Over the weekend, I read this article. “How one year of daily blogging changed my life“. As I was reading, I kept thinking, this could be me. (except for the part about writing for other publications) Regular readers will know that I touch upon the concept of blogging for the sake of blogging periodically. Just do a search of the blog for the term.
A couple of months ago, inspired by another blog post, this time from Carolanne Johnson, I had written the post “Starting a blog – extended“. In itself, it had been the basis for a sketchnote from Sylvia Duckworth.
When you meld the concepts there with the post by Jonus Ellison, I think it describes the blogging condition perfectly for me.
It’s not the formal construct of a blog, per se, but the chance to be one with your thoughts on a particular topic. I suspect that all teachers do some writing in one form or another. It might be in a day planner, your own blog, a diary, who knows? In my former job, I started with accumulating stories and sharing them with colleagues and I also created a monthly newsletter – first on paper and then digitally. In between monthly newsletters, I was blogging here. Digital opened new doors because it expanded the potential audience. I made so many great friends throughout the province and beyond. I even took a shot at podcasting, with some success, but it required a completely different environment and devotion to the finished product. And, quite frankly, I have a voice that’s perfect for blogging.
What’s worked well for me is to not tie myself to a particular theme. I’ll blog about anything that strikes my imagination at the time.
I agree with the highlighted section in Mr. Ellison’s post.
These days, I try to blog daily. If I don’t, or I mess up the timed post, I hear about it from loyal reader Aviva. She sends the nicest notes and avoids the word “dummy” when it’s clear that I’ve mistimed something.
If you believe in statistics, here are my current stats.
It’s somehow comforting to know that I have that many drafts waiting to be turned into posts. Whether they do or not depends upon whether they remain relevant and I go back and finish them. There’s a whole other section of ideas in my Evernote account to supplement those. As noted above, you look for those little subtleties. Such are the real advantages of being digitally connected. Got an idea, see an idea, got a thought, read an inspirational blog post? It’s just a matter of tucking it away. I’d never be able to remember them all.
The other real concern in all of this is time. That can’t be overlooked at all. I have a particular routine that has worked well for me for years.
- I’m an early riser and I usually get an hour by myself from 5-6am where I can have the daily news on in the background and my reading in the foreground. It’s a wonderful formula for inspiration and I share what I think are the most relevant at the moment. Most are shared publically but there are times when I need to think more deeply and those get tucked away to a reading list for later review. Sometimes, I even do it.
- Do the writing. I’ve mentioned before; I’ve a firm believer that the mind is an amazing thing and does so much in the background. I can usually put together a blog post in 30-60 minutes, schedule it for the next day at 5am and then get on with other things.
- Time permitting, I may revisit the post with extra thoughts as they come. It’s a real advantage of scheduled posts – they aren’t necessarily done when you click publish. The “Update Post” button is your friend.
- Throughout the day, if I see/read/hear something of interest, a quick note on whatever device is at hand stores it for potential reuse.
- In the evening, I’ll do a final proofread of the post just so that I hopefully don’t embarrass myself!
- Read blogs, Twitter feed, and newsletter. Over time, I’ve cobbled together a selection of the best of the best.
- And, it’s a day…first thing in the morning I’ll check to make sure that the post has gone live as it’s supposed to. I can’t leave it all to Aviva.
I know that different people have different routines. This works for me and has been a real catalyst for ensuring that I do something regularly. I know that if I left things until I got some sort of inspiration, it would never happen.
It’s always nice when people comment or share one of your blog posts. But, where the real satisfaction comes is sitting back and flipping through blog posts just to see how my thinking has changed/matured/deteriorated.
What do you think? Could you blog or reflect daily? Do you have a routine that you follow?
I’d love to read your thoughts.