I want to thank all of my new readers for hanging with me here on my blog. I know you are all pretty much new because my traffic increased from a handful of views per day to 35 to 50. Wow. I know some of you may have stopped by from social blasts for my posts. But I also know many of you found me from the Desk App, 10 Days to a Better Blog class, by John Saddington. If you made it through the whole 10 days of the class, may I offer a hearty congratulations! I hope you have had as much fun, and learned something new about yourself, as I have.
The class started out with a bang, and a brutal challenge to publicly state your commitment to write. I can’t say that this requirement was unexpected, and it makes perfect sense when you sign up for this type of class. It did however make me face this very public, and permanently recorded, task of stating my intentions and my commitment to complete what I set out to do a little earlier than I expected.
With that gauntlet thrown down by John, and being too stupid to walk away from it, I not only committed, I committed big time. Sure, a blog post daily, why not. I mean, I think my best ever consecutive days posting was a whopping 3 days. Psshh! That is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from 365 days right. Wrong! But I think I am good for it.
“…a one-time commitment is never enough. Something like this must be continually committed to and affirmed if you are to be a success.” – John Saddington
The Why And How
Having gotten past the commitment stage we were to then answer a much harder set of questions and then on the fourth day we “rested.” Well, the questions were indeed hard, but I wouldn’t exactly say we rested with our fourth assignment. The questions of why we write, and where we write were not easy. In fact my response post to the “why,” is a good starting post, but upon reading it again, doesn’t even come close encapsulating how I really feel about it.
My rest day post, took the idea from the assignment that I really needed to express gratitude to the people in the class with me, but also for anyone reading my work. I know I am not perfect, and I have a lot to learn about blogging and writing in general. That said, I am so thankful that people are willing to stop by and read what I have to say. It felt so wonderful when I found that there were others who read my work and felt just like I did. There is probably nothing that drives me to write more than being able to make a connection and maybe help someone.
Really into the meat of the class we finally dug into something that people are often a slave to, and that is analytics and finding your true patterns of writing. But John warned against looking at them numbers too closely. Realistically it is best to use them to identify which patterns your readers are responding too and nothing more.
We looked more into how we structured our taxonomies and even made sure that we had a proper site introduction in our about page. What is interesting is even though these days of the class were more about the technical and structure of our blog, it felt much closer the experience of writing than it has for me in the past. From these lessons, as well as some of my own thoughts on usability, I am planning a major taxonomy change on my blog in the near future.
“Without serious reflection and without deep introspection you may not discover the important answers to why you do what you do and how you might improve, not just as a writer but as a person.” – John Saddington
Pushed From The Nest
So on our final 2 days we were given the opportunity to write whatever we wanted and then a reflective piece on the class experience itself. The latter is what you are reading now if you didn’t know.
As I said above, I have never written so much. Not only have I written for two full weeks straight, I also already have a few more days scheduled out and a handful of other posts almost ready to schedule. My goal is to get to where I am 4 weeks ahead. Of course, I can adjust and insert a post at any time I want, but I am enjoying the process so much.
In the end, I had a blast! I want to thank John for putting this little virtual shindig together. I also want to thank my fellow classmates for helping to make this experience even better by providing a fantastic community. I look forward to the years of writing I have ahead of me, and I can look back at 2015 as the year that started it all. I would encourage anyone who has in inkling of a desire to write to visit this class and start it at any time.