It's September 30th, and today marks the end of my self-set Project September, where I challenged myself, for no reason particularly, to write here, on my blog, for thirty days straight starting on the 1st September. I figured a lot of the writing, and definitely the photos, might end up as utter shite, but despite those negative thoughts, I wanted to proceed regardless.
And proceed I have!
I've done it! Most importantly here, the key thing is, that quality aside, I *have* completed the challenge I set myself, and I have published a post daily here on mrshollycrocker.com, which was the sole purpose of what I set out to do.
I never thought that blogging daily would mean amazing anecdotes, or top quality writing; but to be frank, if I posted hourly, daily, or weekly, that quality writing would not necessarily be present anyway which is indeed the reason I proceeded regardless!
So, in today's post I want to reflect upon what I've learnt, or thought about, after 30 days of blogging daily.
I WILL COMMIT IF I'VE SET MYSELF A CHALLENGE EVEN IF THE ONLY PERSON WHO'S BOTHERED IS MYSELF
This is the stand out observation. It's clear as anything to me that if there's something I want to do enough to set myself a little accountable challenge, I will damn well do it! There has been no external accountability here, apart from the challenge to myself I have set, and the fact I have wrote on the world wide web that I wish to complete it... and that, clearly is enough. But I think it's enough also, because deep down, it is something, I really wanted to do.
IT'S NOT EASY TO BLOG DAILY
It's not been impossible, obviously, but 'm not saying it's been easy, at all, and in fact this last week has been the hardest, but that might be partly due to feeling a little under the weather, and coincidentally also having one of the busiest weeks at our cafe this year! I haven't published posts I'm entirely chuffed with on two occasions this week, but the simple truth is that I was not going to fail my challenge, and I was bloody well going to crack on and write, even if that meant going against the grain of wishing to only hit publish on something I was mega happy with. Sometimes, life, in all its glory, gets a little in the way, and you just gotta ride it out.
TIME CAN BE MADE, FACT!
If I've spent 30 minutes, or three hours, putting a post together to hit publish on, the simple fact remains that time can be made. I knew right from the start that this would be true, as it was true also when I completed my month of writing for NaNoWriMo.
True, Gemma has done lots of the dinner making this month, and true also, is that there has been a lot less aimless pottering, and a lot more writing going on in the hour I have to myself when I wake earlier than Gem each morning, but all of that's OK!
I CLEARLY DON'T HAVE AN INCLINATION TO BULK WRITE
I thought when I started this challenge that I'd get a few posts written in advance and then stay ahead of the game. This, totally, did not happen. But, the observation is being made, because in the first week or so, I actually had a little less going on that normal, and there definitely would have been opportunity for me to do so, but I seemingly didn't have a desire to write different posts simultaneously. The only exception was the two weekends I was away for the Sunday, but then, it was only having two posts ready for scheduling.
THE ONLY WAY TO FEEL ANY SENSE OF IMPROVEMENT IS TO PRACTICE
As the month has gone on I'm not necessarily feeling more confident in my writing, BUT I am feeling more comfortable in getting the post together, getting knuckled down if you like, and simply understanding how to get photos from my phone, onto my laptop drive to edit and attach on a post... this may sound boringly simple to most people, but for me THESE are the things that sometimes feel like a big hold back, and they're definite skills which a month of posting has helped me get the knack of and I can feel the improvement!
TAKING PHOTOS WILL NEVER BE MY FORTE
I have yet to even try to take pretty flatlay pictures, and I certainly wouldn't invest in a camera beyond my phone camera, because at the base of it all, my ability to capture awesome photos isn't really there... but maybe - if I keep enjoying playing here on my blog - maybe I'll work on that better. For now though, I'm fine with just admitting that taking awesome photos just is not my forte.
COMMENTS AND ENGAGEMENT, HOWEVER BIG OR SMALL, REALLY DRIVE ME ON
This again is a reflection I knew I would make, because this is indeed what I love most about the blog writing / blog reading world - the engagement with people who share something in their desire to read these random sites on the net! I have been a long time blog reader, and comment profusely, and I love getting replies! Hence, why here, any comments I will always reply to because I love to read the comments left by someone who want to read what you have to type! The lovely blog community out there is the reason I want to continue writing and being *part* of something so much bigger than a single site.
