I had the extraordinary pleasure of interviewing singer/songwriter Jill Jones in 2016 as part of my Artist to Artist column for the now-defunct SoulTrain.com–just a couple months before Prince passed, as she prepared to release her album ‘I Am.’ This week, I’m joining a crew of fellow Prince music heads, aka the Purple Avengers, for a special month-long #PrinceTwitterThread dedicated to Jill’s incredible albeit unsung career. So I decided to share our interview here as a reminder of just how truly badass she is. Enjoy!

Cover of Jill Jones’ 2016 album, ‘I Am’

Summer 1987. Just weeks before school ended and I headed down to New Orleans to vacation with my grandparents, I procured my copy of singer/songwriter Jill Jones’ debut album on Prince’s Paisley Park Records. It was to be the newest addition to my growing cassette collection comprised primarily of Prince and Prince-related artists like The Time, Apollonia 6, Sheila E., Madhouse, and later that year, Wendy & Lisa and Taja Sevelle (and of course, The Family’s 1985 premiere on vinyl). 

If right here is where you pause and ask, “Who is Jill Jones?,” let me hip you. She is the platinum blonde in a police hat sharing the keyboards with Lisa Coleman in the “1999” video, and whose voice you hear on songs like “Lady Cab Driver” and “Free” from that album. She reprised her role as Jill/herself in the quasi-sequel to Purple Rain, 1990’s Graffiti Bridge, bringing a decidedly sharp and far more interesting (although not fully developed) contrast to the enchanting Ingrid Chavez’s Aura. She has written, recorded, and toured with our beloved “Vanilla Child,” Teena Marie, Nile Rodgers’ and Bernard Edwards’ pioneering soul/pop band CHIC, Japanese singer Ryuichi Sakamoto, and The Grand Royals. 

Jill Jones in ‘Purple Rain’

Where her first solo album was a soulful, funk-driven 8-song collection that allowed Jones’ vocals to shine through, it was still, at its core, a Prince project co-produced by Jones and David Z. (even including a rather spectacular version of his song “With You.”) The opening track, the absolutely delightful “Mia Bocca,” surfaced a year earlier during the infamous birthday party scene in Under the Cherry Moon (and, years later, gave me one of my favorite lines with which to flirt, “tu vuole la mia bocca.”) “G-Spot,” a “nicety” little tune that is about exactly what you think it’s about, was originally meant for Vanity 6 and then Apollonia 6; and “All Day, All Night” and “For Love” both feature Prince and the Revolution prominently. The album’s third track, “Violet Blue,” is a standout, and the closing song, the masterful “Baby, You’re a Trip,” is gospel-flavored R&B at its finest.

In 2001, Jones returned with Two, an acoustic rock venture with producer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Bruce, who has also collaborated with Wendy & Lisa, Seal, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Doyle Bramhall II. A far more personal and introspective offering that Jones cited as a healing experience after her mother’s death and going through a divorce, the album delivered cuts like “Sleepy Daydream,” “Station,” and “Pissin’ All Over the Sun.” Two’s emotional and lyrical depth, new millennium production values, and distinct sound established a more well-defined, self-possessed musical identity for Jones and seemed to release her from the “Prince protégée” category that far too frequently suggests—even if not intentionally—that an artist can’t stand on their own without Prince’s guidance and influence. And while both albums gained some traction in the U.S., they fared far better overseas, where musical tastes are notoriously more adventurous.

Following Two, Jones was the featured vocalist on The Grand Royals’ 2004 album, Wasted. After that, she all but faded into the background. 

Jill’s eponymous 1987 Paisley Park album. A classic!

During our spirited and incredibly enlightening interview, Jones described her years away from the music business as a time of extraordinary, albeit sometimes extremely painful, growth, even going so far as to try to separate herself from the persona many had come to know: “I had to re-build…I bar-tended. I remember a member of the Wu-Tang Clan came into the bar and he said, ‘You’re Jill Jones!’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m not.’ And I was speaking with a French accent. There was this shame…I had just disconnected and disassociated and pulled myself away. I cut out everybody.”

