The Value in Bla(pril/ugust)
Last night, Bhagpuss posted on the subject of the recent wave of expressions of exhaustion. I read it while I was out of the house1 so couldn’t respond in much detail at the time.
Now, much of what Bhagpuss wrote — I agree with. There are a number of very good messages in there. Your blog is yours. Write in a way you enjoy. Vary your voice- your subject; anything you need to do to keep enjoying it. I even agree with the sentiment that if you stop enjoying it in a rather fundamental way, you should stop doing it. Remove that pressure from yourself, that feeling of ‘must’ and it’s entirely possible you’ll find your passion for it all over again.
What I felt might be missing from the piece though, was an acknowledgement that not everything worthwhile is easy. Or perhaps less that, and more that there is value in challenging and pushing yourself to a place that might not be fun in the moment but at the end- when you’re done, and can look back on what you’ve achieved? That’s quite the thing. It can be a morale boost. A source of pride. Something to shout, ‘Yatta!‘ (I did it!) about.2
Last year, I noted at the end of Blaugust just how tired posting every day had left me feeling. And it did. There is no doubt that, for me at least, posting every day is a challenge. Not something I would do for normal blog operation. But it also grew my respect and appreciation for those who can do it that way. It’s also a challenge I’ve now taken on three times — once for Blaugust 2019, once on a crazy Five Game Challenge whim and now for the third time with Blapril 2020.
I wouldn’t call this an easy challenge, but it is one that gets easier with practice. I assume like a marathon (not that I’m meaning to compare the degrees of effort involved here!) that these things may not be very fun in the moments in the lead up to the finish line, but rather the accomplishment and pride that comes once you have.
In any case; I hadn’t meant to dwell on this for so long. I actually have another post topic for tonight which is only loosely connected. But before I can move on to the originally scheduled post for tonight, a comment reply to Bhagpuss’ post pulled at the heart strings a little. A comment from Belghast — the creator of Blaugust (and Blapril) himself.
I always feel bad when folks seem to struggle a bit. It is this moment when I start to question if I should ever do another event like this again. I am never certain how it is going to end up. I think blaugust as a community has been good, but I am not sure if blaugust as an event really bears the fruit I ultimately hope it will. Those of us who are regular bloggers will stay regular bloggers, but I am not sure if we are really making any new ones from our mold.Belghast (2020), in reply to ‘It Was Fun For A While‘ on Inventory Full.
To which I say simply:
- Everwake’s Internet Adventures
- Dating Sims on the Holodeck
- Glittering Girly Gwent Gaming
- Ace Asunder
Each a fantastic blog, with a fantastic owner, who wouldn’t have entered our community sphere without the event you run, Bel.
And I know I’ll have missed some. These were the only ones that came top of mind to me. I apologise to those I have missed — I mean no slight or to make you feel unwelcome, because you absolutely are.
But even if that were to be the sum total, that’s five more active blogs which have carried on the torch.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t reflect on ways to improve the event — and it’s possible I’ve read way too much into this comment than was intended. But just in case I haven’t, I really want to make it clear how much value there is in this Bel and we love that you continue to set it up for us year on year and even brought this one forward to assist everyone with a sense of community spirit through an otherwise really challenging time.
Perhaps brainstorming ways to improve the outcomes we’re after can be a topic for another day — but in the meantime, know that these things are already a success. Any improvements will be just that — and not out of any need to otherwise fix some fundamental flaw in the plan. :)
…Although speaking of topics for another day; I think the one I initially had planned will need to wait. It would be a little shoehorned now. But it was on the topic of keeping up motivation, and one possible way of achieving that vary up the degree of effort each post requires. Sometimes high effort posts are great and rewarding, but sometimes lower effort posts can be equally as entertaining!
More on that later. :)
This was a post for Blapril 2020, the annual blogging event (albeit usually as Blaugust), brought forward to help bring a sense of community during the challenging time of COVID-19. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.
The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year round!
- On a walk with my mother for the first time, now that New Zealand reduced our state from a full lock-down (Level 4) to almost a full lock-down, but now fast food is available again via delivery / drive-through (Level 3).
- Sometimes I still miss Heroes, and then I remember the later seasons and don’t miss it so much any more.