NaBloPoMo Friday, November 8, 2013
Tell us what you’ve learned so far about daily blogging.
Daily blogging is a challenge. Personal circumstances don’t matter–two jobs, twelve kids, an invalid parent, or zero responsibilities–some days it just is not easy to publish something meaningful.
Today is day 312 of my own personal blogging challenge. I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to practice both my writing and photography this year, so I committed to a post a day in 2013. I could have just written in a journal, and uploaded photos to my digital photo frame, but I’m not sure I would have stuck with the project for a full month. When it comes to self-improvement goals, I’m much more likely to stick to the program if LOTS and LOTS of people know about the plan. If I make a promise to another person, or to an internet full of strangers, I’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill it. I’m not so good at keeping promises to myself. Hence a public blog.
It took a while to get rolling at first, to find my groove, both with the writing and the photography. Once I set up a schedule for myself, and planned out the kinds of posts I wanted to publish on which days during the week, the going got a bit easier. I broke from the schedule a few times…I took a writing hiatus and did a month-long photo challenge in June then put photography on hold for an all-about-me writing challenge in August. Of course, I’ve deviated from the schedule again this month to do both a gratitude photo challenge and to follow along with NaBloPoMo’s writing prompts, but the change of pace is good. My brain needed a break.
There’s been a lot of stuff in my head recently, and it has given me a severe case of writer’s block. I’ve really been struggling with fiction the past two months, and as a result, missed posting on four of my scheduled fiction days. I’d like to go back and fill in those gaps, even though I know I’ve technically broken my promise to blog every day. (Although I steadfastly refuse to say that I have failed in my goal.)
I think an important, unexpected, benefit of this daily blogging challenge has been that it’s forced me to acknowledge that SOME DAYS I JUST CAN’T DO EVERYTHING. It kills me to admit this, being the perfectionist that I am (anyone notice a theme this week?). But if anyone else were struggling to balance an overflowing to-do list, opportunities to spend time with long-neglected friends and family, and a serious case of writer’s block, you can be sure I’d cut them some slack. So why not myself? The world won’t end if I only post a photo today, or share a book review instead of the 100-word flash fiction piece I intended to write. IT’S OKAY. It’s only a blog.
So with only 53 more days to go in my personal challenge, I’m beginning to think about 2014. I definitely think my blog will go on, but I’m not sure what it will look like in its second year. A lot will depend on the type of job I have by then, and whether I’ll have the time to maintain a daily posting routine. Maybe I’ll have a phenomenally interesting job that will provide all the blog fodder I could ever wish for. Maybe I’ll really focus on creative writing and set a measurable goal of x fiction pieces of y words each month. Maybe I’ll just troll the internet and post my favorite cat pictures three days a week. Maybe I should just get through 2013 first, and let the future take care of itself.