For more than an hour, we talked at length about everything from our shared affinity for music from other cultures (she’s currently working on a documentary exploring the origins of music and how seemingly disparate musical forms are connected, like the music from the Bedouin tradition and the music of Louisiana); to the socio/political realities African Americans confront still in 2016; to the ridiculous Twitter beef between Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa; Amber Rose’s mission to reclaim and redirect the word “slut;” and why it’s so critical that we support our fellow Black artists: “I have a very difficult time criticizing any form of Black art. I will privately give my [opinion]…but we don’t have the luxury do that to one another. We need to support endeavors within our own community. We have to.”

With her brand new album, I AM (Peace Bisquit)—her first solo project in 15 years, out today, Jill Jones emerges like a Phoenix, having overcome the trials and tribulations that seem to have become commonplace for most artists working in the music business. Still, Jones’ story is unique and truly inspiring, and like so many unsung music creators her journey has proven to be simultaneously cautionary and magical. Jones deliberately set out to record happy songs for the new album, songs with humor and confidence to uplift and empower. 

What an absolute joy to feature the original Jill, Jill Jones, in our exclusive SoulTrain.com Artist to Artist series.

SoulTrain.com: Lets talk about your new album, I AM. How does this latest project exemplify all that you are?

Jill Jones: This project came about because I had reached a place in my life where I was comfortable with who I am. During this time, when you let go of all the other concepts of what someone thinks of you or how you need to be, I found peace with who I was. And I decided I am who I want to be at this point. I got into Kundalini yoga a few years ago and started a serious meditation practice because I wanted to change some things. And then I realized there were some things that I’m not going to change—these are soul experiences that I just have to learn, and they’re not going to change until I finally accept what they are. It had become very easy to focus on the sad aspects of my life—the death of my mother, a divorce. I spent the 15 years after that album not really being comfortable in my own skin, not accepting the parting of my mother, not being involved with a label and having to do everything myself. I became kind of angry about it. 

I went into advertising—which was great for me. I wasn’t pleasant to be around in the music situation because I had so much resentment. I felt music was one of the love affairs of my life that was unrequited, something that always left me hanging. It was like a really bad lover! Then I realized it was me the whole time. Once I went into marketing and advertising—I worked in business procurement for an ad agency—it was a very empowering moment for me to get outside of the little [music industry] bubble. The ad agency wound up being the college I never attended. Once I finally got out of the whole tune of melancholy, and I was raising my daughter as a single mom…there was this whole re-structuring and going all the way down like Persephone into the depths. Rebuilding put me back to “this is who I am.” And I wanted to celebrate that.

SoulTrain.com: Did you miss music? Did you find yourself feeling even more disconnected not doing it?

Jill Jones: I did miss it, but I did cut it off. I wanted to be angry about it, to always have some negative thing to say. I was scared, I was terrified! I didn’t want to be rejected, I didn’t want everybody to know that I was a failure. It was a very interesting time for me. There was so much humiliation. It was like, “What am I going to do, and how am I going to do this?”

SoulTrain.com: You struck a chord with me there, because as an independent artist Im going through a very similar experience and often find myself wondering if Im meant to keep working at it or if its time to walk away. I suppose this is part of the creative journey.

Jill Jones: There are enough things in this world devised to silence us, to squash our voices. The worst thing a person can do is silence themselves. Living with that silence—there is great solitude, and then there’s this cold, barren, isolated silence…but you’ve got to walk through it. You’ve got to keep going.

SoulTrain.com: Of course, a lot of folks reading this will remember you from your years with Prince. You released one album on Paisley Park Records in 1987, which many (myself included) regard as a slept-on classic. Can you talk about that experience a bit, working and recording with Prince and ultimately parting ways?

