Usually, I write about shoes. But today, I write about writing.
I started this shoe blog in February 2015. Here are three lessons I’ve learned in my six months as a blogger.
Creativity is a renewable resource
I’ve written countless items in my 15 years in corporate communications, including a hip hop song and a viral video that garnered two million hits on YouTube. But most days are spent on pretty standard stuff: executive messages, organizational announcements, intranet articles. Before I started blogging, I was afraid I might have forgotten how to write non-corporate-y content. After all, there’s only so much fun I’m allowed to have with a shareholder letter and keep my job.
But I’m happy to report that switching gears is more fun than a free buffet and an open bar at the holiday party. After a full day in the cube farm, I get to chuck the style guide and branding rules. Nothing is off limits in my shoe blog: Chicken poop, my ex-husband, and Colin Firth have all made appearances.
No niche is too narrow
I used to be afraid no one would want to read about my niche: menswear-inspired women’s shoes. I’ve since learned that if you’re interested in something, chances are, other people are, too. I’m writing this particular post on an airplane, and the guy next to me – I swear I am not making this up – is reading an article titled “The Inner Life of Ball Bearings: How Lubrication Really Works.” There are blogs about passive aggressive notes, unnecessary quotation marks, and the “odd, bizarre and strange things of our world.” Every shoe has its mate, and every interest has its audience.
Passion is contagious
I gather shoe blog content wherever I can find it, including other people’s feet. I’ve asked literally hundreds of people to let me snap a photo of their shoes. So far, not a single person has turned me down. Many even remove a shoe so that we can look at the label inside. I’ve reached out to more seasoned bloggers for advice, and they have graciously shared information and encouragement. Readers regularly offer comments and feedback. Recently, one wrote, “It takes a lot to get me to read an article about shoes, but your enthusiasm makes even shoe manufacturing sound fun.” I am humbled by the generosity and graciousness of strangers.
Perhaps the best lesson of all has been that my biggest fear – not having enough to write about – turned out to be the least of my worries. I’ve got more ideas than IBM has acronyms! And I can’t wait to write about them. On my blog.