Daily Blogging – What I’ve Learned

After a few months of blogging and getting the hang of it and becoming involved in the community and thoroughly enjoying it all, I committed to posting something every day for the entire month of October.

It wasn’t just that I was digging the process of writing so much, it’s that my student teacher was in the thick of his nine weeks of total teaching, and I needed a project to focus on to keep myself from going crazy. To go from lesson planning and creating materials and delivering instruction eight hours a day to just sitting and observing and providing feedback is a big change. I needed a distraction.

So, anyway, here it is October 31st and I am happy to say that I did, indeed, post every day. This post is about what I learned as I went along.

Community

Blogging is not all about the writing. If you want someone to read your posts, which I do (interestingly, when I started blogging, I hoped no one would read them because I didn’t feel ready for an audience), then you have to start interacting in the blogging  community. You have to read other blogs and comment. I say HAVE TO as if it’s some horrible obligation. Actually, I love seeing all the different things that people find to write about and discovering their personalities via their blogs. I now have several WordPress friends and many of them post daily so we chat often.

Quality

Each post has to be high quality. Not high quality as compared to the best bloggers out there, not like Freshly Pressed quality, but decent enough that I’m proud of it, that I’m confident it will be well received by those who regularly read my blog. I do not want to disappoint, not myself or others.Time to Blog

Time

That said about quality, it takes a lot of time to write something of substance, something that is decent, day after day. It takes me about two hours to write a first draft of about 1,000 words. Then, I have to let it rest for a few hours, or preferably a day or two, before I come back to revise it, usually several times, to get it to “good enough” status.

Something’s Gotta Give

My student teacher may be doing most of the teaching now, but that does not mean that I have seven hours of free time each day. It’s important that I watch him and listen to his every word and observe how the students respond to his teaching so that I can provide worthwhile feedback and suggestions. I am also using this time to work one-on-one with struggling students. They may as well benefit from having an extra teacher in the classroom, right? So, I am able to do some of the 2-3 hours of daily writing during work hours, but most of it happens at home. After a month of stealing hours, daily, from my typical activities, I am starting to realize all to well where those hours have come from.

  • Sleep  I’ve been pretty excited about this writing business and it’s either kept me up late, when I’m on a roll, or awakened me in the middle of the night. I’ve been running on about six hours per night for the last month. Before the blog-a-day thing, I averaged seven.
  • Exercise  Most days, I am awake at 4:30 and exercising by 5:00. But that didn’t happen so much this month. I mean, staying up writing until midnight or waking up and writing from 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. does not lend itself to being awake, for good, by 4:30 each day. So, I have run less and swam less and, as a result, gained a few pounds.
  • Cooking  I didn’t do much cooking prior to blogging every day, but I really didn’t cook this month. I barely even made salads. Honestly, I have no idea what my children ate all month.
  • Cleaning  As with cooking, cleaning has never been a big priority. But, at this point, my house is super thick with dust and cleaning will be one of the first things I do in November.
  • Reading  This one is the most heart-wrenching. Whereas I used to read for 30-60 minutes before falling asleep each night, I now write. My list of Books to Read has grown from 42 to 65 in just three months, and that’s without actively researching the latest and greatest books. I’ll never catch up, especially if I keep writing. The flip side–at least I am reading blogs.

TopicsBlog Topics

There is so much to write about! I was never at a loss for a topic and there were several things I had in mind or that are in rough draft form that I never got around to publishing. If that were to occur–that I couldn’t think of anything to write about–I could easily use the daily prompts, weekly prompts, and photo prompts that are posted daily on Wordress.com. My life must be rich with meaningful activities and interactions since I always have something to write about and for that I feel truly blessed.

Discovery

I already knew this–that writing is the process of discovery. Discovering where a topic will take me, discovering what I really think and feel about the topic, discovering how my writing affects myself and others. So, for the past 31 days, I have learned more about myself than I have in the past several months or years combined. Talk about rewarding! Talk about powerful!

Fake Followers

Nothing infuriates me more in the blogging community than fake followers. For every new follower I got this month, I in turn checked out his or her blog and read a few of the posts to see if the blog held my interest. About one in ten followers turned out to be someone who is blogging, in my opinion, for all the wrong reasons–to make money. Not to make money through their excellent writing skills, but to make money with affiliate marketing. In other words, they weren’t reading my blog posts and following me because they enjoyed what I was writing. They followed me in hopes that I would then check them out and be oh so excited to join the affiliate marketing bandwagon. To them, I say, stay off my blog!

Publishing Date

Ahhhh! I learned just a few days ago that I could postdate a blog. I was conscientious all month about posting one blog per day, thinking that’s the way it had to work. One weekend I was at a cabin in the mountains with no power and no internet. I had to drive to the nearest town and post my blog (and eat yummy food, drink lots of Diet Coke, and do a little shopping). There were also a few days of solid driving, meaning that after 400 miles on the road, I’d have to hurry inside and post something or at least sit down and do some writing. But, the good news is that I did, in the end, figure out that I can postdate–that I can choose the day and time that my blog will post–and that may come in handy in the future.

Length

I never would have expected myself to be so wordy. Really, I’m not a gabber and I am concise when it comes to speaking. I did learn, over the course of the month, that, in general, shorter posts get read by more people than longer posts. But, look. Look what I am doing on the last post of this post-a-day month–I’m still writing way too much! Crazy! It’s a goal of mine – to shorten up my posts.

Have No FearAnd with that, I bid you adieu, my dear friends. And though it is Halloween, have no fear, for I’ll be back. Not tomorrow, but most likely within the week. First, I must sleep, exercise, cook a meal for my children, dust and vacuum, and at least get started on those 65 books on my list.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. farfetchedfriends
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 10:11:09

    Yes, the fake followers are so irritating! I wish there were a way to remove them.

    I, too, was beyond excited when I figured out the scheduling of posts. I’ve switched to writing at night and scheduling for the following morning instead of trying to rush when I get off work. It’s fabulous!

    Reply

  2. Randee
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 10:53:35

    I learned, too, that it’s hard to post at night. No matter how many times I read through it or proofread, I’d always see something wrong in the morning. So posting in the morning works better for me, too.

    I just picked up three or four more followers from this post and they’re all AWOL types. Maybe they did read it and they’re humoring me?

    Reply

  3. LiveMagnificently!
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 13:47:28

    This is an awesome post!! WOW good on you for posting everyday! That really is a huge achievement! Thanks for sharing your insights too, as a fellow blogger I really appreciate it.
    Cheers,
    Sharon

    Reply

  4. Linnea
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 15:24:51

    Bravo, Randee! I find blogging even once a week to challenging! I’ve enjoyed reading, though!

    Reply

  5. - user
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 16:29:19

    Agree. Fake followers and, by extension, fake ‘Likes’ are annoying. I try not to get excited about either anymore.

    Congrats on posting once a day for a month–I write too slow and not enough to do that.

    Reply

  6. That EJ
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 22:33:23

    You’ve learned a lot! Great post. I loved the paragraph about writing being the process of discovery. Exactly how I feel about it, and a lot of what I get out of it, too. I love that part of the experience!

    Reply

  7. theclocktowersunset
    Nov 01, 2013 @ 05:29:36

    I remember the first of the month. I had confidence you would complete your task but was curious as to what would be coming through my screen. You succeeded delightfully and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. Kudos are in order so enjoy your accomplishment, it’s well earned…. 🙂

    Reply

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