Most of us pop open the window of Blogger or Typepad for the
first time with a rush of Purpose. We want to start a blog because we something
to say. . . and usually it’s something important to us. I mean, even if when
people ask we say, “OhIdon’tknowIjustwanna . . .” and then change our story to
be about healthy meals or pics of our kids (depending on who we’re talking to),
there’s usually something else going on in our souls.
We usually have something we want to say. And it’s likely a big Something. Or, really, it’s likely a Big Something to Us.
I know that when I started my blog I had just started
sewing with Rescued Fabric, and I was crazy excited to talk about it.
I’d be standing at a strange napkin bins in a thrift store
imagining the apron that would show up soon from the wad I had in my hand
And so I started my blog. Probably a little like you did
(maybe you weren’t talking to yourself in a thrift store when the inspiration
hit, but you get my point…)
There I was, ready to say something Big.
What I discovered was the blog posts are really great for
saying something Small.
The blog post is beautifully designed for us to say a small
thing with. And the more we strain to make it do more than it was designed to
do, the crummier our posts become. Think of sort of like trying to ride a trike
in the Tour De France. If you want to say something amazing—like, “Look how
lovely this life of mine is…” you’re probably going to need to write a
book-length something to pull that off. (It generally takes lots of words for
people to believe that you’re not messing with them.)
You might even consider limiting that goal to “Look how
lovely this day of mine is…”—but even a goal that size isn’t the best way to
tackle a post.
Blog posts tend to be great when they begin focussed on one
physical Thing (like a weird smudge on your toaster, or the flower you found in
the bottom of your suitcase, or one twinkie.)
When you write a post that begins with one Thing, then it’s
amazing what can emerge when you allow yourself and your readers to just stare
at one little thing that lives in the world.
There we are looking at the smudge on your toaster thinking
about how hard it is to let your kids use
a knife for the first time and that all you can imagine is blood and
butter everywhere. And we are all reflecting on these weird moments where it
looks like toast, but it’s really Letting Go.
You have allowed us, as your readers, to go somewhere with
When we come, though, to a blog post that begins, “It’s so
hard to let our children go,” we sort of yawn and click on. I think this may be
because we’re wired to want to discover things and not have them handed to us
So, give it a shot. Try writing posts that let themselves talk
about a Small Thing. Go write about toaster smudges.