It’s day 26 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 and Z is for Ze End!
“You total cheat!”, I hear you cry. “That’s the worst ‘Z’ I’ve ever heard and that’s totally not how you’re supposed to do the A to Z Blogging challenge!”
But, if there’s anything I’ve learnt from the last month, it’s zat I don’t care. < Ha! My blog, my rules.
So yes, it’s ze end, ze Challenge is over, and I can rest E-Z (one for the American readers!). Well done to me, and well done to everyone else who’s managed it. Zuperb!
The blogging challenge – the first I’ve taken part in, and probably the last for a while – has been both a positive and negative experience.
It’s taught me that I can get more done with my time than I thought I could, even when I’m semi-conscious, but it’s also taught me that increasing the number of blog posts I write isn’t the right goal for me.
I’m glad I’m back in the swing of posting regularly, and I’ve learnt to push through with writing if a good idea is struggling to get written, but tapping out a blog post every day, with limited thinking, editing and reading time, just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s taken some of the fun out of blogging and made it a chore.
Posting every day, even when I haven’t really got anything to say, has attracted some lovely new readers to the blog – readers I hope will stay with me once April is over - but it’s also moved me away from why I started this blog in the first place – as an attempt to improve my writing and really get into creative writing in a way I haven’t been able to previously.
It’s also moved me into the more attention-hungry circle of bloggers, where the emphasis is on posting every day and attracting as much traffic as possible. While most of the comments I’ve received have been as thoughtful as ever, I’ve had some one-off superficial comments from bloggers who are just ‘doing the rounds’ and leaving their blog address in as many places as possible rather than discovering something they’re really drawn to. I’m happy to discover that I’d rather just post what I really want to and sacrifice that level of interaction. The regular readers, whose work and comments I enjoy, are the ones I really value.
One good thing that’s come from the challenge is that I’ve got more used to clicking ‘publish’ on stuff. Previously, there was still a level of anxiety associated with posting new items on the blog, but through sheer force of habit, that’s gone. People have seen my writing, they’ve liked it and not liked it, and it’s all fine. The world hasn’t ended, the blog is still here, and I’m still fine.
April has been a funny month for family issues too – estranged relatives have found and dissected the freelance copywriting podcast I record as part of my day job, taking their ‘concerns’ about my voice (?!) to my father and berating him for not seeing how fake I am. Of course.
I’ve no doubt that my blog will have been similarly examined and, while that feeling of being watched and judged would have filled me with dread a few years back, the sheer ridiculousness of the situation has taught me that this isn’t something I have control over. It isn’t my problem; it’s someone else’s.
I am who I am, I know what I like, and I do what I want. It’s a lovely lesson to have learnt, and one I think I’ll carry with me.