Well, after 31 days of consecutive blogging, the WordCount 2010 Blogathon is over. And I made it. I posted something every single day of May from the 1st through today.
And boy am I glad it’s over.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I did it. It was a great exercise, but I will be glad that when I return from Slayage in a couple of weeks, I’ll be back to my 3 times a week schedule. And thanks to the brainstorming I tended to do every day this month, I have an extensive supply of ideas to fill out that schedule already.
The Daily Grind
For a long time, I thought I wanted to do daily posts. I see bloggers who do it with great success every day, so when the blogathon came around, I knew this was my chance to see if I had the gumption to post something seven days a week.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. I didn’t find the idea wholly terrifying or even that difficult, but I ran into one problem: daily posting does not allow posts to be anywhere near the quality I want them to be. I find myself writing shorter posts with less in-depth commentary because I just haven’t had time to write 2k+ blogs 7 days a week. Not with writing 2k+ on my novel every day and prepping an academic presentation for Slayage.
I typically learned this lesson through you all. I received, on average, far fewer comments on posts I spent less time on. My wife was also good enough to tell me that she missed my in-depth posts; she could tell that I was writing about the same amount, but it was just less concentrated on particular topics. So it will be good to be given a few days to write, ponder, and edit far more thoroughly now that the blogathon is over.
A Favorable Distraction
The best thing about the blogathon in my eyes was the freedom it allowed me in writing. If you’ve ever written anything lengthy, then you know that feeling of burnout that comes from being super-close to the project, from thinking about it day in and day out.
This month, my novel has been that project. Not that I’m burning out, but I’ll admit that some days’ 2k are more difficult to write than others. The constant presence of blogging actually helped keep me from burning out, I think. The variety that came with switching from fiction to blogging every day was instrumental in keeping the pace and staying ahead of schedule (+2,474 words at the moment).
That said, I’m glad to have more free time for other things.
Will I Do It Again?
No. I won’t.
I know that sounds harsh, but that isn’t the intent. I enjoyed the program for what it was to me: an intellectual exercise to see how the other side lives. And in the process, I learned that the style of blogging I fell into last year was indeed the correct one for me.
I learned that I am not a post a video/set of links blogger. I learned I’m not a “here’s a news story with a couple paragraphs of explication” blogger. I learned that I’m a writer, a blogger who cares more about the ideas, conversation, and their quality before anything else. And I just can’t hit that happy medium by stretching myself too thin.
So thank you, WordCount Blogathon, for giving me the opportunity try something new and learn a little about myself as a writer.