Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge?
I actually started the post-a-day challenge on January 21st of last year. For those of you who missed it, my first post was quite short with an ill-kept promise to keep future posts short:
January 21, 2011
I’m not entirely certain I can bear up to the pressure of a first post. What to say? How much?
Here’s something important: I promise to keep my posts short. Those of you who know me well will realize how short-lived this promise will be. Otherwise, I suppose the sky’s the limit. Random thoughts. See above.
I’m going to just pretend I have readers. Mom are you out there?
That’s pretty short.
Oh. And here’s Arthur. The wild white dog eating snow.
I started the post-a-day challenge when I started the blog. I started both for the same reason. I wanted to start writing on a regular basis and I wanted someone, anyone, to read what I wrote.
How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge?
The biggest thing that changed, was somewhere after about six months, I decided I needed my weekends back and that I really didn’t need to blog every day. I dropped back to blogging only on week days and was pretty consistent about it until surgery, recovery, Christmas, and the kids arriving home for the holidays hit. I’ve been a little hit and miss in December. But I’m still meeting the post-a-week challenge.
My content stayed pretty much as I started out. Originally I titled my blog Random Thoughts from Midlife. Then as I read more about building a platform for my work and promoting myself as an author and my books, I realized I should have blogged under my name. I changed the title on the page accordingly, although the URL remains randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com, quite bulky and inconvenient. But I can’t face the thought of disrupting everything to change it. I own the domain name ChristineMGrote.com, but I’m using that for my fledgling website elsewhere.
Although my content is random, I’ve found I write consistently about several themes that include: my dad’s Alzheimer’s and its effect on me, Arthur, gardening, blogging, self-publishing, photography, and travel. I want to try to get more travel posts up because I think they are good for attracting people to the site from search engines.
What type of blogging strategy works best for you?
I like to sit down at my computer the very first thing in the morning and type out a blog while my brain is still fresh. Some days that doesn’t happen. Other days I have risen early with thoughts in my head needing to be expressed. Occasionally I work ahead when I have a good idea later in the day, or if I am trying to give myself a bit of a break. I plan to do this in January to stock up on posts for when my husband Mark is in the hospital getting both of his knees resurfaced. I may feel like writing a lot while I’m sitting in his hospital room, but I don’t want to count on it.
If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?
I would definitely get a shorter URL.
What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
Regarding my blog, I am proud of the body of work I produced. I think I have a variety of fairly interesting posts with some good photography at times. Outside of the blog, I am proud of writing, editing, and publishing Dancing in Heaven. Other than having and raising our children, I think I will look back on Dancing in Heaven as one of my greatest accomplishments.
What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly?
My advice to anyone who wants to blog regularly would be the same advice I’ve read in every writing book I’ve ever opened—sit down and start typing. Pick a time of day and stick with it. Just do it. Even if you don’t feel like it, just start typing, and hopefully if you sit there long enough and allow the process to work, the words will come.
What are your blogging goals for 2012?
I’m going to continue with blogging every weekday, but not beat myself up if I get disrupted by life occasionally.
I want to work on writing shorter, yet still meaningful posts. I also want to occasionally write a longer post that I spend more time on refining. In the fervor to produce daily, sometimes I don’t get the satisfaction that revising and rewriting bring. I also want to get back to my photography a little bit more. And I hope to continue to learn about videos and editing.
Do you have any new writing, blogging and or life goals for 2012? I’d love to hear from you.