Challenge Update: Six & So On...
Six months ago I wrote a blog post entitled Challenge Accepted. I vowed to scratch the surface of the one hundred (eek!) things jotted down on my bucket list. These were the numbers I was to turn my hand to: 22. Learn to do a controlled handstand. 58. Blog every day for a year. 59. Meditate every day for a year. 68. Do an act of kindness every day for a year. 100. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years time on Future Me.
Six months later and how am I doing? In all honesty, erm.... welllllll... I've not managed the controlled headstand. In fact I practiced for about a week and then completely forgot until I sat down to write this post. Meditating everyday went well for the first three months and then I had a slip for a day, which turned into a week, then a month. Ahem... you get my gist. I did get back onto the meditational bandwagon though after that month long break. The daily act of kindess I have actually managed to keep up with and I tackled the letter as soon as I could so that I didn't forget.
Somehow, God knows how, I have actually succeeded in daily blogging for a whole six months. WHAT?! I won't lie to you it has been reaaaally tough. I knew there would be days or weekends where I'd struggle to churn a post out, but I didn't account for the ups and downs life had waiting just around the corner when I made the crazy decision, to blog every day for a year.
What have I learned up until now?
You will never have time to daily blog, ever. Not even if you have a whole month off work. There will always be more important things to do. You have to make time.
As the weeks turn into months, in theory you should start to run out of blogging ideas right? Nuhuhhhh, beware - your mind will suddenly have hundreds of thousands of ideas, maybe even millions. Okay, maybe not millions, slight exaggeration there. But still, LOTS of ideas.
You will most likely become the king or queen of excuses when it comes to reasons as to why you can't blog today. You'll also become highly skilled in the art of procrastination. Stop making excuses, just write.
For the first few months I'd blog the same day as I'd hit that gorgeous blue 'Publish' button to the right hand side there. Some nights I'd find myself brushing my teeth, turning out the lights, and wishing the cat babies the sweetest of sweet dreams and it would hit me. I hadn't blogged yet. I'd drag my tired bum to my desk, open my laptop up again and blurrily write something, anything, just so that I could sleep. I now write my blog post the day before which has definitely taken the pressure off!
You're going to need someone who will give you a big kick up the arse when you're on the brink of giving up. Especially when you declare that it was in fact a stupid challenge, and you don't know why you ever started. My readers weren't enough. I knew they'd be understanding if I said I didn't have time, life got in the way, I wanted a break etc.
Guess who wasn't understanding? My other half. There have been a few occasions where he has physically sat me in front of my laptop or ipad, depending on where we were, and told me to write as I huffily avoided his gaze mumbling "I don't know what it even has to do with you anyway". He knows how upset I'd be if I did give up. (He's the best, but shhh. Let's not tell him that.)
Your stats will inevitably increase, you're creating and publishing daily content. Ignore them. This is something I've only just realised, I had become obsessed with stats. I'd forgotten that I started blogging for me, not for the followers, numbers, likes etc. I'm so humbled that anyone takes the time to read my blog, it really mind boggles me. But when I begin to consider how many people are reading the blog as I tap away at the keyboard, the way I write changes. My ideas change. I no longer blog because I have something to say, instead I look for something acceptable and interesting to say. I ask myself what do my readers want to read. When actually, the reason people follow a blog to begin with is because they like the content that is already being produced. Always remember why you started.
Quality over quantity?
This is something that has played on my mind, of course not every post is going to be outstandingly amazing. But if you have written every post, they'll all have a sparkly part of you in them. As long as you're happy with them, that's all that counts. Nothing is perfect.
Is it worth it?
Oh it is, it is, it is, it is, it is!! Writing every day has grounded me, cementing my love of the written word deep within me. It's worth the late nights, it's worth the hair pulling moments when I can't think of anything to say. It's worth umming over imagery for a post and kicking yourself when I spot a typo, having hit publish hours ago. It's worth it for the sense of accomplishment , for the routine, for the beautiful souls I have met on my blogging journey and for the portfolio of my life I have steadily created day by day. It is so very worth it.
The past six months have been such a huge roller coaster. I have experienced some of the happiest days of my life. I have also experienced some of the saddest. I've been broken into tiny pieces, sure that I will never be the same again, only to read my words a few months later and realise that although we are ever changing, our values, our beliefs, our sense of being, the love we give and the most important part of us - our soul, stays the same.
If nothing else, blogging every day has given me memories to look back on that I will cherish forever. I can't wait to see what the next six months of daily blogging brings and whether I'll be continuing once the challenge is complete.
I've speckled this post with the most popular posts during the past six months in photos, each photo is linked to the posts. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I can't put into words what someone reading this little blog means to me.
I hope I have lots of exciting moments to share with you during the next six months.