August 2007: Blogging Year in Review

23:59 Wed 01 Aug 2007
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I started posting every day one year ago. I haven’t missed a day in that time, which I’m happy about. I’ve written quite a few posts I’m happy with, and only a few I really dislike.

Last August, I planned for a month of daily posts. I said that one of the reasons for posting every day was to see if it brought up a lot of things I wanted to write about. In that regard it’s worked very well, I’ve covered a lot of disparate material that I simply would not have written about without the practice of doing daily writing.

In terms of the practice of writing for public consumption, that’s also worked very well. Over the last year I’ve written in a variety of modes, about a lot of different things, and I’ve put them up on the blog. I’m very comfortable with doing so now, and that’s a big improvement.

I had some rules to follow. In general, I tried to write posts with some weight, rather than just links or pointers elsewhere. I did fairly well on that. I also refused to write any posts about not having anything to write, or any posts about how hard I was finding it to figure out what to write about (not including discussing it afterwards, which is different).

I’ve done some major projects as part of the daily posting, like the microfiction version of my science fiction novel, like The Annotated Fantasy Bedtime Hour, and like the fiction-every-two-days schedule I wrote to over the last month. Those have been important for me, especially the first one. Getting the microversion of the novel out has helped me to work on it once again (even though that’s been slow, I don’t think I’d be doing it at all without the work I did last September), and has definitely made it much easier for me to write fiction again.

AFBH was important in a different way, in that it forced me to put in so much time every day for thirty-five days. Sticking to that schedule was hard, but it’s good to remind myself that I can do that when I decide to. AFBH is actually unfinished, as there have been five episodes since I did that run, and I have to cover the rest of them. I plan to do this over the next few months.

This last month, with its heavy focus on writing fiction pieces, has been great, again helping me to be comfortable with just putting work out there. I’ve written some things I love, and those things would not exist if I hadn’t pushed myself to keep to that schedule. It’s also been hard, because it’s so unpredictable—at least with AFBH it was clear that covering an episode wouldn’t take more than, say, three-and-a-half hours, whereas I found it incredibly difficult to constrain the fiction in time. Sometimes it just took a long, long time, time mostly composed of frustratedly trying and failing to come up with ideas. But it’s absolutely helped me exercise my creative muscles.

Nevertheless, I’m going to take a break from it, essentially because I need more sleep and prdictability in my schedule. I want to go back to writing posts that take more like thirty minutes, which is hard to do with anything, but harder again with fiction. I also want to work on other writing projects, such as the science fiction novel, and so I need some of that time back. I’m not ruling out fiction posts, but they will be rarer, at least for the near future. I also want to work on longer pieces. Right now I think I’ll try to constrain blog posts to thirty minutes, edit the science fiction novel for thirty minutes, and work on some longer piece for thirty minutes every day. That’s what I was doing when I finally wrote ‘Coup’, and it worked very well except for the fact that the blog posts kept expanding in terms of time spent on them.

Despite how much good the daily schedule has done me, I’m going to try changing that too, at least for this month. I’m switching to a five-days-a-week schedule, skipping Wednesdays and Saturdays. I don’t have time on Wednesdays to write posts before I play MTG, and having to write a post after coming in around midnight is hard on me. Yes, I’ve done it for a year, but it really hasn’t been good for my sleep. As for Saturdays, one weekend day where I don’t have to worry about posting seems like a good idea—and I often ended up, over the last year, working deep into Sunday morning on my Saturday post.

So that’s the State of the Blog. I’m extremely happy I’ve done it for the past year, and I’ve gained a lot from it and its sub-projects. Hopefully the tweaks I’m making will improve things both off the blog and on—and give me time to make some technical tweaks to the site itself.

As always, thanks to all my readers!

5 Responses to “August 2007: Blogging Year in Review”

  1. monsun Says:

    Congratulations on your amazing persistence and organizational skills! And thanks for all your posts – it was a great pleasure to read them.

  2. kevintel Says:

    Well done, it’s been a pleasure reading your posts, whether or not I agreed with them, or anything else.

    Sterling work!

  3. sean Says:

    Yes indeed, it’s a good read your blog.

  4. lusciousblopster Says:

    well done tadhg! known for a while that the end of the year of daily blogging was approaching, and it’s excellent that you did it every day for a year. amazing. enjoy it, and enjoy the extra time that doing it a little less often will give you – it’s all about bringing in the goats…love, s

  5. Tadhg Says:

    Apparently finishing a year of blogging burned me out completely on replying to comments, so I’m catching up after about six weeks. Thanks to all of you for the support!

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