Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I Quit the Blog Challenge



So…I have abandoned the dream of making it to the end of a 31-day blog challenge and as I had previously written, more than anything I think it was a journey to greater self-discovery.  Yes, it was a good writing exercise and a challenge to my creativity, but it also did force me to be honest about my level of commitment to my writing, my writing thought process and my writing style. 

I’ve realized that I’ve been too hard on myself when it comes to potential topics to blog about.  With the blog challenge, I learned that potential topics are everywhere and that it all depends on what perspective you want to apply, how deep you want to dissect, or what piece of the experience you want to magnify.  It was a good mental exercise and it taught me to be more conscious of my existing thought process so that I can challenge it.  Once I challenged what I was used to doing, challenged the route my mind had been so used to taking, it was as if something opened and lit up and I could see more possibilities.  I see more clearly now that all I need to do is to allow myself to explore new avenues…new topics, styles and perspectives.      

That being said, we all know that it’s unrealistic to expect that you can turn a tiny puddle into a well all the time.  First of all, I am not that gifted of a writer to be able to turn something from nothing every single day.  Maybe occasionally it could be done but not when the pressure exists day after day.  Second, frankly I don’t think I have the time and energy given my daily responsibilities.  There are way too many variables in my daily life right now to be able to set aside specific blocks of time for writing and hope that inspiration will pay me a visit during same blocks of time.  It was just too unmanageable for me and I honestly don’t need the added stress.    

Since I started to blog more consistently 2 years ago, I’ve learnt that you can really only survive on here if you quit being (too much of) a perfectionist.  I now see the value in just freely writing sometimes and not having to worry too much about how it will turn out.  But at the same time, I don’t want to lose the identity of my blog site nor my identity as a writer.  Sure, I can write tips and lists and post reactions to videos, but do I want to do this too often just for the sake of publishing something?  Perhaps if my blog had always been in the business of giving lists and tips then that is a different matter.  However, Catharsis has a different character and I would like to keep my essays truly cathartic, at least MOST of the time.  Giving in to the mere pressure of publishing on a daily basis, even though it’s material not reflective of what I truly want to talk about is a betrayal of my sense of passion and personal identity.  It’s something I am not comfortable doing.

I’m not discouraging any of you from participating in a blog challenge.  On the contrary, I think each blogger should try it at least once, if only to see what you’ll end up learning about yourself and your habits as a writer.  Most importantly, I think it reinforces the direction you want your blog to take as it forces you to draw your boundaries in terms of what you will and will not write about.  Ultimately the most important thing is that you remain true to your objectives for writing.  Why do you write and who are you mainly writing for?  These are questions we all need to be clear about as writers.

10 comments:

  1. Joy, I think that your blog is your thing, and it is important to keep it the way you want. As for blogging challenges, if it wasn't what worked for you then you found out something about yourself. A positive thing.

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  2. While I didn't take this challenge on like you did (bravo for trying), my last several posts have been about my purpose in the blog world.  Typical of us overanalyzers to have to analyze our blogs too :-)

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  3. I read this post the other day and have only got to commenting now. I love what you have written Joy and I love the realisations that you have come to. THAT is why I like the Ultimate Blogging Challenge...bravo! And I'm just going to say it again - you still impressed me in your attempt.

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  4. Someone posted this with the #blogboost tag in Twitter. I am so glad they did! I am loving the challenge and appreciate the way it is making me think. HOWEVER, I completely understand your reasons and think it is great that you are doing what is best for you. :)

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  5. Fantastic advice.  I always do the blog challenges.  I rarely complete them.  So what?  If I blog 25 times a month instead of 30, whose counting?  LOL  Good luck to you!

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  6. Thanks Martha!  Wow, 25 out of 30 is pretty amazing!!  More power to you! 

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  7. Hi Melissa!  Yeah, that's all there is to do really....be true to ourselves as writers and follow what serves us well.

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  8. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement, Janine!  Really, I wouldn't have gone into this had it not been for your invitation and support :-)

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  9. I am going back to read some of your earlier posts. I like what you say about staying true to your blog's purpose. And you know what they say: Quality, not quantity. I do enjoy your writing.

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  10. MikeB: I'm happy there are still some who do enjoy my writing and actually read! It means a lot and continues to inspire me to keep writing. I still have to find that ideal balance of quality AND quantity. It's not that easy for me yet. But I'm trying ;-)

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Let me know your thoughts!