The motivation for partaking ranged from a New Year’s resolution (which I have actually managed to stick to) to boosting the volume of content on my blog, which began at the inception of the challenge.
As I sit in front of my laptop 30 days later, there is a feeling of satisfaction that I have managed to complete the challenge. It wasn’t easy, some days I spent longer debating with myself about what to write than I did actually writing. The most difficult times were when other things in my life (family and work) became a little pressurised and I still had this little alarm flashing in my head screeching ‘blog post, blog post, blog post’. On the trickiest days, I resorted to lists which weren’t as enjoyable from a writing perspective and not as satisfactory as those that provoked considerable thought and reflection.
To coincide with launching the blog, I opened a twitter account (yep, totally down with the kids) and used it to promote my blog and to network with other writers. That too had been a hopeful intention and one which has proved relatively fruitful. When aiming to connect with other writers, I realise I’d actually meant writers of fiction that sat comfortably within the genre I write. The reality has been far more expansive than I could have imagined.
I have found mutual interest with writers of genres that I don’t even read. Erotica and romance to sci-fi, the spectrum is vast but in some cases even more educational than sticking to my own. What is life about, if not stepping outside your comfort zone and doing so with an open mind?
There are bloggers blogging on subjects that I would never have sought which have provided amusement and inspiration in equal measures. There are non-fiction writers who have toyed with the idea of fiction or are in process of writing their first. The list goes on, journalists, literary agents, publishers, and as obvious as it seems in retrospect, readers of fiction.
I can’t, however, deny that the progress of my second novel has suffered. I remain in plotting phase and have barely touched it. So keen was I to complete the blogging challenge, I neglected the motivation that instigated it. I want to write fiction, and I haven’t been as disciplined as I should have been to continue to do that alongside blogging. For all the benefits I have experienced, this has been a disappointment, albeit a self-inflicted one.
It will be strange not getting up each day and feeling the unnegotiable compulsion to blog. The routine has become established and apart from the very few days it felt like a burden, it has been something I’d look forward to posting. I’d wake and email myself some ideas before I even got out of bed. The ideas would reverberate around my mind as I drove to work and by the time I got there, I had a good idea of what to do.
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 when in front of my laptop. I know I need a break from the daily recurrence of the task, but I will miss it and suspect I’ll revisit the challenge at a later date. I do intend to maintain the blog regularly moving forward, just perhaps not every day for a while!
To everyone who encouraged, supported, read, liked, commented, and shared, I sincerely thank you for aiding my motivation to continue. It has been a pleasure to do, to connect, and ultimately to complete the challenge. I have learned a lot throughout the 30 day period and that in itself is hugely rewarding. I’m raising my hand for high fives so don’t leave me hanging… I look forward to supporting you when you start the challenge (ahem!)