A New Challenger Awaits
A bit over a year ago I embarked on what I called the “grand experiment” and idea to force myself to blog something new each and every day. Since then I’ve awoken each morning, and gone through the process of writing a brand new post. At this point I have over four hundred thirty of these posts and I don’t intend to stop the momentum any time soon. There are so many days when doing this is a struggle, but I feel like I am committed to something larger than myself. There are many days the fact that I have gone so long without breaking the chain is the only thing that gives me the drive to finish a post. Even when I feel like I have no inspiration at all, the act of sitting down and working through my ritual seems to cause a post to materialize in front of me.
This past month my wife decided to take on the challenge of posting something every day and she has gone through some of the same struggles I did starting out. There are so many days I felt like I didn’t really have anything worth posting, or that anyone would be interested in reading. It turns out that oddly enough I have this group of readers that are interested in me, and not so much what I happen to be reading about. But watching her go through this struggle gave me an idea. The Newbie Blogger initiative has been amazing and produces some great writers, and gives us a month to focus on promoting this new talent. What I am suggesting is that we follow this initiative up with a challenge of sorts, our own version of NaNoWriMo in a way.
The idea is rather simple. During the month of August I challenge you my blogging peers to take up the mantle of daily posts. To win the contest, you must post one new entry each day. Now personally I tend to view staged posts that are written in batch as cheating, to make things easier on the varied schedules this is totally fair game. There are several of you out there that already post regularly… and that is awesome. I totally hope each and every one of you will enter into the challenge, but what I am hoping even more is to spur the folks who post maybe once a week into producing content more regularly. The media has said that blogging is dead… and I want us to prove to the world that it is very much alive and breathing. Additionally my intent is to try and advertise as many of the daily bloggers as I can through my own blog and social media outlets.
The act of blogging every day is a truly awesome thing… but I want more from you. More or less I am targeting the gaming blogosphere with this concept. We are all very comfortable writing a post about this game or that, and generally not so comfortable writing about ourselves. One of the big things that came out of my “Grand Experiment” has been a willingness to share my life with you all. Trust me it was not the easiest thing to do, but as a bonus I challenge you all to try and do the same. I am talking baby steps here and not expecting folks to do anything like my “Factoid February” right away. While I appreciate good gaming content, ultimately I care about the person behind the screen and not the persona you develop.
As an additional effort I challenge you all to start being more personal. If something happens of note in your life, even if it is not gaming related… share it in blog post form. This really serves two purposes. Firstly you are letting your readers behind the scenes into your life, and showing that you have the same struggles everyone has. Secondly writing from your own life is a good way to solve the whole writers block issue that will hit you around the second week. Each of us leads a far more interesting life than we think, but I admit I was scared to share too much of myself. I thought I would see everyone that was reading my blog run screaming into the night. Turns out that apparently folks actually liked it, and I have noticed a slow and steady increase in my readership since I started trying to share more of myself in each days post.
A Little Help Along the Way
While August is still a few weeks out, I wanted to get the word out so folks could “psyche” themselves up for this. I will not however be throwing you all to the wolves and expecting you to complete this journey alone. Right now I am working on all sorts of “fodder” to help you spur your creative juices. My intent is to have a huge post or two of blog prompts so that when you are struggling to find something you want to write about… you can cherry pick one of those and create brilliance. Additionally while I am already doing this… we will be in essence embarking on this mission together. As a community we will help each other stay true to the mission.
One of the most awesome things about NaNoWriMo was the support I got from the other members of the twitter blogger community. I would have never reached the goal if not for the support of awesome people like MMOGC and BlueKae just to name a couple. So while I am already doing this and have done it for a year now… we are still in this together. When you resolve to writing each and every day… there is a point at which it just magically becomes easier. I feel like at this point I could sit down and knock out a few paragraphs on almost any subject if needed… and that is a pretty awesome thing. I’ve found this also help me in the working world, as I am never afraid to tackle a project charter or writing a large block of copy. If you endeavor to join this adventure, I promise there will be a hand to hold in the process.
I am still working on the details here, but I want there to be something cool from participating. At the very least you will have earned the right to post an “I Survived Blaugust 2014” trophy on your blog sidebar, but I want there to be something more as well. My plan is to enter everyone that participates in a drawing for something larger. I just have not determined what exactly that “larger” is and some of that will be determined by just how many people participate. Ultimately I will come up with something cool, and will be keeping folks updated as we get closer to the August 1st start date. My hope is that I am giving more than enough warning to let folks prepare for the challenge.
I threw together a quick Anook community for the Blaugust event because I figured it would be the easiest way to coordinate things. Please pop over and join the nook!