So, this is it. The end of Blogtober. It's been emotional. I didn't quite manage to blog every day, but I've been more prolific than I have in years. I'll be taking a little break from blogging so frequently whilst I attempt to undertake #NaNoWriMo and give this blog a little bit of a refresh, but I'm not going anywhere, really.
The Best Laid Plans Go Awry...
I worked really hard to blog every day, but I wasn't always as prepared as I wanted to be and as a result I couldn't finish the challenge completely. I was a bridesmaid this past weekend, which took up two full days, and I have a friend who's having a hard time who I spent good chunks of the previous afternoons before that talking with. Not to mention my ongoing childcare responsibilities. Obviously, I wouldn't change any of those things - I will always prioritise my offline life, which is probably why I'll never be a pro-blogger, but they did put a spanner in the works a little when it came to Blogtober.
I also planned to use this time to work on my photography, but with the pressure to get a post out every day meant that I cut corners where I could, and relied on Unsplash more than I would have liked. If I did it all again, I would try to do more in advance so that when things do go a little off the rails I have a back up.
I Prefer Creating to Consuming
There are only just so many hours in the day and a lot of mine are now spent tending to my tiny little terrorist (a.k.a. Benjamin), so my time for blogging and reading blogs is limited. With Blogtober looming over me, those limited snippets of time had to be used for creation rather than for consuming other people's content, which is my usual form of procrastination. It's no surprise, really, but I definitely feel better at the end of the day if I have spent more time creating than I have consuming. I will never abandon reading other blogs completely, but keeping the balance in favour of creation is going to be key.
Blogging Is Not Just About Writing
In days gone by, a blog was mostly about the words. Now that's simply not true, but I've not really kept up. Photography, video, graphic design - all of that stuff is more out of my comfort zone and it's the first to go when I am under pressure. I would much rather type out hundreds of words than take one or two photos. I'm not really a visual person, but if I want to improve then I'm going to have to work on that element of blogging and get uncomfortable.
Good Content Takes Time
Churning out almost 30 blog posts in one month proved to me more than ever that good content takes time. I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with ideas and making them work immediately, but having a bit more time to edit, add photos, reword or just think about the topic would definitely have improved a lot of my blog posts from this month. Even a short blog post can take a few hours from start to finish, so I need to make the time. My next aim is to juggle quantity with quality so I can blog regularly and be proud of every single post.
The Doing of the Thing Is The Thing
It's all well and good talking about something, but as Amy Poehler says, the talking about the thing is not the thing. The doing of the thing is the thing. You are not a blogger if you never blog. You are not a writer if you never write. You are not a painter if you never paint. So you must do the thing. And the thing can seem scary, but it will never come to fruition if you don't get started. Every time I force myself to do something that I say I'm going to do, I remember that it is in the doing that the thing comes alive.