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Why everyone should have a personal blog – like this one!

I started blogging in 2007, and I can't emphasise the impact of this long term writing project enough. I wrote about the ways in which blogging has shaped my writing into what it is today, and the benefits of blogging as it was intended in the days of yore, i.e. sharing bits of your life with strangers on the internet. Read on for an excerpt.

When I first started blogging, one of my closest friends gave me some brutally honest feedback – my posts were way too dry and boring. I felt discouraged, but fortunately I was game enough to keep trying. That was probably my first taste of how difficult it can be to write for an audience, and to put my thoughts and words out there for dissection.

Nearly 15 years on, my personal blog remains a significant part of my writing life and a record of the evolution of my voice and style. But more importantly, I believe that it was because of my blog that I kept writing. Practice, practice, practice. Even though personal blogs now seem more or less passé, here's why I believe every aspiring writer should have one. 

A blog helps you... 

1. Figure out what you want to say   

Many of us know that we enjoy writing, but not necessarily what we enjoy writing about. Writing about different aspects of your life throws up a range of themes and moods, and is a great way to help find your voice. After a few months of blogging, a pattern will emerge, and you'll notice that you gravitate toward certain things – perhaps you really enjoy telling stories about the food you encounter or cook, or critiquing books or television shows, or perhaps you just really get a kick out of narrating the daily goings-on of your life with a dash of humour. 

2. Cultivate consistency 

You know when you're obliged to do something? A blog can make you feel that way, because by its very nature, it's meant to accumulate content over time. This can be a positive thing, because a lot of writers struggle with consistency. The good news is that you're in charge, and you get to write when you want. While it's common to have lots of partially written drafts sitting around, it can be a useful exercise in content planning and accountability, based on your time, goals, the relevance of what you want to write about, and so on. In addition to my drafts, I use a basic writing planner to log upcoming posts, plan for time (accounting for my other writing commitments), and keep track of ideas.

Read the full article here.