I have recently undertaken some important steps in my evolution as a writer. In a previous column, I described how I have written a children’s book  and am preparing to create a whole series. In addition to this, I have established a blog  which has given me a place to reflect on my many interests.
Because of the in-depth training I received, writing and maintaining the blog has proven to be easier than I thought it would be. To learn more about setting up and managing the blog, my parents and I went to see a web designer who also has had experience as a blogger himself. He talked me through each step of the setup process, and I designed the site from the options he provided. He also showed me how everything on the blog functioned. We primarily focused on the “dashboard,” a portion of the site which acts as a sort of backstage area for the whole operation. This is where I compose all of my entries and prepare them for presentation on the front page with all the proverbial bells and whistles. Each part of the site is represented by a tab on a sidebar containing all of the tools I need to work with. With a few clicks, I can easily view blog entries I am working on or have published, comments people have made about my entries, and media files like photos and videos.
During the training process, however, I was a bit intimidated by the thought that this process would turn out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. I do enjoy learning about complicated structures or systems and seeing how everything works together to make something run, but there was a lot to take in here. I was concerned by how much I would have to do to prepare each of my entries for publication. In addition to writing the entry itself, I would have to file it under the right categories, attach the right tags, and customize the entry’s description for search engines so it would stand out among other similar sites. In my mind, that was a lot of things to keep track of for just one entry. Going through this entire process every weekday also sounded very challenging to me, and I thought there was a good chance of me giving up before the site got any real traction. After the demonstration ended and all of the details of the site were decided upon, I worried about what might happen if I wasn’t able to make the site work properly to my advantage.
I was surprised to find that my worries were largely unfounded after working with the blog site for a few days. I took to the system like a duck to water, composing and publishing an entry in less and less time each day. It is now easy for me to navigate around the site and get new material onto it, an accomplishment I am really proud of. This blog has become part of my weekday routine, and I really enjoy it. It has turned out to be very fun and productive. I am looking to increase the number of visitors to the site beyond family and friends, but I understand that it may be a few years before I see larger results than this. Regardless of the hardships that may lie ahead for the site, I view it as a valuable resource for expressing myself and showing my repertoire to potential future employers. I really feel that this blog is a stepping stone to greater things in my writing future, and I am very interested and excited to see what will come out of it.