I am now in my fourth month of blogging and I have decided to capture the experience so far, in the hope that when I look back, perhaps in a year, that I, and the experience, would have matured or altered in some way.
Why did I start in the first place? For one reason and one reason only, to get back into the habit of writing. I had stopped for so many years that I just the thought of writing scared me. I saw blogging as a way to get back into the groove, which meant, writing daily.
Initially I found it difficult to blog every day. I had a million excuses and fifty other things to do. I would stare at my blank screen, read my mail, write a sentence, check my Facebook page, etc. Ad nauseum. I do still do it but less often.
I have learnt that you can skip a day or so, but missing a week diminishes traffic to such an extent that you almost have to start from scratch. Or maybe just when You are a new blogger. Anyway, the discipline that goes with the exercise has been so beneficial. In the beginning I felt that I had to finish my daily post by a certain time. Now it doesn’t matter anymore, as long as I write.
With a bit more writing behind me, I have found that the editing time has decreased somewhat. Initially I would write for thirty minutes and edit for three hours. Now I am less anal about it and to be honest, I really don’t have that kind of time. I have eased up on myself, allowing for the fact that nothing in life is perfect. Anyway, even had I edited one post for twenty hours, I would still not have been satisfied. At some point one has to let go. Put the baby in the crib so to speak. A useful tool that I learnt early on in life is not to start editing until I had finished writing. Editing while writing takes long and is discouraging. Writing should not be a chore.
At first I had difficulty coming up with daily ideas and made use of Digg, Plinky and similar websites. Now, I grab an event or a thought that stood out during the day, and elaborate on it.
Today strangely enough, was different. I had no clue what to say. I turned to my son for ideas.
Typically boy, he replied: “I don’t know Mommy, anything” .
“Please Kyle, just throw words at me, anything that comes into your head”.
“I really can’t think of anything Ma, why don’t you just write about blogging”.
Thank you Kyle.
I have learnt a load of new skills. From blog building to tagging and publicising on other platforms. The list is endless. And as life would have it, no sooner had I learnt a new skill than I needed it for another area in my life. For once I did not have to waste time asking Google.
I must confess, I do not look for blogs, simply because I don’t have the time. But, when someone likes one of my posts, or comments on it, I take the time to read their About page as well as their latest post. If it appeals to me, I follow the blog via email so that I can read it on my phone at night.
As for my own blogging style, it is not topical, nor am I concerned with current events. I have opened myself up and I blog honestly, about myself. I do refrain from using names when I write about others because I have no intention of offending or hurting them.
I don’t know if my blog is enjoyable, or whether any of it speaks to anyone. What I do know is that if only one person learnt something, laughed at something, or thought about something after I had shared of myself, it is a bonus. Over and above what I had set out to do.
There is a lot I still don’t know about blogging but I know that in time, I will learn. I don’t know what would be considered a good amount of traffic. What is a good hit rate after six months, or a year? But I don’t care about that too much. Like I said, I blog for no other reason than to write. I would be lying though if I said I did not like seeing feet through my cyber heart.
In summary I can say that on the whole, blogging has been richly rewarding to me personally. Not because thousands of people read what I have to say, but because I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I press ‘publish’. I really do. And it is because I did what I love. The reward is even greater on the days that I did not feel like it.
So, as for my blog and I, we shall soldier on.