…why #iwrite… (and why I #ilove blogging)
Last week I came across a blog post by natural hair/fashion/culture blogger Lola Zabeth’s titled “Why #iWrite”, which detailed her inspirations about why she blogs. In her post, she encouraged other bloggers to write about why THEY write, offer up three pearls of wisdom, and “tag” other bloggers who they are inspired by. Well, I made a note to write the post and then a couple hours later I was tagged by DerbyCityNaturals to share why I write…
It is an interesting thing this blogging activity, one that requires early mornings, late nights, dis.ci.pline, and risk-taking for no other reason a self-propelled willingness to do it. Almost two years ago (!!), I started this blog as a way of documenting my personal journey of transitioning out of relaxed hair to natural hair. My primary audience at the time was, well, me. At it’s inception, Natural Selection was a platform for me to document my learnings and experiences. I have always loved the act of writing and throughout the years have been told that my “voice” comes across powerfully through the written word. And by powerfully, people often were referring to my style of writing that relies heavily on humor and anecdotal experiences to explore and explain topics. So in July of 2009 when I signed up for Natural Selection’s first .blogspot.com, I figured it would be a great side project for me to hone my writing skills and create an archive of this huge turning point in my life. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I amused myself immensely with family interviews, field trips, and quirky tales of my personal experiences.
- Me – July 2009 at the start of the blog
Things were cruising along swimmingly with the blog and I was having a lot of fun and learning a ton about hair and blogging in general. Then a weird thing happened: people started reading. In the beginning, I figured that I could cajole my mom, my Nana, and maybe – just maybe – a handful of friends to check out the site. But I was delighted to find out that people were visiting- and enjoying – Natural Selection! “Well, hot damn,” I mused, “I guess I should keep ‘em coming back.” And so I began to approach the blog with the same fun-loving, curiosity-bent, I-want-to-learn mentality, but also began to consider how to engage a wider audience.
So there I was, writing for myself as well as for a host of readers. As Natural Selection grew, I began to develop relationships with readers as well as other bloggers. To this day, one of my favorite parts since the beginning of blogging has been to connect with people. Natural Selection has provided me with an platform for reaching, meeting, and bringing people from all walks of life, all over country (and the world!) together.
All of that is a long way of saying that #iwrite to learn, to have fun, to share, and to connect. And I write about hair because hair is beautifully, uniquely human.
March 2011 - Blogging away (photo by Gabriela Herman)
My pearls of wisdom (and these can apply to many more things beyond just blogging)
1. JUST DO IT! Sit down and start typing. All it takes is a single thought to get you started. Don’t worry about it being perfect, that’s the beauty blogging – no one sees it until you hit Publish! And once you start, keep at it!
2. SMILE! If it doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it. End of story. Have fun with it! Be creative, be silly, be YOU!
3. MAKE A FRIEND! Take the time to introduce yourself to other bloggers, especially the ones that you enjoy reading and/or those that inspire you. Never hurts to make new friends and its sometimes you even get to meet them in person, which makes it all the more fun!
The following 6 bloggers (couldn’t just choose 5; in no particular order) I’m tagging in this post have made me laugh out loud, taught me new things, become my friends, connected thousand of people who would have otherwise been strangers, and have inspired me to keep at it!
Nikki Walton of Curly Nikki
Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks
EllePixie of Quest for the Perfect Curl
Ernest of Fly Brother
Chai of Back To Curly
Katie of Happy Girl Hair