I feel like it’s an established trend to not know how to begin your first blog post. There’s a lot of pressure as it sets up where you are going. So, you want to get it right. But then you find – and I’ve found this – that I’ve started “a blog” and struggled to keep up the pace.
But this is different. I know exactly how to begin this blog, I know what to say and what to write about for this inaugural post.
I want to talk about beginnings.
Yep, I’m as disappointed as you are. It’s a lame subject. In fact, it’s an annoyingly meta way to begin writing something. And so many blogs start with a dollop of self-deprecating humour wrapped in a self-referential wrap* to make a kebab that you’ll wolf down and feel icky about in the morning.
To put it another way, it’s a bit of a cliche.
But I’m fine about that. I’m always learning and always trying to improve my writing, which means I often focus on certain elements and analyse them to see what I could do differently.
I’m obsessed with beginnings: I sometimes visit the TV Tropes website and its Beginnings Tropes list makes for some thrilling time-killing. I think one of my favourites is the Morning Routine trope. Shaun of the Dead and The Truman Show are two examples that come to mind. I like how the characters lives get punctured by quite small differences to their routines which then are gradually disrupted completely.
Now this kind of ‘trope’ is quite familiar but these two examples don’t feel like cliches. Which made me wonder whether the whole “not knowing how to start a thing” is not really a cliche but just a trope. Now, terms like ‘trope’ and ‘cliche’ are quite loose-goosey and debatable, but I do think you can judge them reasonably well on instinct. Sometimes I’ve read stuff where somebody is discussing starting a thing and I feel like I have to give them a bit of time to find their feet. Then other times it’s immediately captivating.
There’s no precise criteria for defining the difference. But it has made me realise that just because you start in a similar way to someone else, it doesn’t mean it’s exactly the same. There could be a little twist on it, or some element that’s a little new.
Anyway, I think that’s what I’ve tried to do here. But like I said I’m always learning and always trying to improve.
* There was literally no other word I could think of at the time. Give me a break, this isn’t meant to be a masterpiece. If it was I’d still be re-writing it while we’re fighting the robot uprising.