Jill Jones: [The Paisley Park record] wasn’t the typical pop thing that was going on at the time. It wasn’t that we didn’t try it; you’ve heard those bootlegs of the songs Prince has given to many people to try, like “Misunderstood” and so many other songs. And to be honest with you, they just didn’t work for me. I sounded goofy, and he knew it. There was no conviction. When we recorded together, sometimes I’d sing a pass on something and then I’d say, “Was that OK?” And he’d say, “If I believe it, I don’t care about bad notes. If I believe it, then I’m cool with it.” So we tried those little pop sassy songs that would’ve been on parallel with Paula Abdul and what was happening in that era, and it just didn’t work. There was such a lack of authenticity, it was really difficult to pull that off. When we added strings and lush sounds and rich, rich ambient energies in the first album, even in [the “Mia Bocca”] video it said, “They’re not ready for you yet,” which was added on the fly by [director Jean-Baptiste] Mondino in the voice over. I think, for some reason, that was the energy surrounding me. It just wasn’t the time.

SoulTrain.com: As an industry veteran, youve no doubt you have watched the music biz morph multiple times throughout your career. Youve also been pretty outspoken on social media about some of the less savory aspects of the business. With this in mind, are there certain practices or standards from back in the day that you think the industry could use now?

Jill Jones: The industry has changed so much, and on the other hand, it really hasn’t. There’s still that propensity to keep one sound—everybody using the same writers, etc. If anything, it’s become even more of a monopoly that now is showing you exactly how it takes care of itself. You have the publishing companies who have their writers, you have the singers with their labels, and you see how they all feed and they eat and everybody works together. When that happens, it’s really difficult if publishers are pushing certain select writers. A lot of the singers don’t play instruments—even the writers…so they give them the same songs that will fit A, B, C, and D. Then you have writers like Sia, who actually has fueled the industry for a lot of the major pop acts, and she has to resort to gimmicks. Maybe her image wasn’t as big as, say, Rihanna. But the reality is…the music is being performed by anybody who has the tone and the voice [for those songs]. But what about the people like me, whose tones and voices didn’t fit this little genre? They have to find a different movement, and the industry doesn’t support that. And our R&B sensibilities…what happened to soul music? It’s not being supported. But that comes from the masses, too—going to shows, buying records, being involved. 

In May 2017, I flew from Vegas to LA for one night only just to see Jill perform. It was an intimate set where she shared memories from years gone by and stories behind some of our favorite tunes she recorded with Prince.

SoulTrain.com: With R&B and soul, we hear so often from artists working in that space that theyre feeling really pinched, too. They dont feel supported by the labels, the fans dont necessarily know what theyre listening to because its become so hip-hop-centered. 

Jill Jones: We have this mantra in our industry that “I have to profit somehow, then I’m valuable.”  Then you have the existential thing of, “I need money. I need more money. I need so much money, you can’t talk to me!” That’s what’s driving the creative expression on a certain level. 

SoulTrain.com: Your daughter, Azusena, is an emerging musical artist. What wisdom have you imparted to her as she wades into these dazzling and sometimes murky waters?

Jill Jones: Everything I said to you! [laughs] I don’t mince words. I really believe you have to do a lot of it yourself these days, and you have to have conviction. You have to be self-critical, create things you can live with and that you can feel comfortable with. You have to be so built up and during the period of creating your music, you have to generate your own evolution. 

SoulTrain.com: Lets go back to your early career. But where did this journey begin for you? How did you get your start?

