Reflections on the 2013 blogathon; a new schedule

Eramosa River drain and reflections

I had intended to post a list of wisdom gained from participating in the 2013 WordCount Blogathon, but to be honest it all came fairly naturally. Most of the mechanics were already in place. Maybe I did not set challenging enough goals, and maybe I did not pursue intensely enough the ones I set.

On the other hand, I had an intensely busy month for reasons other than the Blogathon. I handled other writing assignments and joined a Freelance Success marketing challenge, which runs for another four weeks. With MagNet magazine conference, Ontario Handspinning Seminar and a trip to open up the cottage and do the Breeding Bird Survey, I spent 13 days away from home and had to pre-write most of those posts.

I am amazed that I just kept writing, and that it was accomplished enjoyably without panic. I attribute this to the fact that in the past year I have graduated my writing from a calling to a career.

However, equally as valuable was the sense of team spirit engendered by the Blogathon. I was never alone. Motivation to write came from knowing others were doing the same and expected me to follow through, sharing links to my daily posts.

Blogging through the course of the year can feel less rewarding when posts receive few comments or the number of page views diminishes. Writing can be a lonely prospect. As already recognized earlier this month, in Crowd control for introverts, I must maintain social engagement to keep myself purposefully moving forward.

After the 2012 Blogathon I committed to blogging three times a week for the course of the year. I achieved that fairly well, though enthusiasm waned from November through March. Some of the challenge came from learning to juggle a slow but steady stream of freelance assignments beginning in December. The change of seasons also affected my energy level.

This year I renew my commitment to post on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. However, I also want to add some structure to the course of a month:

  • I have been experimenting with nature news roundups. These are a good practice to keep myself (and anyone else who is interested) informed. I plan to continue posting these on at least the second and fourth Fridays of each month.
  • For me, one of the most interesting challenges of the month was to create a new pencast. This stretches me in various ways, brushing off artistic skills and pushing myself into the scary zone of spoken word. Besides, it is fun to combine the ancient custom of keeping a natural history notebook with modern technology. Thanks to those who encouraged my embryonic effort. I plan to make this a regular installment on the second Tuesday of each month.
  • Everybody likes nature photography. Photovember, a month-long photo blog, was well-received here, and it gave me a chance to focus on visual expression. Now Thursday will become photo blog day at Speed River Journal.
  • That still leaves at least five days a month free for essays, articles and interviews.

I’ll be happy to hear your feedback. What would you like to see more of? Less of?

6 thoughts on “Reflections on the 2013 blogathon; a new schedule

  1. My experience this month was similar to yours—and oddly, I’ve also been thinking of a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday posting schedule moving forward!

    Trading guest posts with you was definitely a highlight of the blogathon for me this year.

  2. Van – I do enjoy seeing your photos and nature reports, as well as following along on y’all’s yarn adventures, so please keep posting them.

    Like you and Jen, I’ll transition into a 3x weekly posting schedule for BooksYALove, probably Monday, Wed, Friday.

    Hooray, we all survived another Blogathon!

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