On Wednesday, I talked to my new friend Simone about getting started with blogging.

She asked me how I tie stories and business lessons together, and I emphatically gave her this advice: start with the story.

Then Thursday morning I woke up to write my blog post for the day. I started with a story. In the back of my mind, there was a point to it (there was, I know — somewhere) but I just couldn’t find it.

Thursday morning, as I wrote some descriptions of a morning at the beach with my daughters, my own advice failed me.

I felt myself sinking into the wet sand of the beach in my story, felt myself falling into the water and being tossed in the waves, adrift. The water felt cold, numbing. I swam about aimlessly, treading water. I couldn’t find my way back to shore.

I couldn’t get from here to there — from the story to the lesson.

So I left the story in my drafts folder, went on to my day. Later, I re-posted some old writing.

I went back to the beach story yesterday, reread what I had written, tried to see where the post would take me.

I started to question my advice to Simone and to think about my own writing process, how I do what I do.

Sometimes, I start with a story with no particular lesson or end point in mind.

Often, I know where I want to go, and I think of a story that will take me there.

Always, I discover.

Always, the joy is in the discovery: in the bright blue shard of smooth sea glass or the perfect oval stone.

So, Simone. Start with the story, or start with the lesson. Start somewhere and see what you discover.

Tell me something! What advice would you share with a beginning blogger? Do you start with a story? Or do you start with a lesson or point in mind?