Jill Jones: My mother was Teena Marie’s manager, and my step-father was Fuller Gordy and he worked at Motown. Teena had been signed with a band and [the label] dropped the band, but they didn’t know what to do with her. Her relationship with my mother opened another door; she gained direct access to Berry Gordy and was really on his radar, and he got to know her and her passion. Teena was writing all the time, she wrote all her songs and recorded everyday. The connection with Rick [James] came about because my mom had met him and we had dinners at the house. It was like a great family environment, believe it or not. I started singing background vocals for Teena—she lived in our house, she was like one of my mom’s kids. We started writing songs and when she started working with Rick…I started leaving [school] and going to his house with a bunch of my friends. I’d show up at like 10:30 in the morning, and he told my mom! Rick ratted me out! He snitched! He was like, “You need to be in school, Jill!” [laughs] 

We went on tour with Rick, then Teena was opening for Prince—I think it was 1980, the Dirty Mind tour. That’s how I met Prince. He and I stayed friends, I finished school, then we started working together. CHIC…was that really weird phase where my mom had just died a year prior, and I was in New York alone with my daughter. Nile reached out and I took the gig. That was a great tour, but it was unfortunately the one where Bernard died on the tour. When I got back from Japan, Nile had left a voice message that Bernard had passed away. I’m glad I was a part of that. It was a great show, and he was such a lovely person. 

SoulTrain.com: Any plans to tour to promote the new album?

Jill Jones: Yes, probably initially over in Europe. You know I’m half the time in Germany and half the time in LA. I’m involved in a company that has software that’s a recording process, all in real-time, so I can record with anybody all over the world. It’s a very sophisticated piece of work, so since I’m over there I try to do some gigs while also working on getting this product out in America (it’s in Europe already).

—Rhonda Nicole

On the 5th anniversary of Prince’s passing, I’m revisiting the words I wrote just hours after the news broke in 2016.

Paisley Park, 2021 (photo credit: Rhonda Nicole)

“So here I sit in my lonely room, looking 4 my sunshine…” 

11:01AM, Thursday, April 21, 2016. It’s quiet. I’ve turned off the TV to shut out the annoying noise that is ABC’s The View, but can’t seem to shush the phone calls, text messages, tweets, and Facebook posts. I should get off social media for a minute. But then, FOMO. And we are all experiencing this moment together. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today 2 get through…” this thing called…

What the hell?

This is the piece I never thought I would write. This is the day I never thought would come. And according to the dozens of tweets I’ve just scrolled through, apparently I am not alone. We all believed him to be immortal, not because he was super-human, or even a god (although perhaps he was, at least of the musical sort). But just because he was Prince, the prototype of badassery and “I do what I want.” So, in that case, he absolutely could have lived forever, or at least, outlived the rest of us. 

“But sometimes, sometimes, life ain’t always the way…”

Where to begin? How to encapsulate this unbearable moment and wrap it in rainbows? How do I tell the story, which began for me at 9, when I truly stepped into this musical world that would, throughout my entire life, be home?

“Yesterday I tried to write a novel, but I didn’t know where 2 begin/so I laid down in the grass trying 2 feel the world turn…”

I’ve written so much about Prince. I’ve actually written pretty much that exact sentence before, just last month. To say that his music impacted, influenced, inspired me almost feels reductive, overly simplistic. To attribute my own (significantly less impressive but rad none the less) musical abilities to his work seems trite and cliché, especially since everybody and their mama can spin a similar yarn. Locating a musician who has lived/worked/created during Prince’s lifetime and who was not deeply moved by Prince’s music is the stuff of needles and haystacks. Sure, there are some, and quite a few millennials with whom I’ve spoken who “don’t get it,” but they are far outnumbered by the music creators and music consumers who cite Prince as the G.O.A.T.

“U think ur special, well so do I…”

