I think Blaugust broke me. But in a rather odd and specific manner. You may recall, but a couple of times now, I’ve mentioned just how tired posting daily has left me. If there was one thing I was clear about after completing the challenge — it was that posting daily wasn’t for me. It grew my appreciation and awe to even greater levels for those that can, but man was I personally looking forward to a break.
But here I am. Still posting. Like a maaaadman.
And all indications so far are that it may continue. True enough, I had to fight myself into putting these thoughts down today. But that wasn’t to get myself writing — rather it was because there is another post I very much want to post instead. That post will keep though, my learnings from Blaugust may become a little less fresh if I keep pushing this out.
So here we go!
Posting every day isn’t for me.
Introduction to this post put aside for one moment — during Blaugust I appreciated the challenge aspect of posting every day. I’m proud and pleased I met the challenge, but it was a challenge.
It added a pressure to post that I had begun to think of as being above and beyond what a hobby-blog should entail. Worse, I wasn’t always happy with the quality of the content being produced while subjecting myself to the rigours of posting each and every day.
That’s the con side — on the pro side though, it has rather craftily created a habit. A habit of writing daily that — bringing the intro back in now — I apparently find at least a little difficult to break even though I consciously craved a break. Even a short one. A single day gap to mark the occasion of Blaugust being over, perhaps.
Blaugust also allowed me to experiment a little with my approach to writing posts. Sometimes by necessity on days where I knew my lunch break was it. Post something or don’t — but if I don’t I wasn’t going to get one that day. (Luckily that only happened once to that extreme, and I made it to publish.)
But if I have to post every day…
…Then writing a day ahead helps reduce the stress and anxiety of writing daily by a lot.
Before Blaugust I was very much a write-to-publish sort of guy. When I finished a post, I published a post. But doing that with a strict post-every-day schedule meant feeling like a silly Uni student who had left their assignment to the last night. Every day.
Writing today for tomorrow’s post though seemed to strike a good balance between keeping posts ‘fresh’, and relatively stress free in that even if I was unexpectedly unable to write that night I wasn’t going to miss a day. The current days post was done yesterday. It wouldn’t be ideal — but I could still catch-up the next day if I had to.
On the odd occasion I lost that lead it was much rougher, and fighting to get it back meant finding time to do two posts — one for the current day and one to get ahead again — but the piece of mind it brought was worth the effort.
Too Much Content!
At the very least, too much content for me to keep abreast of and comment as widely as I would like — particularly for our newer bloggers.
This was on some days every bit as concerning as simply keeping up with the content creation itself! I know there are amazing posts created this month that I simply did not see in the flurry of so much posting, on top of usual life commitments and work. I oft struggle even outside of Blaugust, so during when it went a couple of days without doing a thorough scan of the new posts I felt quite D: about it all.
For all that, again, some pro’s — some fantastic new bloggers emerged which I wish all the best and to continue on past the ‘event’ of Blaugust itself. I shan’t name them all (but take a look at the Blaugust 2019 page for that), but here a couple of my favourite new discoveries:
- Where the Monsters Are by Quin
Quin, while having a particular interest in Project 99, writes about a range of MMORPGs and experiences. It might not come as a surprise but I’m quite a fan of reflective posts, so his first Blaugust post on past bad behaviour struck a chord. (There is even still something of a response in my post backlog I may get to sooner or later.)
- Everwake’s Internet Adventures by Everwake
Everwake writes on Blogger, but I try not to hold it against him. ;) More seriously, Everwake is consistently amusing and an entertaining read. I am still waiting ever so patiently for Tuskarr the Boar Blog Mascot to hit a store near me though.
Planning is also not for me
I know. I was shocked too.
No-one buying? Well fine. I’ve kinda known for a long time I’m way more of a pantser than I am a planner. Nonetheless, in the lead-up to Blaugust I created a day planner and populated many of the slots with an intended post.
I filled 25 slots in fact, with an intended post. Of the 25 I only actually did 8 of them.
Finding a topic is not something I typically struggle with, so really I knew it was a wasted effort to run through the spreadsheet. Still, it helped a little as a calming exercise in the lead up. And to be fair, I did reference it fairly regularly.
Just that typically when I did, I wrinkled my nose, said ‘Nah’ and did something else anyway.
Get the day headstart up and running as soon as possible so that I’m not writing to the day for any longer than I must. At the latest, by the end of the first Blaugust 2020 weekend, I want that buffer in place.
I won’t try to plan as heavily, and I’ll recognise from the outset that the themed weeks (if they make a return) are more guide than gospel. I learnt this pretty early on thanks to conversation with others, but it did give me conniptions to start with!
In terms of keeping abreast of all the content going on… I really don’t know. I wonder whether it might be an idea for the Mentors at least to post an end of week wrap-up highlighting some of their favourite content from the week and why it was?
That’d be both educational AND allow some semblence of a catch-up. :D