Re-starting Next Garden has been on my mind since the day I stopped updating its old iteration. If I loved it so much, why did I stop? Why not keep going? I had 6 months to slosh all the reasons why around in my head. Amidst some time constraints, self doubt, feeling shackled to too narrow a topic, and generally not knowing how or why I was blogging, I finally came to a very simple solution:
Get the hell out of your own way.
All this thinking amounts to a big fat nothing, I realized. I wouldn’t even be giving myself the chance to tackle all those issues if I didn’t just start again. So here we are. If you’re someone who’s thought about blogging but never started, maybe you can relate. If you’re someone who’s started and stalled and stopped many times, welcome to the club! Maybe we can untangle your thoughts and send you on your merry blogging way.
First off, I don’t know whether I’m taking this all too seriously, as a blog is just a thing that I love to do that may or may not be read by anyone but myself and maybe my mom. But as one of my co-workers said, “Oh there’s Angel, she has no chill. She likes to do more.”
Well if anyone ever hits the nail on the head, that was it! Sometimes in the midst of wanting to do more, I start forgetting the fun in something, get too deep in my head, and start taking everything a little bit too seriously.
So now, with absolutely zero chill, let’s get serious first, and ask the most important questions about blogging:
What do you want to get out of it?
As a raging introvert, I want to be able to sit myself down, self reflect, and recharge. I want to improve my writing, stimulate creativity, and to satiate my constant need to record life experiences.
Are you writing as a hobby? Are you looking to promote a product or service or yourself? Do you want to monetize? Think of where you want your blog to be in a year and how that fulfills you.
Who are you writing for?
The huge mistake I made on the previous version of Next Garden was that I had no idea who I was writing for, but I knew it wasn’t for me. Having only a vague, out of focus idea of what kind of person would be reading my blog made me lose focus. I lost track of what I wanted to say and how to say it. This time, I’m writing for people who have been in similar situations as myself — people who want to do something but have no clue what that something is or where to start. It’s all about people who are meandering through life and open to new experiences. People who will laugh at horrible puns, and try weird snacks, people I can befriend and have conversations with. And of course, for me. In a few months, I want to be able to flip through my blog and think, “That was a good experience!”
Who is your audience? Do they want to learn something from you? Buy something from you? Do they have common interests as you and want to find community? Your writing voice will shift depending on who you believe you’re writing for. Get clear!
Do you love it?
Of course, I’m here again, aren’t I? How about you?
If you answered yes to the last question, then I encourage you to get started already. In fact, you should have done it yesterday! I don’t think of my previous blog as a failure, I just didn’t know myself well enough to know what direction I wanted to go.
And that is something you learn by doing.
And in the spirit of the name Next Garden, if something in this garden isn’t floating your boat, there’s always a next one, and one after that, and so on.
So, this time around, I’m ditching my old enclosure of blogging about personal style. That will still be a thing here, but there will also be an array of just about everything else. It’ll be about food, travel, fashion, and most importantly, life. Come along if you want, we can stumble around together!
The important thing is to create, and enjoy that creation process.
And don’t forget to have fun! Or else what are we even doing this for?