I don’t know where the time has gone! September 2022 already marked the 10th anniversary of the blog. It was on September 12, 2022 that I launched my server and published my own domain (I have the papers to prove it!). The server has since changed and the domain has been modified slightly, but it provided the foundation for the current site.
10 years of blogging
10 years have gone by since I first started blogging. But can we really call it that? In the beginning, it had a different significance for me. This was evidenced by the fact that none of those original articles still exist. At the time, I wrote a lot about music and music equipment, which I suppose isn’t that different than what I write about now. But my original articles did not specifically discuss violin. At some point, I needed to narrow down my focus. This is when I chose lutherie.
Where it all began
The advantage of a blog is that we can develop it from just about anywhere. I launched my blog in a little village in the Vosges inside of the yellow house pictured above. The house wasn’t actually yellow at the time. It also didn’t really have central heating and it didn’t really have running water. But there was just enough electricity for me to plug in my computer and set up my workshop. I owe a big thanks to the owners of the hotel next door for letting me use their WiFi.
It was hard at first to get things off the ground and to find inspiration for what to write about and how. I had actually already created websites in the past (tapping into my knowledge of PHP/HTML and CSS), but it was often done on behalf of others and not for myself.
It was because of this that when I had to create my own content, it was always a challenge. I constantly felt held back by some invisible force. At the beginning it was surely just fear. I was uncomfortable expressing my opinions and asserting myself and ended up writing a lot of articles that went unpublished. This was a fear that I learned to overcome (I will develop upon this further on in the article).
What I learned with the blog
Today, the blog has transformed into something much bigger than how it began. It is now a website, an online store, and a platform that allows me to express myself and share my knowledge with musicians. The blog was not a guaranteed success when I launched it a decade ago. Organizing my thoughts and creating a framework was no easy task. But with time, I was able to find a direction and structure for my words, just as I have done behind my workbench with constant trials and errors on instruments.
During this development process, I discovered the various possibilities open to me via an online platform, such as being able to:
- Open the doors of my workshop to any musician, no matter the geographical location.
- Share my knowledge and opinions with a wider audience.
- Meet like-minded individuals who share the same opinions and passions as me.
- And of course, further develop my career and skill set.
These points may seem obvious. However, I maintain the private conviction that writing is a powerful learning tool that will push the development of critical thinking very far. This is something I didn’t necessarily realize in the early years. It was with time and experience (as well as with failure) that I came to realize that writing is what shaped me into the person I am today.
Writing and blogging
If we consider the use of writing as forming the pages of human history, perhaps my story begins with writing as well. It was by beginning to type out words one after the other that I could begin to extend my vision and voice across time and space.
In this way, the result was far from being automatic writing because:
- I educated myself on what I wished to write about and researched everything
- I developed and combined my knowledge using a pre-established and well-thought-out outline
- And finally, I used my outline to guide my thoughts all while trying to make things accessible, avoiding use of overly technical jargon or flowery language.
The outcome is that I ended up learning many things pertaining to my line of work. I learned what happens from behind and beyond the workbench; about equipment, accessories, the musicians, and so much more.
This is why I would recommend to anyone wishing to devote themselves to any given subject to start writing about it. It is difficult at first, but it becomes easier with time and eventually feels second nature.
What a decade of blogging taught me
Although I am drawing attention to the past ten years of blogging, it doesn’t take that long to reap the rewards. If we take into account all that was deleted, the majority of my current content only dates back to 2017. It’s the more recent, post-2017 articles that are the most important.
It was above all a ton of work, combining time and effort in order to get everything to fall into place. Especially since in the beginning, I took care of everything; not only the writing, but also the photos, the formatting, and the website layout. Countless hours were put into it, but at the beginning I could devote myself body and soul to the work.
It may seem strange, but this way of working allowed me to find full-time work within my profession rather quickly. Experts in my field might say that I’m a sort of content marketing guru, but this honestly just came from a desire to share my passion. In the beginning, I didn’t even know what I wanted to say. What should I think about the article I wrote in 2013 in which I discuss drum sets? It is a relic that I am only now rediscovering with all of you, and it makes me very nostalgic.
Why not get started?
If you have a passion or an area of expertise, talk about it! This will allow readers from around the globe to get to know you better.
Also, to further discuss what held me back at first: the worst part is being subject to critique. In fact, even if I didn’t have a single reader at the beginning, I thought only about what others would think about my ideas. This is something that held me back. Let’s be honest; not everyone will appreciate what you have to say, even when you put a lot of effort into it.
That said, here is a thought that could perhaps help you better accept this hard truth:
- Your opinion is like a filter; it will attract those who are like-minded and repel those who are not.
So in the end, expressing yourself without a filter makes your life easier. It’s quite powerful as well, as it helps draw like-minded individuals toward you. This is how I realized that the more I expressed my true self and the more I shared, the easier my relationships grew with people on a daily basis.
Talking or writing is much the same thing
Nowadays, its easy to record, publish, or stream vlogs and podcasts. So if you don’t like to write, you can also simply talk.
In fact, there are so many ways to share your passions that you will undoubtedly find the best option for you.
In the beginning, I chose writing because it was the simplest option for me. It has also admittedly become a relaxing way for me to concentrate in solitude. The option of making videos interests me as well, as it would allow me to share my passions in a different format. You will undoubtedly start seeing more videos on the site, although I say this without pretense!
What to learn from a decade of blogging
Honestly, just get started and express yourself as fully as possible in whichever way works best for you. Try to enrich your audience with a vocabulary that is open and accessible. It could potentially be life-changing.
Use whichever tools fit you best and discuss it with other people. Also, if you’re interested, I could potentially share a bit more with you about professional blogging. It could help you better understand and give you the tools you need to get started.