Sometimes it’s the thing you love most that inspires you to start your first blog.
In today’s guest post, we’re talking with Donna Gard of Donna’s Addiction. See how her love of creative writing got her started on her blogging journey.
Take it away, Donna!
As a young girl, I loved to write. It started with short comic strips then progressed to short stories and then into poetry. I loved poetry. In school my favorite subject was English Literature because I was able to read stories such as Romeo and Juliet; The Iliad and The Odyssey; and The Catcher in the Rye. I loved the written word and how the stories seem to drag me into them. As a child growing up in a lower class income family, stories were my way of seeing the world without actually leaving my bedroom.
However, even though I loved to write, as I got older I realized that one of my worst and least favorite subjects in school was English Grammar. Not really good if you wanted to write – properly?
So report after report that I turned in, or story after story, they always came back with the same red marks correcting my errors. This would haunt me all the way to my four and half year stint at the University of Scranton. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get it. Sentence structures, conjugated verbs, possessive pronouns, run on sentences, etc… it made my head hurt.
However, with all the red lined documents, my teachers always had one nice thing to say – Miss Gard, while your grammar needs much improvement, I must say you have such a creative way of writing! I can truly say that I LOVE to write. It was and still is a great way to share my feelings without having to get up in front of a classroom and voice them out loud. And no matter what people might hear, picturing the whole room in their underwear does not work!
So as a lover of the pen and paper, it was no surprise that while surfing the web one day I came across my first “blog” and it was like a light bulb going off in my head. This was something I knew I wanted to try. But first, I started reading more blogs.
Whether it was a local photographer blogging about the cute baby or beautiful couple they had the pleasure of capturing with their lens, or the person who is voicing their concerns on the Human Trafficking problem in the world. I spent many nights just reading. Once I had the courage, I started my first blog and named it Donna’s Addiction.
I came up with that name because I wanted to share with people my love for life and the things going on in and around it – my addiction.
I love blogging because now I can share my personal thoughts with others of maybe like or opposite minds, instead of keeping them hidden in a diary or locked inside my head. Here was an opportunity for a shy little girl from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to share her thoughts with the world and maybe, just maybe, someone would like to listen? Thus began my journey into blogging.
Donna’s Take on Blogging (and A Few Tips for You!)
I am rather a newbie to the “blogging” world and still learning how to get more people to hear my voice, but there a few things I have learned so far and may help those just starting out. I am a self-learner in a lot of things I do and learned everything thus far just by observing others and doing a bit of research.
I read a blog where someone was using WordPress to connect and so that is how I found my blog site. I am not familiar, nor did I really look into many of the sites out there, but since I was happy with my dealings with WordPress I have stuck with it. I would advise potential bloggers to shop around though and see what fits you best.
Another tip I would give is to attend some blogging seminars in your area to gain some better insight in what blogging is all about and how to make the most of your blog. All you really need is a love for writing and a love to be heard to get started.
Start by picking one thing that you love to talk about whether it is cooking, your children, your fur babies, your love of knitting, or even the state of affairs in the world. Whatever your passion, go with it and start writing. Don’t worry about if people will listen or even like what you are writing about at first. If you are passionate about something it will feel good just to write it down and read it over yourself. But believe me, there will be at least one person other than yourself reading it.
The more you write the better you will get and attract more readers. It only takes one well liked blog to get you moving and once you get hit after hit on your blog and develop your own set of followers, you will be inspired to keep writing. I encourage everyone who has an opinion they want to share or an inner voice dying to be heard, to create your own blog and let your passions speak for themselves!
Trust me, you have nothing to lose but a lot of sleepless nights and some cramped fingers.
After I wrote this blog, I sent it off to one of my sisters to read over and let me know what she thought…because, after all, family are much more honest than strangers. So as honest as any sister can be she said…” that is great, but I assume you don’t want me to correct your grammar!?” See, some things never change, but I will never let bad grammar skills stop me from writing.
I have a voice and I want it to be heard. I hope you find that voice inside yourself and take up blogging. Even if just for enjoyment and self-fulfillment, it will be an enlightening experience!
About the Author: My name is Donna Gard and I was born and raised in a truly dysfunctional, lower class family in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I am the youngest girl in a family of six children. My Mother and Father were both born to parents who traveled here from Europe. My Maternal Great Grandparents along with my Maternal Grandmother came over on a boat from Italy while my Maternal Grandfather – a merchant marine – from Spain. My Paternal Grandparents migrated here from Germany and Ireland. So you can say that I am an American born Muttigree of sort. I grew up in a very artistic family- one that loved music, dance, and singing – so it was only natural that I carried on that tradition. Besides loving to sing (something I didn’t do too well) and dance and my great love for photography, I also shared in my older sister’s passion for writing. She was not only a very good artist, and musician, but a very good writer who inspired me as I grew. I am a single mom to a beautiful little girl who has been a big inspiration and motivator for me. For the past few years, we have lived with a wonderful man – soon to be my husband – who has a lovely teenage daughter. To complete our little family, two years ago, we adopted a beautiful black lab mix from a kill shelter. We not only gave her life, but added enjoyment to ours as well. Presently, I have a full time job as a Legal Assistant in the area and a few years ago started my own event planning and photography business. I am very thankful for my life and family and grateful for a successful career that has always challenged me and a good provider. With my endeavors into becoming a small business owner and recent Blogger, I not only get to help people – something I love to do – but live out the things in life that I am most passionate about – writing about life as I see it and capturing it through the lens of my camera.