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.


5 Responses to “On First Posts and First Impressions”

  1. Fox October 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    That’s the thing with first blog posts, and I’ve got a bit of experience with this because every time I start a new blog, I start an entirely new blog. I don’t just hop from one site to another. I say, “Yeah, that blog was nice, and I’ll lose all my readers, if I haven’t already after neglecting it for so long, but it’s time to start over fresh.” I’ve done a blog about my knitting, about trying to build a sustainable home, about political rantings, about the work we’ve done for our vehicles (which we no longer have, so I’m sure you can figure where that one went), and so many other things. Each time comes with a dreaded first blog post, and what I’ve learned? Just go for it. Just dive in.

    I know there’s a lot of pressure for setting the tone for your whole blog, but if you’re anything like me, your blog will adapt and change over time as the experiences of your life guide you. The whole tone can change. And as you go on, fewer and fewer people will actually bother to look for that first blog post, thought the truly dedicated will read everything ever written on your entire blog. It takes time for people to get to know you, and that first blog post, it’s kind of more of breaking the ice for yourself than your readers. You can finally proceed with confidence because your blog has been started and it’s easier from there.

    By the way, I absolutely love this post. It’s awesome. It completely explains how I felt the first time I tried to write a blog and my own feeling of being totally intimidated.

    • charimcg October 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Whew!! I was afraid that no one was going to read it and that all that time I spent freaking out about it for nothing! Haha
      Thank you for the encouraging words, they mean a lot 🙂

      • Fox October 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

        I’m glad I could give you the feeling that someone out there was actually paying attention. I’m sure a lot of people will read it and never say a word about it. I know that’s what happened with my current blog!

  2. Nikki Johnson October 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    You are amazingly brilliant!! Whether 1 or 1000 read what you write…keep writing! Do it for yourself….& I love the title!!

    • charimcg October 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Nikki 🙂

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