I AM YET TO OVERCOME THE SHYNESS OF PUTTING MY BLOG OUT THERE
I often feel embarrassed for partaking in such a hobby such as keeping a blog - I still haven't figured out why, but I do. Maybe it's the fact it feels a little silly, and self-indulgent, wittering on in typed word to the internet, but conversely I don't feel this about other bloggers and the blogs they write, so maybe I'm just shy about putting myself out there when it comes to the subject of blogging. I have yet to tell anyone I know personally, beyond Gemma, that I am writing this, although I am aware I have linked up my website address to my IG, and therefore there may be friends or family reading this if they've followed the link... I really want to overcome that shyness, which I see other established bloggers overcoming so well, even hobby bloggers, not just full-timers. Maybe I need to pinpoint the issue, or maybe it's a consistency thing... like, once I know I'm consistently committing I'd be less aware that I feel so silly about it. Or maybe, I'm overthinking something entirely - anyone wish to share their thoughts?
MY WIFE IS VERY SUPPORTIVE
I have mentioned my little project to Gemma, and she knows I have a blog, but she asks no questions, and I offer no further information really (see point above). However, she is supportive of my need to challenge myself, even when there is no reason to be setting myself a challenge. She always takes the lead at cooking dinner etc, but even more so this month, when I've wanted to crack on with a quick half hour here of writing. Similarly, she'll happily snap some photos of me against a brick wall, or share some of her phone snaps my way.
I DO WANT TO CONTINUE WORKING ON MY BLOG - BUT NOT POSTING DAILY
I have *really* enjoyed this month of full on blogging, writing daily and pushing out posts, but I KNOW it is not sustainable for me. I thrive on a challenge - can you tell? - but I don't feel the need to challenge myself more for now buy continuing to post daily. Partly because I know that I can up my quality if I wasn't feeling the pace so much, and with that I would feel a better sense of achievement, and that is what I'm here writing for really. So, I'm not going to continue writing and posting daily, BUT I am going to continue posting through the next few months at least. I'm going to ponder how much, and maybe share that here, because that certainly helps keep me accountable and therefore doing something I enjoy rather than just wasting my time on other stuff.
I LIKE WORKING ON A PERSONAL PROJECT (EVEN IF IT IS POINTLESS!)
I spend all my working hours totally invested in our customers needs and other people's lives. That sounds harsher than it's meant too, because our customers are too very invested in ours, which is wonderful and it's exactly that which makes me love doing what we do and running a cafe. What I mean though, is I'm always chatting, 'on show' if you like, and rarely take any time out alone, and I think actually sometimes I need it where I don't have it. This personal project over thirty days, which I can continue in essence by keeping up writing here and working on my writing, has given me a sole personal project and I've enjoyed it immensely!
BLOGGING ISN'T POINTLESS IF YOU ENJOY THE PROCESS
Following on from above... sometimes I feel daft for wanting to commit time to something like writing a blog, when I could be doing something for our business, for example, working on our business website or keeping up with the accounts better... however, I need to stop with that mentality, because I don't bully myself over the fact I wish to read a book each eve before I fall asleep, or when I indulge myself daily with my Emmerdale fix. I read a book and I catch up with Emmerdale because I enjoy it, and I enjoy the process of trying to write and assemble blog posts too - so why is it any different? There is no point, which is the point entirely, as for me, it's a careless hobby to just enjoy.
I am very likely to think of something else I want to add to this list in the next week or so as I think on my little challenge further, but for now, I think I've reflected quite enough.
If you've been here and following along for my Project September, if you've read, left a comment, or willed me along... THANK YOU! I appreciate it! As I've touched on above, it's the blog world and community that I really do enjoy reading, and now writing, and being a part of!
I'll be back soon - but maybe not tomorrow - but, maybe Monday!