State of the Blog 2016 – Day One

Sure, it’s the middle of February, but I can still take a look back…

Recently (read: yesterday), I was completing a job application – Cover letter, resume, the works – and got to the point of needing to submit a writing sample. I headed over to my blog to see what I could find related to the job, and discovered that I didn’t have much to work with. Not only did I not have much related to the topic, but I didn’t have much at all. I didn’t even have to take off my shoes to count how many posts I wrote in 2016.

I wrote 10 posts in 2016 that got put on my blog, and maybe 5 that I scrapped. I had a major gap between March and September, and even my little gaps were substantial. Even now in 2017 I haven’t posted in over a month.

I don’t like the lack of posts. As I’m sure I’ve either written about her or discussed in some form on YouTube (or perhaps in one of the posts I scrapped), I am a perfectionist, and I want everything I do to be done not just as well as possible, but perfectly. There are times when that mindset is important and necessary, but there are other times where perfectionism is a hindrance to growth.

This would be one of those times.

I thought that I’d been creating a fair amount, if not a relatively large amount, of stuff – videos, blog posts, pictures, etc. However, I don’t think I understood what “a lot” actually meant until yesterday. I am pretty far away from “a lot.” There are reasons why I haven’t produced as much content recently other than just a desire for perfection; some of my ideas have been more involved and needed more time to create, and I also have a job right now outside of this, but I’ve hit a point now where I’m not happy with the amount I’m creating, and I want to challenge myself to do more.

Starting today, I will be blogging every day. The goal will be to write and post every day, with each post being at least 1,000 words. My initial thought was to write 2,000, but he typical count on my seminary papers was 300 words equalled 1 double-spaced page of writing, so 2,000 is like writing 7 pages. Nobody wants to read that much from a daily blog post, thus the 1,000 word count. I’m sure I don’t know how challenging this will be right now. The word at the end of this sentence is number 438. I’m not even halfway to 1,000 yet.

Luckily, I was able to think of at least 10 different things to write about as I was laying in bed last night, so ideas likely won’t be the issue, at least not initially. Figuring out what to say may be more of the challenge, and has been the challenge in the past. I don’t expect that many of my posts will be information heavy or intellectually heavy, or research based in the way that much of my previous writing has been. It’s very possible that this blog will turn into a journal of sorts, so consider yourself warned.

  1. Getting closer.

I think that’s the full summary of the state of the blog after 2016 – not as many posts as I want, much more to come. For anyone interested in what this will look like on social media, I plan on letting these posts still automatically update on the blog’s social media pages (facebook.com/mnmohawkblog and twitter.com/mnmohawkblog), but sharing on my own pages will happen less. Much of what I try sharing on my own pages is related to the research heavier type posts, so that will likely be what gets shared in those places.

Finally here, I want to wonder out loud about what success means with this project, or how I would consider myself successful on the other side of this period. I know there are a great number of metrics to use regarding success here, including things like the number of posts that go up and whether they do happen daily, the number of people who read each post and whether there is growth in that number, and a great many other things. However, I think it’s hard to measure a feeling of “I’m being more creative,” or “I feel that my writing is getting better.” Certainly I and many others who create things want those things to be viewed, but my greater goal here is the idea of being more creative and getting better at this. Quite frankly, there is a lot of garbage that gets a lot of views, and I have more interest in feeling that I am good at what I do, am producing quality content, and am growing, and hold much less stock in solely holding readership numbers up as the standard by which I compare myself to my worth. I would rather be proud of my work and share that.

Unfortunately for high quality standards me, sometimes you have to suck in order to get better, so some of this won’t be great. I’ll likely say things I regret, phrase things poorly, make mistakes factually and otherwise, and feel crappy about quality very often. If anyone from the present or future cares, mark this as some day in some calendar of when progress started to happen, or something (and as the day when I still needed to think really hard about how to spell “calendar.”)

I look forward to the challenge of creating every day, and I hope someone enjoys what I write and what I write about. I hope I enjoy what I write and write about. If you’d like to join me every day on my “quest” for 1,000 words, I would be happy to have you; if you want to stop by from time to time, that’s great too. If you’re not so interested, I’m surprised you made it this far in the post, but thanks, and I hope to see you again at some point in the future. Feel free to follow me at the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter pages, which should be conveniently widget-ed on this blog to the right of your screen.

1,070 words. Thus marks the end of day one. Thanks for reading.

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