By this stage of each year, I have already given up on my new year’s resolutions. The gym kit is back in the wardrobe, the fatty foods are reintroduced as a long lost friend, and being nice to people I don’t like becomes more challenging. One resolution I have managed to maintain thus far, however, has been the 30-day blogging challenge – blogging every day for 30 days. A welcoming Facebook group which promotes this challenge can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/30DayBloggingChallenge/
As mentioned in previous posts, I’d made the mistake of not engaging within a writing community online or otherwise and I felt strongly that was something I would change in 2017. I have been more active in groups on social media, I have started tweeting twitterish, and I have started a blog. One of the most depressing things about starting a blog is to look at the sections for ‘recent’ and ‘top’ posts and to find both excruciatingly bare. That was one of the reasons I was very interested in picking up the challenge, to populate my site with varied and hopefully interesting content within a month.
A benefit I had not expected was to find other blogs, often about subjects that I’d not have previously sought out, which I find interesting and have started to track. There is a community feel within blog writing itself, regardless of the content. The next area of development for me will be to comment more on other sites. I am feeling how much goes into blogging regularly so when I enjoy an article, it now feels a bit selfish to just consider it internally and move swiftly on.
It has however stunted the efficiency of plotting my second novel, as some time has to be allocated to maintaining progress in the challenge but it is not a major issue. On the contrary, the blog allows me a distraction which offers me an exercise in another type of writing and I become hungrier to continue the plotting of my new story. Blogging about something different each day also leads to me considering a whole raft of aspects that perhaps I’d obliviously and momentarily stumbled on in the past, but now I actually think about and indeed invite others to offer their perspective.
A routine is important, I try to make it one of my first jobs of the day, somewhere between waking up and starting the day job. When my alarm goes off, a habit has developed which sees me grab the iPad, email myself some ideas which I then write up formally when sat in front of the laptop. Publish the article, share on Facebook and Twitter, and leave until I get home from work. It wouldn’t work for everyone but it seems to be doing the trick for me.
Setting goals has been critical for achieving success in my real-world life, so having a target to achieve and a challenge setting out to beat me actually suits my characteristics. As it stands currently, I’m enjoying it and am hopeful I can see it through.