• Milly Skiles

Starting a Blog, Defining Its Purpose

I am starting a blog because I am a writer. Deep down in my soul, I just … gotta write. I’ve always known this.

When I was a kid, I would write spy thrillers about a young girl named Eloise Spencer who was underestimated by everyone (especially her parents.) In high school religion class, I wrote vivid bodice-rippers that were short on plot. In my 20s and 30s, I worked as a scrappy reporter in San Francisco, pounding the pavement, looking for a story.

I am constantly writing in my head, a running storyline that keeps me endlessly entertained.

When I’m in the car waiting at an intersection, I might notice a kid struggling to ride a bike while his parent ignores him and instantly devise a story: “Randy’s dad rode ahead, ignoring the desperate cries of his fallen toddler, so filled was he with thoughts of his lover, Maxine.”

So when I recently launched a business as a freelance content writer, starting a blog was a no brainer. Let me rephrase that: I didn't want to start a blog. I had limited time and felt it would be better used actually looking for a job. But, everyone I talk to, every article I read insisted that a blog was the best way to build your personal brand and put yourself “out there.”

It makes sense, of course. A blog is that unique opportunity to give the paper version of yourself some personality, some pizzazz. It’s especially important as a writer. When you’re looking to get paid to write content that sells, you’d best know how to use it to sell yourself.

This isn’t the first time I started a blog. When my husband and I remodeled our home a few years ago, I set up a blog to chronicle the experience. But when the project was complete, I quickly lost interest.

And that’s really the trick with blogs: making sure you have enough passion in the subject to inspire an endless fount of ideas.

Knowing this, I’ve decided this blog will detail my adventures as I return to work after an eight-year hiatus as a stay-at-home mom. Because, after all, that is my current obsession.

It’s also a subject that’s open to a ton of interpretation. In addition to resumes and LinkedIn profiles, I can easily write about work-life balance, feeding a family, staying organized, self-care, nurturing relationships. So many directions. All things I am personally passionate about, all things I list as specialties when promoting myself.

I know there are hundreds—millions—of blogs out there, all giving valuable insight on the job search game. More likely than not, very few, if any, people will actually read this blog. But for me, that’s not really the point.

This is where I will exercise authenticity and authority, the heart of writing. A laboratory where I can try out new things, develop my voice, and flex my creativity. Because in order to write for others, I have to know how to write for myself.

I’m excited to begin!

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