In the spirit of NaNoWriMo there have recently been challenges to blog (or micro blog) every day for a month; this has also followed through to December. It's great that these have been set in order to encourage people to blog more, to write more, to build a regular habit, but I'm personally past that.

I used to believe in showing up every day, my whole #write365 project was predicated on just that. As recently as a couple of years ago I posted for 200 days straight - until I didn't, and didn't mind. Now, I feel that's it's okay not to post - I think I'm at a stage where blogging is inherently part of who I am and will always be there but in a more organic fashion.

The blog highlights if there have been no posts on any given day and, more specifically, that I will not normally post at weekends. I decided to leave that there as much as a reminder to myself that it's okay not to post than to inform any reader.

  1. matthewlang says: #
    @colinwalker I completed the microblogging goal for November and I have to say it’s given me the push to blog more. I’m aiming for a small post every day, but I’m pushing to write longer posts on a daily basis.

    I used to think that I would be fine with not blogging for a period of time, but what happens with me is that I end up getting to the point where I wonder if it’s really worth keeping it going. I’ve hovered over the delete button for my blog a number of times this year. More than I care to admit.

    At the end of the day though, I enjoy the act of blogging once I get going with it, so I’m trying to make it more of daily habit.

  2. colinwalker says: #
    @matthewlang It’s good to push things to get into a habit but I think it gets to a point where blogging (like anything) becomes second nature and there isn’t the need to do it every day. I feel the silences can be just as valuable as the posts as the freedom to not post can prevent any resentment that you’re only posting to maintain a streak. At least that’s where I am. Giving myself permission not to post is liberating but probably means I post more frequently as a result.
  3. matthewlang says: #
    @colinwalker I hear you. I think once I’m back into the habit of blogging then I’ll be comfortable with taking that odd break in between.

    In the short term I am aiming to build up a little streak but only to get myself back to the point where I’m blogging consistently with breaks in between.

  4. gordonmclean says: #
    @colinwalker I’ve written up my thoughts on the Daily Blog challenge too. I found having the prompt made a HUGE difference as most days, even if I feel like writing, I can struggle to think of what to write about I haven’t covered before (20 years of blog content to try and recall too, pretty sure I’ve doubled up a few times!!).
  5. colinwalker says: #
    @gordonmclean The number of times during my Write365 project (back in 2014) that I started writing complete rubbish, even to the point of beginning “I have nothing to write about…” or “I’m writing about writer’s block as a way to beat writer’s block” but, after scribbling down a few paragraphs of nonsense, I usually found an idea bubble to the surface.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with covering the same things as our ideas, perspectives and opinions always morph and mutate over time, reflect who we are now, so it may be same topic but never the same post.

  6. richardleis says: #
    @colinwalker Thank you for sharing this. I think a goal to write a little every day can be a helpful milestone, especially when starting out, but, as you say, once writing becomes a habit, then there’s no reason to stick with such a strict schedule. The focus shifts from quantity and forming good habits to persistence, quality, and finishing projects.
  7. smokey says: #
    @colinwalker @richardleis Very well said, both of you 👍

    I think that in the “engagement” and FOMO eras we live in, the pressures of posting have distorted the nature of writing and have led to too much “post whatever comes into your head, without first thinking”, and it’s important to have “it’s OK not to write/post everyday” as a counterbalancing mantra to those.

  8. smokey says: #
    @bix I believe it’s not part of standard Markdown, only various supersets, and I guess the blogs use a different Markdown parser/flavor than the Timeline?
  9. smokey says: #
    @bix It looks like it fixed itself…? I see many italicized words and no obvious literal Markdown….
  10. bix says: #
    @smokey No. I fixed it without quite solving it. A bunch of what should have been spaces were being read as something else and effectively “escaping” the asterisks. No idea what the hell.

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