It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t a race. It just happened. I blogged 15 times last month, which means that on average, I blogged once in two days. It may well be my personal record so, in this post, I’d like to reflect on those past 30+ days.
Blogging every day forces you to notice the details of your life. You need fodder for the day’s post. And you’ll scour your world to get it. You become hyper-aware. You find ways to turn little subtleties into big ideas. You start writing with questions only to be faced with answers by the time you reach the end of the post. Your headspace literally becomes transformed. (How one year of daily blogging changed my life by Jonas Ellison)
What happens if you decide to or just blog every day or once in two days? First of all, blogging becomes your life for a while; it becomes an obsession. One of the downsides of excessive blogging is that you can’t get it out of your head and the same acute questions keep niggling at the back of your mind: Have I taken care of all the errors and misspelling in my latest post? Have I expressed myself clearly? Do I sound pathetic?
But there are perks to intense blogging too. I can’t help smiling when I think of all the enthusiasm with which I looked forward to every new morning. I would wake up around 8:30 am, when all the house was still in bed (teenagers and teachers on holiday are impossible!) and I would work on the post I had started the previous day or I would start a new one. Alternatively, I would just read other people’s posts, which lead to more inspiration.
Over time, the process of writing has become incredibly enjoyable for me. This joy is the consequence as well as the cause; the more I write, the easier and thus more pleasurable it gets and the more pleasurable it gets the more I want to write. Plus the more I write, the more I’m keen to read and the more ideas come to my mind in return. Blogging has become a drug, in the best and worst sense of the word.
However, while in the past, it was the clicks and likes I got from the viewers that to a large extent affected my writing enthusiasm and confidence, these days, my passion springs from another source. While I deeply appreciate the fact that people stop by and take the time to get involved in a discussion, my primary motivation is the desire to put words on paper.
It may sound terribly shallow, even self-indulgent, but it’s obviously not just that. Producing random words or sentences is not what feels so good about blogging. In my case, it’s the joy over the ability to express myself in another language. It’s the satisfaction I feel when I manage to get the message across. It’s the struggle of transforming my inner voice into a coherent piece of text. It’s the process of playing with and shaping that text until I’m fully satisfied. Plus the fact that it gets easier and faster each day, with each try.
Based on what I’ve read, many bloggers like to save random blog-worthy ideas in the form of many separate drafts which give them great content ideas to come back to. Some say they even have up to fifty drafts. This is amazing given that I’ve never had more than one draft at the same time. Once I turn an idea into a draft, I need to finish it. Starting another draft usually means abandoning the previous one. It’s no longer worthy of attention and it will never be because it wasn’t finished. Having so many drafts would feel somehow cluttered for me anyway. It sounds strange now that I read it back but this is the way I write (and live?) – I need to focus on one thing. Once it’s completed, I let go of it and move on.
Some bloggers say they like to polish their writing by reading it backward and that they like to sleep on the final draft before they publish it. This pragmatic approach is probably suitable for most types of writing. Unfortunately, I’m not that patient and conscientious and this is where my blogging productivity may actually stem from. Upon finishing a post, I suddenly feel a strong urge to publish it even though I suspect there might still be some flaws. At some point, perfect or flawed, it must go and start living its own life. And each post clearly has its own, independent life – it’s shared on different social media, it’s read by a different number of people, it’s of interest for a different amount of time, and it gets a different type of response. I, the writer, have virtually no control over any of the variables.
This lack of control is daunting as well as thrilling. You can obviously delete a post if things go out of hand but it’s like wanting to delete words once spoken. They will never disappear completely.
Anyway, I’ll soon be away from my laptop so I’ll clam up for a while. I’d like to thank all the people who were with me all the time during this rather hectic blogging period. I’d like to thank those who appreciated the strengths as well as those who pointed out the flaws. Thanks for helping me make my obsession bearable.
7 thoughts on “It just happened – I blogged”
Hi Hana, thanks for letting us look behind the scenes! Even though I don’t have your experience, the feeling from blogging I get is quite similar. They’re also my favourite type of text these days because I don’t have much time in the evening to read books. I’ve always liked writing and it has been very easy for me – although I do write in a wordy, casual style, so important texts, like academic papers or sensitive emails are really difficult. Maybe that’s why blogging is so enjoyable:-) One thing I do differently : many years of translating and me being quite careless, I do know it’s better to sleep on a text. If I can leave it sit for a few days, even better. Thanks for writing so much this past month, I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. Kamila
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Thanks, Kamila. I’m glad you feel the same about blogging and it definitely shows in the way you write. And that’s why I love reading your blog. And you are right, blogging is a special genre – short, to the point, emotional, personal, you name it. As a blogger, you’re not obliged to follow any rules. That’s why I like reading blogs posts as well as writing them. I totally agree with you that it’s good to leave a post sit for a few days. However, I think I’d discard 50% of the stuff I was about to publish if I allowed myself to wait so long. 🙂 Also, I know some of my posts are worse than others, but I’m glad I finally finished and published them all. I don’t want to sound too pathetic but each of them reflects a tiny piece of me.
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Well done, Hana! I understand you completely! BTW, I also can’t have multiple drafts, an ide begun must be finished!
Continue blogging, it’s good for you and for us, your readers. You are an amazing teacher and I learn so much from you!!!
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Thanks for sharing. It is great to read your blogs about teaching and conferences. Could you get in touch with me about blogging? I have one or two questions for you. I can be reached on email@example.com