Yesterday was crazy. It was one of those days when moments after checking my phone I realized things had gone south with the patch cycle from the night before. I tried remoting into things from home and had no luck, so I hurriedly shower, dressed and drove into work to see if I could raise anyone to get the matter resolved. I left so rapidly that I freaked my poor wife out who was out on a walk… and she came home to my vehicle being missing from the drive way. The other bad thing is that I didn’t actually get breakfast meaning I was probably more grumpy than intended during the entire day. The problem with running on adrenaline is that there is an inevitable crash… which came about noonish. All of this said… I didn’t get to do a morning blog post yesterday and I was not in the proper frame of mind when I got home to do one either.
As a result this morning I am going to use this incident as a teaching moment. There will be times when you just cannot force a blog post out of yourself… and that is okay. When I was doing my “Grand Experiment” that involved posting every single day I managed to make it 1121 days without missing a post or a little over three years. That streak sorta developed a life of its own as time went on, but I knew sooner or later I would need to break it for my own sanity. Knowing that regardless of the day that you had to get up and write something was fairly oppressive. I would literally day dream about stopping cold turkey, and then ultimately talk myself back down off that ledge. Ultimately when the time came I made a compromise and switched the blog for the last couple of years over to week days only, that way I could have the weekends to myself to leisurely do whatever comes along.
The truth is… I would have probably been a lot happier with my streak of posts if I had allowed myself to have the occasional day off. The thing with posting is that you need to be doing it regularly to gain reader traction, which for me at least translated into forcing myself to post something regardless of circumstances every day. The truth however is that you simply need not to allow yourself to fall completely off the wagon. It is fine to take a few days off here or there but for me at least the most important aspect is to get back to posting as soon as you feel able to. The early days of my blog were a tale of a flurry of posts with massive gaps in between… some of them months long. The longer I was away the harder it seemed to create a post worth the justification of how long I was gone. It was as though I needed to come up with some epic reason why I just wasn’t feeling up to writing about myself or the games I was playing.
In my experience however you just need to post something… anything… to get yourself over the hump after an absence. You could post about what you had for breakfast… or in my case yesterday the lack thereof. You talk about whatever stressers caused you to need to duck your head back into your shell and turtle for awhile. You could write about something on the horizon that you are looking forward to, or about something that you just accomplished that you are still thinking about. The point is just to write something to get yourself over that initial gap in content and back into the habit of regularly posting again.
One of the things that I like about my current schedule is I feel like it gives me the room for these gaps. Is it an extended weekend that includes a few days of vacatrion? Then I have the option of writing on those days or just saying screw it and taking the entire time off from the blog. Is there a time when life has just become too much and I cannot fit proper writing in? Then a gap in the middle of the week is honestly no worse than a gap at the end of it. Basically the schedule that allows for absences and not holding myself to some nonsense like those 1121 posts in a row… makes the blogging experience far more livable.
I think ultimately that is why I have shifted things around this year for Blaugust is that I realized over time I was trying to get people to sign up for something that was largely unrealistic. After that first Blaugust I noticed that the majority of “winners” that managed to get in all 31 posts in a month… also wound up taking a full month off as a result. A not insignificant number of those blogs simply ceased to exist afterwards… or maybe had a few false starts at getting back at posting without ever really returning. Basically Blaugust and that schedule had killed blogs… which was the exact opposite of what I was hoping would happen. I kept shifting around the format until in 2016 I simply couldn’t handle taking anything else on that year… as was apparently the case with all of the events in our community. So now as Blaugust has returned… my hope has been that the focus be on just posting more regularly and also participating in the community… rather than trying to run some race.
I am not entirely certain if this post will help anyone, but I thought it was worth talking about the mindset I now take towards dealing with absences. I hope you are having an awesome day and I highly suggest getting out and checking some of the other blogs participating in Blaugust. Here are some resources to help you get started…
- Google Sheet of Participants I am maintaining
- Blaugust 2018 OPML List that Nogamara/Armagon is maintaining
- Blaugust 2018 Twitter List that Chestnut is maintaining
There is still plenty of time left in the month to participate. If you are interested check out some of these links.
- Original Blaugust Reborn Post on this blog
- Blaugust Reborn Sign-Up Sheet
- Blaugust Discord Server
- Crudely Hacked Together Blaugust Calendar of Events
Side note: The images don’t mean much of anything but I played some Monster Hunter World on PC last night and am getting tired of just posting the Blaugust logo over and over on these.