the necessary beginning of a new blog from a new blogger

clock, musee d'orsay, france, black and white

Musee d’Orsay, France


The new blogger, in constructing a new blog, encounters a formidable, albeit obvious challenge early in the blogging process: what should the first blog post be about? This roadblock is hardly unique to the blogger alone: the novelist must conduct a first chapter, the poet must compose a first draft, the screenwriter must create a first scene. What makes the blogging experience unique is finding a way to invoke a blend of casualness and purpose within the first post and therefore, to use a well-worn piece of writing advice, set the tone for the rest of the blog.

I’ll explain. In my opinion, a well-written blog featuring its writer must balance on a thin line between what I call the diary effect (emulating a journal or diary, an account of varying detail about the events and such of the blogger’s life) and The Point (reverently capitalized, not just why the blog is being written, but also what the reader gains from the blog besides the events and such of the blogger’s life). The danger lies in ensuring that the latter finds a way to permeate the entirety of the blog and is therefore laid out or at least mentioned in the blogger’s initial post.

The Point

Deciding, or discovering, or uncovering, or perhaps contriving The Point is the very first of the blogger’s challenge, before even attempting the daunting business of writing the first post. Finding a name, visualizing a logo, even creating the framework of the website1 is all relatively simple in comparison to the most important question any blogger must face: what is the blog about?

Answering this question is easier for some than others. In my research, this is especially true of the beloved humans of our media-obsessed culture: celebrities. For the celebrity, the answer to the question of what is the blog about (which is all-but-unanswerable for us regularly-famed humans) can be as easy as one word: me. Notably, Beyoncé, in all her Beyoncé-ness, simply titled her blog “I am Beyoncé2.” And why should it be anything more than a blog about Beyoncé? It goes without saying that for the average consumer-of-blogs the allure behind beyonce.com is more enticing than that behind, oh I don’t know, getrichslowly.org.

In any case the question is unavoidable, and cannot remain unanswered without the blog and blogger sinking into the writer’s inevitable greatest fear: the shadowy, somber obscurity of non-readership. As the Dread Pirate Trey, I am responsible for declaring what you, dearest reader, are going to find at dreadpiratetrey.com, beyond the all-too-obvious blanket topics like “Life from My Perspective,” or “a Glimpse into My Travels and Adventures” (neither of which are terribly unfitting for what you’ll find on this site). However, I find it necessary to crawl a little bit deeper into my version of The Point.

I mentioned earlier the writer-featured-blog, like this blog, should include a balance of an account of the blogger’s life and a specific, niche-related direction, purpose, objective, or whatever behind it. What you’ll find here is the documentation of my life, travels, adventures, opinions, and so on, all told by an adult who does not feel very much like an adult. The objective that my blog strives to accomplish is to be not a guide, but a companion to all my fellow adults who, like me, just don’t quite think of themselves as very adult-like.

The why

As a writer (or, at least, a human being with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature who has written things3 in the past), I was often asked why I didn’t blog, or to the annoyance of many, post anything on social media platforms regarding my life and adventures besides the occasional Instagram photo. Curious family members found it necessary to contact me directly for news and updates, close friends waited patiently in the dark for information until I saw them in person again. Once I was told with shallow disbelief that “I didn’t have to make a blog for like an assignment or something” while in school.

The decision to start this blog, however, reaches beyond the pressures of friends and family. In fact, I like to regard this as a mutually beneficial experience: those who wish to “follow along” are [finally] able to do so, and meanwhile I [finally] have a place to display and record my episodic adventures and such, growing as a writer and a human being, figuring out how to survive this formidable thing called Adulthood.

So far

Indeed, I graduated with a B.A. (two technically, but who’s counting) in Creative Writing and Literature, respectively. I acquired these from California State University, Long Beach, aka Long Beach State or, simply, “The Beach,” depending on who you ask4. Beyond the obligatory pursuit of a high-grade-gold-lined sheet of paper, I sharpened my writing skills to their current point, read fewer books than I would have liked (although, in fairness, my appetite to read all the books is ultimately insatiable), lived for 9 months of my academic life in Venice, Italy (more on that later), and, well, did a whole lot of gosh darn college stuff.

In between the requisites of my illustrious academic career5, I’ve held a unique range of jobs, from Pizza Preparer to Kayak Tour Guide (also more on that later). Whenever possible, I travel: ever since my excursion to Italy and consequently its neighboring countries, I have caught what has been popularly dubbed “the travel bug.”

The consequences of this “bug” led to what is perhaps the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my adult life: leaving the familiarity of California and moving to Japan. Why? Well, there’s a whole plethora of reasons for my imminent departure, which will be discussed in detail in a future post. The gist: I’m moving to a town on the North-Western coast of Japan, called Kanazawa, to teach English at a conversational school (Eikawa). The reason is not quite as simple as not having anything to do after graduating from school, nor as complex as wanting to permanently move to the top of Mount Fuji, start a dojo, and train a real life Karate Kid. I suppose it falls somewhere in between.

In any case, the flight is booked, the job is set, and I am nervous, but excited to start the next step of my personal adulting experience. I urge you, diligent reader, to continue to follow along! I’ll be providing entertainment of all shapes and sizes on the dreadpiratetrey.com, none of which will be posted if I don’t think it’s worth your while.

Yours,

The Dread Pirate Trey


Footnotes

1. Relatively simple. For those of you who, like myself, have never created a website and are not as computer savvy as you might wish, this seemingly do-able undertaking is comparable to fashioning a high quality science-fair-style poster-board with nothing but printer paper, a black-ink pen, and a pair of old scissors while only using your non-dominant hand.

2. It’s worth noting that while visiting beyonce.com I could find nothing actually written by Beyoncé, but lasted little more than 3 minutes on the site.

3. Essays, short stories, poems, proverbs, etc.

4. There is something of a name crisis at California State University, Long Beach. Throughout the school’s history, it has been known by the following names: Los Angeles-Orange County State College, Long Beach State College, California State College at Long Beach, Long Beach State, Long Beach State University, and California State University, Long Beach (its current and officially recognized name).

5. Mild, but not total, sarcasm intended.