31/31 complete: #blogeverydamnday takeaways
👋🏼 It’s time to sum up my experience doing #blogeverydamnday. I blogged every day of January, including today—the day I decided to write and publish this post. 😅 This challenge was something I introduced in my first blog post of the year. The idea was to reconnect with my blog and actually put aside time to write every day, with the hope (and aim, I guess) to write more regularly and actually feel like I wanted to blog. Do I feel like I achieved that? I think I did—and I definitely want to blog more regularly than I was blogging before. However, the challenge also pushed me in some ways.
No scheduled posts, everything written on the day
I think it’s worth nothing that I didn’t schedule any of my blog posts, even though I “allowed” myself to. Each blog post was published on the exact date they are published on my blog. All of the blog posts were written and completed on the date they were published. I find this quite surprising, considering some of them stemmed from blog posts I started to write, but never finished. One example is the blog post about the Puffing Billy railway—which was supposed to be included in a single blog post about our trip to Melbourne last month—but I spent a couple of hours writing that post on a plane, and it ended up being too long so I chose to split out the steam railway experience to its own post. As I’m writing this, I still haven’t finished the Melbourne post. 😆 I’m still unsure if it will come in one or two parts. 😂
Blogging topics and writing about “daily life”
I had a couple of topics I wanted to try and tackle as part of the challenge, like “overdue” travel posts and some Stylesheet posts. But in reality, the only posts I ended up writing about were the Santorini post and the Puffing Billy post I mentioned earlier. I like that the challenge motivated me to visit what I intended to write about but hadn’t gone through with.
A large percentage of my posts in January ended up feeling like filler because I started writing more about my daily life. I absolutely had no problem with writing about my daily life, though, and I maintain that early in the month incidents like burning my hand and making my own guacamole made writing more fun, and made the posts feel more “quality”. However, when I say that, I catch myself because I am aware of falling into the same scrutinisation a content creator would undergo, and we all know that’s not who I am.
So how I really mean to describe my posts is that some of them felt a little more rushed and like I was scrambling for a topic, and only making an addition for the sake of posting daily for the challenge. The posts Two left socks and Ladybug felt this way.
There were days I managed to sit there and think about a brand new topic I felt like writing about, based on thoughts running through my head at the time I would have been thinking, “I have nothing from today that I feel like writing about…” Those topics were Being prepared for the rain and my post about stopping obsessing over taking 10,000 steps a day.
In some ways I love that this challenge got me more comfortable with writing about my daily life again. I miss the fucking mid-2000s of blogging, yo. But I ain’t sorry, and I’m gonna keep sharing my life—without oversharing I guess. 😇
Timing of writing: The Eleventh Hour
As with any challenge that requires the challenged person to do something daily, many people acknowledge that we have a full 24 hours to do the challenge, and that usually means we have the mindset of a deadline being 12 midnight or 11:59pm. This challenge made me realise that this mindset must be a difficult thing to shake for most people. During this challenge, there were times I blogged in the afternoon or after finishing work for the day, but other times I was so pooped from work that I looked at the clock and thought, “I’ve still got a few hours, it’s fine”.
Amusingly, 19 out of 31 posts were published literally at the eleventh hour, between 11:00pm and midnight, and 7 out of 31 posts (including this one) were published during that same hour but in New Zealand time (as I’m currently in that time zone). 🤣 So you can assume that a total of 26/31 posts were published shortly before midnight, and probably written late at night.
I have often told people that I find myself working on creative projects late at night, and maybe this challenge has just really demonstrated that fact. I may be a morning person, but my mornings are generally reserved for having space for myself to relax, or space to exercise or go for a walk, and that kind of mindfulness. It’s not my most “creative” time.
I am currently unsure if I will attempt to change the habit of using this time as my creative time. We all have things happening in our lives, we all have other commitments, and I think blogging was lower on the priority list over the past few years because I work, I exercise, and have other things I want to be doing. I think that when it gets down to it, many people might struggle with this challenge because it stops becoming enjoyable and real life really does take up a lot of time in a given day.
I ended up whipping together the post Rocketman just to have something published after returning home late from the Elton John concert. I also knew I would be out late on the 14th at the Arctic Monkeys concert, so I published my post about learning and being creative with makeup before I went out for the concert. But sometimes we don’t always remember or have the time to do this to fulfil a challenge that requires you to post daily.
Anyway, yes, I like that Doctor Who episode too, if you got the reference. 😉
Would I do it again? What now?
I think it’s quite funny that I envisaged doing this challenge more than one month of the year, but after one month, I think once was enough. I believe this challenge has allowed me to set an intention to actually put aside time to blog. I am very keen on writing more regularly for my blog now that I’ve essentially “practiced” doing it regularly.
I kind of don’t want to do this challenge again because at times I felt like I had to put in more effort than felt natural, and I definitely had the whole feeling that this was a chore. I knew it would be a challenge on my holiday—which I am still on—but hey, it’s called a challenge. 😝
Some people may ask about journalling and why I don’t do that instead. I used to journal, especially during times of stress. I don’t journal anymore because I wasn’t getting as much out of it as when I started. Blogging is, and always has been, important to me. I have written about this many times but I’ll reiterate. 😊 It is a huge part of my life and my identity, so I choose to prioritise it and make room for it. I love writing for my own enjoyment, in my space, but in a public place where people can come and read if they’re interested, sit and stay a while, or just take a glance and pass by. To me, journalling is for private thoughts, and I am content with my private thoughts being in my head or I might have conversations with my closest friends about how I’m feeling. I would not compare blogging to journalling, even though I may have done that many years ago.
So while I’m travelling I don’t think you can expect too many blog posts, but I would love to continue sharing my travels. You might not see as many posts about my daily life—or maybe you will! All in all, it depends on what I feel like I want to write about and share.
Thanks for coming with me on this journey. 🏻