|At Wittering Beach, 2007|
There is nothing like putting pressure on one’s self and wondering how much of the pressure is valid and how much is unrealistic.
In January I set a goal for myself to write 200 blog entries for the year. In order to know how many posts I would need to do each week, I divided 200 by 52 weeks. This number is 3.85 posts—rounded up to 4 posts a week. At present I am 13 posts behind, that is 3 ¼ weeks behind schedule.
This brings me to asking some questions:
1. How do I get on track with making 200 posts this year? I could try doing two posts a day for three weeks.
2. But I find myself asking: “Will I be posting for the sake of posting, just to make up the numbers?”
3. What is my purpose for blogging?
4. Is it more important to meet a set target of blog posts—some of which will have no real significance, existing merely to meet a goal?
5. I want my posts to be meaningful. But does every post have to have great meaning?
6. Is it better to forget a target and focus on writing pieces I have put considerable thought into?
7. Will I lose my impetus in writing regularly if I set aside the goal I set for myself? Shouldn’t I keep reaching to achieve the 200, even if I don’t succeed?
8. Is part of the reason that I’m not posting because I sometimes find that the day-to-day is so repetitive that it doesn’t bear telling about?
9. Should I be setting other goals, and these are goals I can be writing about? For example, I love Great British Bake Off. What if I make a list of the weekly challenges and then blog about what I baked? For instance, one week the contestants bake biscuits/cookies and therefore I challenge myself to bake a recipe for biscuits I’ve never done before. In that way I take you along on my journey.
In 1994 I found myself sitting in a classroom with several other people who were attending a three-month School of Writing. The first couple of days the teacher laid foundations—not of grammar, syntax and punctuation. Rather, learning how to focus one’s writing by asking the right questions before the writing begins. Of the three main questions, two apply to this blog.
1) Who is my audience?
2) What is my take-away? (What is the main point I am trying to make?
3) What format do I want to use—thematic or story-telling?
As a blog, this allows me to write both thematic pieces and tell stories. I can share a recipe, which is thematic (how-to). I can also share anecdotes, which are short stories about events in my life. And as a blog, both are appropriate.
So the two most important questions are, “Who is my audience?” Logically, my audience consists of family and friends. In either case, I keep wondering if I am making my blog posts interesting and relevant to them. I occasionally get feedback, which does keep me motivated. It also lets me know I am on track.
Each time I sit down at my desk and power up my computer, I am asking myself: “What is the point of this piece? Do I want them to laugh at my cute Maisy? Do I want them to try the recipe I shared? Will they be able to understand, relate to, identify with the lessons I have learned? If I ask myself these questions, then it affects how I write the piece, what I share in the story, who I write about and identify the people involved and also when I share something.
Although I know I have more readers than followers, one of the things I would love to accomplish is to increase the number of followers I have. Right now the number is twelve. I often wonder how other bloggers, whose blogs I read and follow, recruited over 100—even up to 1,000 followers. Perhaps it is an ego thing to want to reach lots of people with what I write. In one of the books I read about blogging, it said that one thing that helps create a following is to post on a regular basis. But the draw for the reader must be reading worthwhile content.
By setting myself the goal of writing 200 blog posts in 2016 I aspired to learn consistency, perseverance and discover a topic that I really enjoyed writing about.
The Singleness Series seems to be attracting the most readers. Some lessons I learned apply to everyone—whether single or married. By writing about my single years, I want to present the mindset and struggles of people who are/have been single, yet yearn for companionship. Therefore, it seems prudent to keep writing about it.
Right now, catching up and posting 14 outstanding blogs entries seem impossible. But I really think I need to push through, because finishing the task is a reward in itself. I will put my mind to the task of writing, finding ways that will be meaningful as well as efficient. I may not have all the answers right now…but because I believe that many of you are waiting and interested, I will press on.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,