Blogathon Wrap-Up 2014


Last year just days before it began, I heard from my blogging friend Kate about the 2013 WordCount Blogathon.  I needed some blogging accountability, so I jumped at the chance.  It was a great experience in all kinds of ways, and I had planned a wrap up post the first week of July.  July got crazy fast, though, and I didn't ever get that wrap up post written.  Now, of course, I remember almost none of what I'd planned to include in that post.

I did, however, remember that it was a great experience, and I was excited about doing it again this year.  I think I've actually published less posts in the last year than in any year I've been blogging.  I really needed the challenge of posting daily.

When I began searching for info on this year's Blogathon, however, I discovered there wasn't going to be one.  I was seriously disappointed, although I completely understood that Michelle Rafter was maxed out with business and personal responsibilities and didn't have the time to host.  It's a huge time investment to run such a production, and Michelle does a fabulous job.

As I pondered the lack of the June blogging challenge, I decided I'd just do my own.  It wouldn't be in any way the same, but perhaps it would still give me the jumpstart I needed. Somewhere around May 31, I decided I'd do it.  However, I wouldn't start it until June 2 (we had a big event June 1 that I wanted to get behind me first), and I'd extend it through July 2.  I would open it up to other bloggers if any wanted to participate, although I knew I didn't have nearly the traffic or resources to garner a great deal of participation.

I went to Michelle's blog later that day and discovered that there had been a change of plans, and Blogathon 2014 would in fact happen, although in a somewhat different form than last year.  I was so excited!  But...that meant starting on June 1.  I was nowhere near ready!

This year's Blogathon has been a much different experience than last year's for me.  It's odd, because on paper, we were busier last June than this June, at least looking  at things from the beginning of the month.  This year, though, I've just felt like a dog chasing its tail all month long.  I kept thinking, "As soon as _____________________ is over, I'll be able to sit down and make a plan and  get some posts prepped ahead so I'm not scrambling every night.   But...it's now June 25 and I'm still trying!

I didn't post a Tech Tuesday post yesterday, due to wanting to get my 2014 summer reading list up, so I decided today's kinda-sorta techy post would be a rather early Blogathon wrap up. 

Here are my thoughts from this year so far:

1. Having external accountability really helps me.  REALLY helps me.  It's purely mental...absolutely NOTHING is going to happen to me if I miss a day posting during Blogathon, but for some reason, I'm just determined to push through and post something every day just so I can say "I did it!"  My competetive nature, perhaps?  Maybe.  I'm not sure.  But the challenge helps.

2.  I don't like posting just for the sake of posting.  I already knew this, actually. but it's been SO evident to me during this month.  If I'm going to post, I want it to be worthwhile.  I really, really don't feel good about the posts I've published solely so that I can say I've posted that day.  This is why blogging prompts aren't especially helpful for me.   Unless a prompt really hits a chord with something that is important to me, I'd just rather skip it. 

3.  The ideal for me would be to post 5 days a week, with at least 3 of those posts scheduled (finished and set to auto-post) ahead of time.  I need to find some sort of ongoing accountability with a bit of flexibility included.

4. There's just a part of my right-brained, creative side that has a really hard time with keeping up with a pre-planned blog schedule.  I've said before that I am about blogging the way I am about scrapbooking...in scrapbooking, I have to be "in the mood" to scrap a certain page.  I work much better if I work in conjunction with inspiration striking.  I struggle with weekly series for that reason.  For instance, yesterday should have been Tech Tuesday, but (1) with Mother needing help this week after her fall, I just haven't had time to do what needs to be done for any of my planned Tech Tuesday posts, and (2) I really, really wanted to get my book list posted without any further ado. 

5.  My brain fog issues of recent years just compound #4.  There are just certain posts that need more clarity than I have on certain days.  I've really seen that during this year's Blogathon.  I've had a bunch of partially finished posts hanging out in drafts or in Evernote since last fall.  They should have been easy to finish and post during this last month.  However, I've passed over them more than once this month.  Some require deeper thought than I've been capable of this month.  Others require some outside research I just haven't had time for.  Still others are waiting for photos I haven't had the opportunity to take yet.  So there they sit. 

6. One of the things I learned from last year's Blogathon was that I need to actively work on overcoming numbers 4 and 5.  While there is nothing wrong with working with the flow of creative inspiration, nor is there anything wrong with having the flexibility to switch things up on occasion, part of being a writer of any kind is being able to complete assignments and meet deadlines.  There have been nights this month (and during last year's Blogathon as well) when I've thought I simply couldn't type a word when I've pushed through due to the challenge, and I've actually been happy with the results.  I need to work on a good balance here. 
So there you have it...what I've learned (so far!) from Blogathon 2014. (And with the close of this post, we're down to five days and counting...yay!!!)

Thanks again to Michelle Rafter and Freelance Success for hosting this year's Blogathon! 
Have you ever participated in a 30-day (or other type) challenge?  What kind?  What did you learn?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments here or on Facebook!


If a post or posts on Ponderings of an Elect Exile has been a blessing to you, would you do me a huge favor?  Please share the link to Ponderings with your friends using the social media share buttons below or the "pin it" button above.  Thank you! 


Welcome to Ponderings of an Elect Exile!  Whether you are new here or a faithful friend and regular reader, I'm glad you're here!  If you aren't already following, I'd love to have you join us for the 2014 Ponderings.  It's easy to do, in a variety of ways!  You can follow via  Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest, or  find me on Instagram as Jenbh68. You can also sign up in the sidebar to receive new posts by email.    

No comments: