the 30 Day Blog Challenge: Is it over yet?
A month ago, my friend Tim King posed a challenge on several of us photographers. To blog for 30 consecutive days. Over Christmas. And New Years. And Hanukkah! Today is the last day, and although I threw my two cents into Tim’s guest post on Creative Live, I’d like to share my thoughts on the month of blogging er’ry single day, good and didIreallypublishthat?!?!? bad. Good news first, or bad news? Okay, you're a positive person, ehy? I’ll start with the good news: The good news is:
-I blogged for 30 days and I didn’t die. I actually DID it. I kept up with it! So if I can sit down for at least an hour a day and write, posting before 12pm, then I can do ANYTHING for 30 days! RE: Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 DVD. (Next challenge?) Doing something every day for a month started off feeling like a labor and wound up becoming second nature. This made me feel accomplished.
-I dreamed in blog posts. Ha! Sometimes literally. I would wake up in the morning and say “I woke up last night with the BEST blog post idea!” (often times ending with “...but I can’t remember what it was...”). For me, this is amazing. This is how I know my mind and heart are invested into something I enjoy. Photos I took or experiences I would typically overlook I found myself reflecting on. Which, in turn, led to blog posts. So you can say I dreamed in blog posts and I thought in blog posts. Maybe that doesn’t sound like such good news...
-I didn’t quit: Keeping up with the challenge made me accountable. To myself and to my peers. There were days when I was going to choose to forfeit the post to make time for errands, but I kept myself in check. I remembered that I committed to this, so I had to stick with it, which was hard. But, it clicked in my brain and I made time to do it. To my surprise, there was always enough time in my day to get my blog finished along with my mental list. There is always time. I plan to take this “trick” on with me throughout my normal, non-blogging-every-day life. Especially when it comes to workouts vs. Leonard’s malasadas. If you’ve ever had them, you know how hard that will be.
-I remembered...with some help: I started a “Blog posts” page on both my moleskin and iphone and plan to continue to update that as ideas pop into my head. Because lord knows I will forget them if I don’t write them down. I'm like Nemo's friend Dora. Those ideas came in handy when I was at a loss for words...that one time. Getting in the habit of writing things down in one place helps!
-You kept reading and didn’t die either! THANK YOU! I think some of you stuck it through and THAT I appreciate. I am sure it was brutal some days, but thank you thank you for still reading and commenting and emailing me with you support. Those of you concerned that I could have broken my neck at the beach, thanks for looking out. I learned my lesson and we can all point and laugh at me now. I was sure I would loose some readers, but ya’ll hammered through. Virtual champagne, confetti and malasadas FOR YOU ALL!
The bad news is:
-I talk a lot: Although this has always been apparent, it was brutally evident in my posts. They are longggg. And drag outttttttt. I am not a girl who can just tell a story. I have to tell the backstory to the story. This I desperately want to work on. I aspire to be clear and concise. So please, when I ramble, SHOOT ME. Or just let me know. That’s what friends are for, right?
-I keeps it REAL!: There were days when I literally laid it all out there. That I cried hiking up a mountain with boys. That I have a weight of self doubt. That I have a weight of a giant be-hind that won’t fit my favorite Paige jeans. That I just moved here and I am overwhelmed with where to begin. It’s all true. And scary. I CRINGE! But I wonder how much I really needed to put out there. Was it all worth it? It’s so hard for me to fluff it all up and “it’s great, life’s great, I’m BUSYBUSYBUSY!” because that’s not always true. But I am afraid that my striking honesty with myself may hinder. THERE GOES THAT SELF DOUBT AGAIN. I worry of the possibilities of When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong. “I don’t like when people be playin’ on my phone!” (Anybody? Anybody?)
-I ran out of things to talk about: Surprising, I know. And for the girl who has more energy than she knows what to do with and who can talk to a brick wall, there were a few days where I was stumped. I feel like there were some awesome posts but in posting every. single. day. it was easy for my thoughts to get watered down. I find that posting a few days a week will keeps ideas interesting and fresh and not annoy the heck out of Facebook with all my links.
****If you read my posts and stuck it out with me, BIG UPS!! (& let me know!!) I truly enjoyed the exeperience and literal challenge of putting myself and my work on the world wide web every day, but I am looking forward to weekends off! From here out, here is my new plan of strategy based on what I learned:
-Blogging a few times a week: Keeps new posts fresh and exciting and helps filter out mediocre content.
-Taking weekends off: Because I like to enjoy my Saturdays that I am not shooting a wedding. Not to mention, I still had readers, but not as much traffic as during the week. Not to mention Marshall and I have dubbed Sundays FUNDAYS and we are going to explore Oahu together those days!
-Posting earlier in the day: I am FIVE HOURS BEHIND the east cost. FIVE HOURS (So stop spoiling shows for me, will ya? ;)) That either means I’ve got to wake up reallll early to publish a post New Yorkers can read while drinking their coffee or I’ve got to set posts up to publish on their own. Which is my next point...
-Line posts up for the week: There were several days I wanted to skip my blog because I was running short on time or had things to do. When I can, I plan to write posts the day before and have them automatically publish the next morning. 1AM my time, 6AM EST.
-Get in a routine & schedule: of writing and posting. It helps keep things consistent and helps me on track.
I’ve gone and done it again and wrote a NOVEL! Thank you for getting this far.
Waikiki sunset on film