“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott
At the end of January, I decided on a whim to write a blog post every day during the month of February as a way to keep busy and have fun during my least favorite month of the year. It kept me busy and was fun for the first 10 days or so. And then it stopped being fun, so I quit.
I’m glad I started off enthusiastically and ended when I did. I learned a few things about the blog writing process during my fast-paced blogging stint which should help me as I continue to post at a slower pace.
Brainstorm by day; write by night. Before my daily blogging stint, I used to spend precious daytime free minutes writing posts – an average of 20 minutes in the afternoon while the baby napped and my older daughter watched a TV show. While I thought it made sense to use daytime down time to write, I became frustrated by how many days it took me to get my thoughts into coherent shape. In February, when I decided to produce content more quickly, I fell into a rhythm of jotting down ideas in outline form during the day whenever inspiration struck and writing the post at night, when there were fewer children awake and therefore fewer distractions and interruptions. It’s a much more efficient use of my time, and I like that.
While I enjoy writing quick posts occasionally, I’d rather write more thoughtful pieces on a regular basis. Out of necessity, my daily posts had to be quick and light; I didn’t have time to do any semi-serious reflection. I’m glad I figured out how to come up with decent, light ideas, but from now on, I’m going to focus on coming up with decent, meatier ideas, like this post and this post, which are in line with my vision for this blog.
Blog posts don’t need to be perfect or even great. Sometimes it takes me longer than I care to admit to write a post because I get tangled up in whether or not I’m saying what I want to say with the fewest words possible, and whether I’m saying anything that matters to anyone but me. When I was posting every day, I learned to relax and hit the publish button as soon as a post was satisfactory because I didn’t have time to do much tweaking. It was a good exercise in letting go of too-high expectations of what I can do in the free time I choose to devote to blogging. While I prefer to produce more polished posts (and can’t help but alliterate from time to time), it’s good to remember the simplicity of my blogging quest: reading good books, doing good things, and exploring connections between the two. Time to get on with it.