My first time experiencing Prince live was in 1998, the Jam of the Year tour at Starplex in Dallas. It was a hot summer night and my seats weren’t the greatest, but what a night it was. From there, I would rock out with Prince another 20 or so times over the years, the most recent—and, unbeknownst to me, last—time being his Piano and a Microphone show at Oakland Arena. I drove from Burbank to Vegas in the summer of ’99 to see him at the MGM Grand; that was the night some drunk girl threw up on my shoe, which ultimately led to the usher moving me up just a few rows from the front. A few years later, at the One Nite Alone after party at a club in Dallas, I nearly threw up on Prince’s foot, which was posted up on a monitor as he played; I hadn’t eaten anything other than a bag of peanut M&Ms and there was way too much bass resonating through my body, and I got dizzy. Thankfully, I fled the scene before there was a scene to be seen. At another after party in Dallas, this time following one of his Musicology shows, I was in my zone dancing to the Emotions’ “Best of My Love” when my cousin, David, discreetly mumbled to me, “Don’t turn around, but Prince is watching you.” To this day I honestly don’t know whether he was, but it was a small gathering of folks (a security guard referred to us as “Prince’s people when he led us up to the party) so it’s totally possible. Erykah Badu and her mama, Ms. Queenie, were there, too. I caught a string of 3rdEyeGirl shows here in the Bay Area, one of which happened to fall on the night we got word that one of my best girlfriends, Nefeterius, had died. That night, when Prince played “Sometimes It Snows In April,” I felt my heart fall out of my body. I missed the Purple Rain tour and the Lovesexy tour due to my age and my mama being like “nah,” and would’ve given anything to have traveled to Europe to catch the Nude tour in the early ‘90s. Still, every show was a transformative moment. I was never the same woman I’d been walking into the venue at the end of the night. 

Since 1984, there has not been one moment of my life that has not been/could not be illustrated by a Prince song. I’ve shared with friends over the years, and somewhat more publicly recently, how the song “Purple Rain” always reminds me of my parents’ divorce, in part because of the movie’s and album’s cultural prevalence at the time and also because of the music’s emotional qualities. “She’s Always in My Hair” is my and my best dude, Reiland’s, song. I don’t even remember why or how that came to be, but when ever we hear it we both exclaim, “It’s our song!” Cloudy days in Paris listening to “Moonbeam Levels,” sitting on my bed a few days ago reading and learning the sheet music for “Do U Lie?,” covering “Head,” “Girls and Boys,” “Kiss,” and snippet of “The Rainbow Children,” and “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” with Montrose during our gigs at Brooklyn…So many songs. So many songs. So many songs.

Coming of age listening to “Darling Nikki,” “Adore,” “New Position,” and so many other songs that were way too mature for my young ears, and that awkward moment of realization decades later when you’re like, “DAAAAAAMN! That’s what he was talking about?!?!?” Ha! “Tambourine” means what?!?!?! 

“I never wanted a typical life…”

Smuggling new Prince tapes into my room so my mom wouldn’t know…but she always knew.

Pressing my earphones deep into my ears to hear every detail of a song, and discovering layers upon layers of harmonies and all kinds of interesting stuff happening in the production.

Allowance money spent at the wreckastow. Bill money spent on concert tix. 

Party mixes and slow jam mixes.

Wishing the #genpop fans would stop yelling “Sing ‘Purple Rain!’” at shows because, inevitably, he would. 

Laughing at that girl at the DNA show in San Francisco who said to me in the bathroom, “I wonder when he’s going to play the hits,” to which I replied, “Oh, honey, he’s been playing them all night…”

Wendy & Lisa.

Jill Jones.

Vanity 6.

Apollonia 6.

The Family.

The Time.

Taja Sevelle.

Sheila E.

Elisa Fiorillo.

Carmen Electra.

LiV Warfield.

Andy Allo.

Mavis Staples.

Mayte.

The Revolution.

The NPG.

3rdEyeGirl.

Madhouse.

Mazerati.

The Artist.

“Prince esta muerte…”

He killed off older versions of himself in the video for “7,” embraced an unpronounceable symbol as his name, declared himself dead on the cover art for the Come album, and forced us all to be in conversation about identity and truth. He emancipated himself from what he believed to be a business relationship that had run its course, and showed the rest of us how artists could, in fact, share our work with anyone who wanted it direct from the source. He followed his own path to faith and decided not to perform certain songs anymore because they no longer fit the person he was becoming. He championed independent artists and uninhibited artistry, proclaimed the internet “dead,” and was a master class in brand and self-preservation. He was almost exclusively without rivals, as is evidenced by the lyric from his song “Don’t Play Me:” “my only competition is well, me in the past.” He encouraged us all to love, to dance, to fuck, to pray, to live, to question, to answer. 

