“Claire,” friends often [Ed. note: never] say to me, “how can we replicate your success by starting our own world-famous [Ed. note: technically true!] blog?”
Step 1: Talk for several years about doing a creative project.
Spend a lot of time at your boring day job talking about doing something artistic and creative with a similarly bored and frustrated coworker. You may, in the course of this, start and fail to follow through on many other projects. That kind of practice will help you move on to…
Step 2: Decide one afternoon to just do it.
The less forethought you put into this, the better. Forethought is what stopped you from acting on all those other ideas. Inform your friend (yeah, that bored coworker from Step 1) that you’re starting a travel blog together. Do not phrase it as a question or an invitation but merely as a statement of fact. I can’t find the chat where we arranged all of this, but I believe it went something like this: “We’re starting a travel blog. It’s called Go Go Go. I need you to make it look nice for me.”
Step 3: Keep doing it.
This is the hardest part, and yet the most crucial. Like today, for example, when I was not inspired to write about anything in particular. This is where having two people comes in handy. One person falters, and the other urges them on (usually in less-than-supportive terms, like, “Don’t be a lazy ass,” but sometimes with a concrete suggestion, like “Write about that car accident you got in” or “Use your lunch break to take some photos”). And you take turns at that, and that’s how you keep going.
Step 4: Be lenient.
For example, in your definition of travel. You may have noticed we’re pretty loose with that term around here. That’s because we make the rules, and we want to make the rules so we win.
Step 5: Get your friends to help.
A/k/a make them do it for you. We’ve recruited a fantastic and surprisingly dedicated staff writer and staff photographer from among our friends, as well as others who have written one-off pieces for us, and we’re always looking for more people to participate. Remember, when you get other people to do the work for you, the hardest part is accepting all the many accolades that come your way on their behalf.
Step 6: Remember that you are Doing Something.
When someone asks about your blog’s metrics and you have to shamefacedly say you get like fifty readers a day, temper the shame that you are not yet The Hairpin of the travel world with the fact that that’s fifty more people looking at your work every day than if you weren’t doing this blog, and that counts for something. Whether you ever try to conquer the world or make a dime off it or do anything more than just write the stories and shoot the pictures doesn’t really matter. You are Doing Something, and the alternative is Doing Nothing, and Doing Nothing is the lamest. Also, when you do something, you get to high-five.