Blogging And You: How Is It Going?

I love blogging. I once saw it described as a random, unstructured way of sharing thoughts, ideas, grievances, hopes and dreams. Once I started my own blog, I quickly realised that this definition was simply not true. Blogging requires discipline, commitment and an array of organisational skills; in order to build an audience, it is most definitely a regular, structured endeavour.

In common with the mindset behind New Year’s resolutions, the huge majority of bloggers begin bursting with enthusiasm and resolve which rapidly wanes when the appeal of regular posting wears thin. And – with a huge shock – this is where I found myself in mid December. My own blog is still a new kid on the block – I began posting in April 2012. Although I vowed to post regularly over the Christmas period, somehow it didn’t happen. A little ‘looseness’ had crept in and each day I sensed a slight resistance to opening up my blog dashboard.

So I did what thousands of others do each year and pencilled in New Year’s Day for a fresh start and (for me) getting back on the blog wagon. But what inertia I’ve experienced today! I’m finally writing this post in the late afternoon after employing a shameful array of delaying tactics all morning. Finally, I was halfway through changing a bed (which didn’t need it) when I thought ‘ENOUGH!’ I left the pillows strewn on the floor and promptly opened up this ‘New Post’ page. To my delight, the old enjoyment and motivation is literally flooding back with each sentence. I’m back!

However I’m taking precautions by participating in a 30 day blog challenge. I know that committing to a burst of frequent posting will be good for me. Initially, I simply thought I’d make up my own challenge and write a little (or post an image or some audio) every day for 30 days but I’m now considering joining an organised group for the period. If anyone has experience of this or any thoughts to add I’d be grateful to hear them.

I know that several of my friends (on Facebook and Twitter too) maintain a blog. How is it going? Do you have any tips to share?

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  • http://twitter.com/TyHirFinistere Maria Richardson

    Interesting post Karen. I started (or restarted my blog) around the time you did. I agree with your comment “Blogging requires discipline, commitment and an array of organisational skills; in order to build an audience, it is most definitely a regular, structured endeavour.”

    I try to write about things that I am passionate about or interested in, mainly about Brittany which I am discovering slowly but also other things in my life like a play or film I might have seen. It always takes me much more time to write a post than I think it will. I like to use my photos to provide a visual link to what I describe in my posts. This in itself is time consuming in selecting them and then reformatting so they are blog friendly. Then I try to research my facts to make sure they are as accurate as possible, this often means translating information from French! I actually find it quite painful and tiring to write the posts sometimes but it is satisfying once they have been published. At the minimum it is a record of some lovely experiences that I have had even if no-one else looks at them!

    A 30 day blog challenge sounds interesting, no experience of such a thing so can’t help I’m afraid. The only tip I can provide is to blog about stuff you are passionate about and to get someone to read your posts before you publish them if possible.

    Bonne chance with your challenge!

    Maria x

    • KarenGuttridge

      I can identify with everything you say here Maria – and especially regarding the time commitment if you choose to use images in your posts! All that resizing, tweaking, cropping… As I tend to blog a lot about my passion for hiking/walking I feel that photos are essential – I would consider my posts incomplete without them. I was just surprised to be feeling lethargic about the whole thing because – as you said – I do blog about things that truly interest me!

      I think I’m back on board now(!) and am thinking about posts for the rest of this week and beyond. I was just interested to see if anyone else was suffering from a little flagging enthusiasm.

      And – incidentally – I have read quite a few of your posts. Love Brittany :-)

  • http://twitter.com/alyssaavant Alyssa Avant

    I’m a bit scared by this challenge myself. Glad others feel the same way!

    • KarenGuttridge

      Hi Alyssa – it’s a bit daunting but we can do it! Look forward to reading your posts :-)

  • http://twitter.com/chloegreene21 Chloe Greene

    Interesting. I think the urge to blog is about facing outwards and wanting to connect with people. And what happens over the Christmas/New Year period is that you retreat into family and friends mode. Well I do.

    And once the blogging and Twitter momentum is stopped it feels strange to go back there.

    I have been posting a story in seven parts. Not the easiest thing for readers I know because if they miss an installment the story may not make sense.

    • KarenGuttridge

      That’s a really interesting idea which I’d never considered – I think you may be right. Also I’ve noticed with many things in life that once the momentum is broken it can be such an uphill struggle to regain motivation. This always surprises me – as I’d chosen to engage in an activity in the first place because it was enjoyable!

      I think posting in parts is a good idea – it prompts us to subscribe so we don’t miss the next installment – which I’ve just done!! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/colpeakbagger Col Wood

    Very interesting blog – I only started my blog in July and I have found I write in little flurries. I might write a couple of posts in a week and then nothing for a month. I love the act of writing and the interaction with people who leave comments on it or via twitter and therefore I always try to write something worthwhile rather than just doing a blog for the sake of it which is probably why I write in fits and starts lol. Keep up the good work – Col

    • KarenGuttridge

      I agree Col – sometimes if I feel forced to write, the post is not up to the standard I’d like. But if I don’t have some kind of posting schedule, I can easily let things slide! I think I’m going to aim for 2 posts a week in 2013 but if I have nothing worthwhile to post, I won’t! I’ll head over and take a look at your blog later today :-)

  • Phoebe Thomas

    I’ve just spent a lovely hour or so reading through your blog having not visited for a while and I’m so impressed to find that you’ve been going for such a short time. I started my blog at the same time as you but I got the feeling reading this, and all your many posts, that you’re so much more established than me. I’m writing this long after your challenge but once again, I’m impressed that you did that. I can’t imagine ever having the discipline to succeed with such a thing. I aim to get 6 posts out a month and rarely manage it. Life always gets in the way (I have young kids and find I just can’t get anything done during school holidays for example). I agree with Maria that choosing, editing and uploading photos take a long time but the result is worth it. You’ve inspired me to be more disciplined and write shorter posts! Thanks for that!!

    • KarenGuttridge

      Hi Phoebe

      The blogging challenge was hard. From talking to other bloggers, I think we all have times when creating a post is a real struggle and also when doubts creep in and we feel it’s just not worth it. We ask ourselves “Who’s reading my stuff anyway…?” I continually have to reappraise what I’m doing and it’s so easy for blogging frequency to drop off. I’m currently in the process of designing a timetable I can stick with as, yet again, the gaps between posts are growing! Thanks so much for your comments – let me know how you get on! :-)