blog post”. So, again, I made some notes and wrote another blog post. I’m so glad other people blogged about dyspraxia too (Rosie’s & Imogen’s blogs were two in particular I remember reading – thanks to you both!), as it was after reading their blogs that I thought I’d like to write more blog posts myself.
I realised that writing blog posts was something I really enjoyed doing. I always have enjoyed writing, I used to write mini stories when I was younger and went to ‘Writer’s Club’ at the beginning of secondary school. However, the creative writing side of it is something I’ve struggled with. I could come up with ideas, but putting them into words to make it appear interesting for others to read would be hard. Why would I need to use so many descriptive words for something when the person could just imagine it themselves? I don’t know what the castle looked like, it’s not real so I haven’t thought of what it might look like. On the other hand, if I was provided with a structured, set way of writing an essay I’d do much better. Here’s where dyspraxia is different for everyone (some people would be the exact opposite). Although I am creative in certain ways, such as through photography, I would definitely say my brain is more towards the logical, ‘black & white’ side. So blogging is kind of the perfect balance for me in terms of writing style.
So I enjoyed writing blogs and had more ideas = more posts! I remember at school a friend said to me “Your blog isn’t really living up to its name anymore is it?” The only problem was that being in the middle of my A Levels meant that I had so many ideas but just not enough time to write them! Lots of blog posts were written that summer in particular… I still have lots of blog posts on my list now though that I thought of the ideas for ages ago – they’ll get written at some point though!
I still don’t blog as often as I would like, it is really hard to fit it in with uni (although hopefully I’ll have time to write quite a few more posts before I go back in September). I think what makes it more difficult is that when I write blogs I end up writing for ages and ages; it’s not the sort of thing I can just do for 20 minutes and then come back to the next day. I get too carried away! It also doesn’t help that my blogs are never short… (my brain just doesn’t do shortening things, as you can tell!)
It was also that summer after finishing my A Levels when I decided I would set up a facebook page for my blog (here’s the link if you haven’t seen it already). I never expected it would reach over 500 likes (nor my blog would reach over 100,000 views!). I remember even being surprised when my blog first reached 100 views!
I’m so glad I got into blogging, it’s something I really enjoy doing and am very passionate about. I originally aimed to raise awareness of dyspraxia so it’s really nice to have been able to help make a few more people aware. It’s also lovely to have received comments from people saying my blogs have helped them in some way. That’s not to say there haven’t been a few people who have disagreed with what I’ve written in my blogs at times (that’s always going to be the case though with anything – whether it’s blogs or vlogs). I’ve got lots more dyspraxia-related blogs planned (which is obviously the main focus of this blog) but I would also like to write a few more blog posts about autism too. I’ve found that writing about autism is quite different to writing about dyspraxia; when you don’t have a condition yourself (although there are overlaps) it is different to write about in comparison to when you have that condition.
For anyone who might be thinking about getting into blogging, I would definitely recommend doing it! If you start off by choosing a site (WordPress or Blogspot are common ones), then start writing a post. You might not know where to start, maybe try writing a short introductory post about what dyspraxia means to you. I tend to write quite long posts, but everyone varies in the length of posts they write. I also tend to plan my blogs, which I would recommend (even if it is just a few bullet points). Although saying that, I haven’t planned this blog so if it’s a bit all over the place then that’s why!
As Rosie importantly pointed out, there is no ‘right or wrong’ way to blog (take a look at her post for more tips), despite the fact that dyspraxia often means our brains see things in a ‘black & white’/’right or wrong way’. Also, try not to worry about what others think. There have been so many times before where I’ve written a blog and have proof-read it and then thought “But that doesn’t really seem very interesting”. And then I’ve given it to my Dad to proof-read too (thanks Dad for all the proof-reading you’ve done! Bet you’ll find a mistake in this one as you haven’t prood-read it) and he’ll say he found it interesting to read and then I think “Oh maybe it isn’t as boring as I thought!” I’ll often find it is the blog posts that I least expect to end up getting the most views. For example, after writing my blog post on celebrities with dyspraxia me and my Dad both agreed that we didn’t think it was one of my best posts, but it ended up getting the most views! So you never know what blog posts might end up doing really well and you never know who might find them helpful!
On the other hand, try not to get disappointed if your posts don’t get many views to start off with or if any later posts don’t get many views. For all I know this post could end up doing terrible! People might not want to read a blog about blogging, but you never know until you try… and I’m enjoying writing it anyway, so as long as you enjoy writing it it doesn’t matter who else enjoys reading it!
I’ve also recently set up a Facebook group for dyspraxic bloggers. There are already some amazing, supportive dyspraxia groups on facebook, but I thought it would be nice to have everything blogging-related in one place. It’s also a place for people to share any tips and discuss ideas if they would like to. If you are a dyspraxic blogger and are interested in joining, here is the link.
To end this blog, here’s a few stats/facts about my posts:
- First post: https://theblogwithonepost.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/dyspraxia-awareness-week/
- Most views: https://theblogwithonepost.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/celebritiesfamous-people-with-dyspraxia/
- Favourite post to write: https://theblogwithonepost.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/my-experiences-at-school-from-nursery-to-sixth-form-part-1/