I passed my six-month anniversary of blogging last week. One post every day, without miss, for six months. Could I continue to do this for the entire year? Yes. Do I want to? No.
I’ve thought about this for a while now as one-by-one several of my postaday blogging buddies dropped out of the challenge. The simple truth is that I need to have a day off now and then. Even if I am only slapping a photo up, I still have to find it and post it. It is an item on a to-do list that I have to accomplish every day. I want a day now and then with a blank list.
The postaday challenge has been great. It got me off to a good start as WordPress gave me, and every other postadayer a headline on their PostaDay page. I think early out some of my most loyal followers found me this way. Also, early out, WordPress was selecting a postaday item for their Freshly Pressed page. This got me short-lived fame when they selected two of my posts within weeks of each other. This also gained me two spikes in my stats that I may never equal again. But even though it was exciting to see the hits coming in on the days I was Freshly Pressed, it was short-lived fame. Most of the visitors never returned, although I did gain a few loyal followers.
I also found many of the blogs I loyally follow through the postaday challenge. Which means they are posting every day as well, generating seven posts a week for me to read. That adds up if I am following very many blogs.
I’ve been thinking about taking weekends off for a while now. My husband and I travel a lot visiting our children in other cities and going on short trips. Much of this travel occurs on weekends. Even when I prepare posts in advance for upcoming trips, I still find it more stressful than I want it, or need it to be. If I take the weekends off, I get a break.
This week I read two posts that tipped the balance.
In What’s the Magic Number? How Often Should Bloggers Blog? , Kristen Lamb author of best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer recommends blogging three times a week.
In Are You Writing?, Joe Konrath suggests that reading blogs can be a waste of your time. “Here’s the bottom line: every minute you spend here is a minute you aren’t spending on your writing,” he writes.
There are a lot of reasons people blog. I started the blog as an online journal to help me write every day. It has done that. As I learned more about publishing, traditional as well as self-publishing, I also became aware of the fact that I need an online presence if I ever hope to publish and sell any books. So blogging has opened that door for me. I’m still on the threshold. For those of you who are hoping to build an online presence, I suggest you consider getting a Twitter account and start tweeting if you haven’t done so already. The reach is far greater and quicker.
The surprise about blogging is the blogging friends I have made and the community I now feel a part of. On those really bad days when I feel like giving up the whole shebang, it is my faithful readers and the people I have met here who comment on my blogs and whose blogs I read, that keep me going.
I hope that by cutting back some on the number of posts, I will be writing less, but better. I hope it will give me more time to pursue other writing projects I want to do. I hope my readers will think, “Thank goodness, now I only have to read 3, 4 or 5 posts instead of 7.” I hope once I give up this challenge I don’t slide down that slippery slope to once a week, then once a month, then “I wonder whatever happened to CMSmith?”
I’ve wondered about that. What happens when someone just drops off the blogging universe? How do their readers ever know what happened? Just one more of life’s mysteries, I guess.
Keep writing. I’ll be reading. And writing.
See you Monday.