Every couple of weeks, I see a post on the AW Boards with a variation on the subject of, "What should I blog about?"
What should I blog about?
I want to start a blog. What can it be about?
Do I have to start a blog?
How to keep a blog going?
I try to be helpful in these threads, but sometimes, I honestly just scratch my head. Likewise while reading some "blogging advice" posts because I sure as hell didn't follow very many blogging guidelines when I started this thing. I remind all potential bloggers that you might not be blogging for the same reasons as other people do, therefore "guidelines" might not work for you.
Last question first: No, you do not have to start a blog.
My answer to the "What should I blog about?" question is...
Whatever. You. Want.
That is, I understand the value of having a niche topic blog. I read several of them. But that doesn't mean that every single entry has to be about that small subject. You might feel that you've run out of topics to blog about or that because you gave yourself this theme, you have to stick to it even if you're not particularly interested in it anymore. You are allowed to veer off and rant about something else entirely, you know.
Of course, telling someone to blog about "whatever they want" isn't particularly helpful. It's too open, too wide, too scary.
I'm not sure about how other bloggers came to start their blogs and how they arrived at the topics or the style they now write. Maybe some of them will tell us in the comments.
The Sunflower's Scribbles is five years old--and other than being a mostly-writing-focused blog, I'm not really sure what it's about...other than me (I'm an only child, so a bit self-involved). Now, I'm not a great cook or a food critic (I love food blogs), I'm not training for a marathon, backpacking through Europe, writing poetry, have an obsession with obscure foreign films or directors, or anything like that. But maybe you do, potential blogger. Start with that, and see how it goes. Or if you want to go the writing blog route, do that. You'd be surprised what you end up writing about on a blog because it's related to your writing process.
I started by posting one novella in 2009. I had no intention of blogging anything beyond that, really. And now, as I look through Twitter, read the threads on AW, look at Facebook, read books, come across problems or amusing things in my writing, have a new adventure or experience, or read fellow bloggers' posts....I get inspired to keep blogging.
But the real secret to keeping a blog going?