Archive | September, 2012

On First Posts and First Impressions

19 Sep

My name is Charity. This is my first blog post and my first blog. I’d been wanting to start one for a while now, but there was always one thing stopping me. The dreaded First Post. The hardest thing to write, like the first paragraph of a paper (I’m starting to see a theme here).

My fear of the First Posts might be due to the overly-romanticized idea I’ve created of how a First Blog Post should be. It should be epic, with a touch of humor, and end on such a powerfully moving note that grown men all across the world would rather read that Post than catch the last few minutes of the Big Game, unashamedly shedding tears at the beauty of it. (In what situation a guy would be reading some random person’s first blog post during their favorite team’s Big Game, I don’t know).The First Post is the first impression and who doesn’t want to make a great first impression? But how does one do that without repeating everything said in the “about me” section? What if I say something that sounds incredibly witty in my mind, but completely stupid to whoever reads it? What if there’s only one person in the entire world who ever finds my blog, then they decide, based entirely on the non-epicness of my First Post, that I’m a terrible blogger and never read anything I write again, leaving me once again, alone in the blogoshpere??

I was so freaked out about this that I spent a week and a half surfing the web via Bing and Google for ‘first blog posts.’ My search didn’t turn up anything helpful to me, only a bunch of advice and workshops on “How to Write Your First Blog Post” that freaked me out even more. According to these “helpful” workshops, the First Post was the most important, because it set the tone for your blog’s entire existence. Yeah, no pressure there. What I didn’t find was what I was actually looking for- the first ever blog posts of other bloggers. Usually, the oldest post in their archives would say something along the lines of “I changed blog sites because I have more control here” or “this site is more flexible.” But I know the real reason they started fresh; they’d all found a way to erase the memory of their first, badly drafted posts. (Why do we hide the imperfect things in our lives from others?)

In between that huge gap of time that I spent freaking out about the First Post, I experienced so many amazing things, but no way to share them with the world other than Facebook (who I have a sometimes like/mostly hate relationship with). I was increasingly frustrated whenever I went to the computer to share these experiences, only to realize I would first have to write The Post. Yesterday, I read something that helped me finally make the step I needed. A friend shared a quote from C.S. Lewis about first impressions. “Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.” You see, all of my anxiety about my First Post were really my insecurities about whether or not anyone would care about what I write. Everyone, even the most rebellious person, has an innate need for validation and approval from others. It’s why we try to hide our imperfections from one another; for some reason we want to seem like we’ve got it all together (which is very exhausting). That need for approval is part of what makes us human. The key to finding balance in this is realizing that, while the approval of others is important to us, it’s also important that we aren’t ashamed of our imperfections as well. In the case of blog posts, the early ones are nearly never perfect, but having something to look back on to see how much you’ve grown is important.
At this point you’re either experiencing an epiphany and think me very wise, or you’re thinking “what does any of this have to do with your first blog post?” Regardless of whether you got any of that or not, that’s alright. It all makes sense in my head.