“In the beginning, God made the sea/but on the 7th day, he made me…”

Hours have passed since the world first learned that the seemingly immortal Prince had reached the end of this thread, and we’re all still spinning, struggling to make sense of something that feels like a glitch in the matrix. The rumor mills swirl with speculation about the cause of death, the Obamas have expressed their sorrow for such a tremendous loss, and low and behold, MTV is actually showing (Prince) videos for the first time in who knows how long. I am, like so many others, waiting for this part of the dream to end, where we awaken and discover we all just had some kind of bad trip.

“Power 2 the 1s who could raise a child like me…”

I always knew I would meet Prince. When I was much younger, I imagined him showing up at my school (why the hell he’d do that, I don’t know) and taking me on tour straight from class. As I got older and began my career as a singer/songwriter, I figured our paths would cross creatively somewhere down the line. We would write some songs, sing some songs, rock the hell out, formally. In more recent years, I intuited that our meeting would be excessively low-key: A wassup nod, and then we’d sit and have a brief but funny and probably snarky conversation, and that’d be that. I’d try to remember to tell him that I learned about harmony from listening to his music, and to be as un-fan-girl as possible about that detail. Maybe our paths would cross again, maybe not. 

This past February, after his show at The Paramount in Oakland (which I didn’t attend), a relatively small crowd gathered at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco for the after party. When Prince finally arrived, he strolled cooly out onto the stage, and happened to stand right over me. He looked out across the room, and as I tilted my head upward to see him (I was just below the lip of the stage), he glanced down and flashed a smirky smile. I returned the smirky smile, winked, then turned my attention elsewhere. So I guess, in a way, that was our meeting. That was our wassup nod. That was our hello.

“Excuse me, but is this really goodbye?”

The fact that March 4, 2016 was my very last Prince concert is that jagged little pill Alanis spoke about. It was a beautiful night, of course, but it was a solemn and mellow night as well. There is a part of me that wishes it had been a night of working up a black sweat and staggering home with my shoes at war with my feet, but it was quiet, pensive, gorgeous. It was that sensuous last dance, even if we didn’t know it.

Having lost my dad just a little over a month ago, I’m at an even greater loss for words as my thoughts and memories run amok. I want the tributes and the essays and the articles to flood my timeline, and I want to make them stop so this won’t be what happened today. 

“The only love there is, is the love we make…”

Some people scoff at the idea that millions of people would grieve and deeply mourn the passing of a person they never knew in real life. This is often the case when celebrities and public figures die, especially in this age of social media and 24/7 news cycles. And in the case with musical artists, there is always someone waiting in the wings to offer their insights as to how “overrated,” “irrelevant,” “-ist” (sexist, racist, etc) blah blah blah that person was, in their opinion. But it’s in moments like this when we realize just how powerful music is, how it connects us. I said in my piece about Prince’s Piano and a Microphone performance, “music is the tie that binds.” Just as my parents and their generation remember where they were when they learned about Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or JFK, we can recall with laser-sharp accuracy where we were when we heard that Kurt and Pac and Biggie and Michael and Whitney had slipped on through to the other side. And now, Prince. 

Reflecting on the hundreds of songs Prince gifted us with throughout his career, I personally cannot choose just one as my favorite; far too many mean far too much to me and chronicle my life in significant ways, so depending on the day, it could be any number of tunes. But if I were forced to pick just one, it would be “Moonbeam Levels.” Listening to it earlier today, the final verse took my heart and ran for the hills:

“Says he’ll never keep diaries 2 learn from his mistakes/instead he’ll just repeat all the good things that he’s done/fight 4 perfect love until it’s perfect love he makes/when he’s happy, then his battle will be won…”

That’s what his music was. Perfect love. And we, too, are transformed.

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This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

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The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

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  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.