Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thoughts on 31 Days of Blogging

I feel like I have so many posts I want to write and I just haven't gotten to them. For some reason, November has been a slow month on the blog. I didn't feel like I was blogging as much and I went and looked- sure enough, I'm a bit below my normal "output".

I'm thinking that some of it has to do with the business that has been November, but I think some of it is the slump that followed (almost) thirty one consecutive days of blogging. Thinking on this made me realize that I never did a sort of wrap-up post on it. In typical SD fashion, I wanted to blog about my thoughts about blogging for thirty one straight days.

Here they are:

1. I don't blog as much as I think I do. The fact that blogging thirty one days straight was as hard as it was made this clear to me. I went back and looked at the past year or so and how much I blogged monthly and it wasn't as much as I thought. I think it's a good, healthy amount for me in this season, but it was interesting to me to realize that I'm not averaging as many posts a week as I thought I was. Additionally, a good chunk of my posts are "easy" in the sense that they are predictable and, in some ways, don't require much thought. For example, two out of four to five posts a week are my Weekly Happenings and Weekly Smorgasbord posts. The former is time consuming, but it's content that's pretty easy to generate.  I also write my letters to the kids each month and do a "monthly happenings" post and write about What I'm Into. There isn't typically the huge burden for creativity that I felt in October. Honestly, I want to push myself for more of this.

2. Writing my thirty one days posts was very different from my usual writing routine. Typically, with more expressive, "feely" posts, I really let them sit. I'll write the bulk, let them hibernate in drafts for a week or so, and then reawaken them and add my final thoughts. It was challenging to do the whole process in one day- especially with posts that were really close to my heart.

3. It definitely built discipline. My friend Ashley told me that was one of the main reasons she wanted to do it. And I totally agreed that it would be good for me in that way. But again, I don't think I realized how different blogging seven days a week is from blogging four to five. Also, I'm used to being able to say "If I don't feel like writing tonight, I won't". With few exceptions, I didn't give myself that freedom in October. It was much more challenging than I thought it would be and it definitely helped me build more of a sense of discipline into my writing.

4. Writing on a specific topic forced me to be more organized and also more creative. I'd say I have certain things I focus on a good bit (faith, family, feelings), but my blog is, in some ways, a broad space. Last month I had a pretty narrow scope to work with. It was a good challenge for me to have to write on one topic for a month and really delve into it.

5. I have to say that I chose the perfect topic. It was so cathartic for me and it came at just the right time. I honestly felt like this month has been easier than I thought it would be and I think a lot of that is due to the MEGA PROCESSING that this series forced me to do in October. I know I would have written a lot of that anyway and I think it was good to sort of put parameters to it and get it (mostly) out in October. I'm sure they'll be more of it in the weeks and months to come, but it was good for me to at least start the process of working through my emotions concerning the move and all that we're leaving behind.

I've wanted to do the Thirty One Days thing for a couple of years and this year, it just felt right. I was nervous, but once I chose my topic, I knew it would be a good thing. I loved it so much and I hope I'll be able to make the time for it in Octobers to come!

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