I’m sure you already noticed some pretty big cosmetic changes here today, and there’ll probably be a few more …I’m not the best at design and graphics, but I’ve had some great help and I’m pleased with the way it’s looking so far.
Back on December 1st I committed to a challenge I first saw on You Did What With Your Wiener to publish a blog post every day for 30 days. At the time I was looking for ways to improve this blog and that challenge hit the right note with me. The challenge was call 30 Days of Imperfection, and originated on a blog called Jac McNeil , The author suggested that just maybe, by publishing every day and letting go of the need for perfection “…it would allow you to find your own voice and connect with your right people in a deeper, more connected way.”
So what happened over those 30 days? And how do I feel about it now? Here’s the questions I first asked myself in that December 1st post, with my answers today:
Do I have enough to say? What would I write about? – It seems like I’ve got plenty to say…Ideas for posts come to me all the time…So many that I’ve started keeping lists, and saving interesting links as I come across them.Readers know that I frequently write about hiking with Gizmo. Those posts are very popular, and have helped me shape the direction I’ll be taking. While I won’t be exclusively an “outdoors” blog, I will be writing more about great places here in Florida that are fun for you and your dog to visit together, and there’ll be a new series beginning shortly that will feature geocachers around the world who include their canine companions in their geocaching adventures.
Will I make the time to write every day? Yes I did…Always an early riser, I have settled in to a schedule…Gizmo & I are usually out of bed between 5 & 5:30…A glass of iced coffee while I look over some emails and then out the door for our 30 minute walk by around 6…Once home I feed Gizmo his breakfast, then settle in with another glass of iced coffee to start writing…This is working well for me…The walk in the fresh air seems to wake up my brain…While walking I think about what I plan to write, and by the time I’m back at the computer the writing comes fairly easy…most days…
What if I’m rushed or ”not in the mood” or what if my brain is just empty that day? Could I still do it? Some days I was feeling inspired, or had more time to spend writing, so I’d write more than one post and on days when I wasn’t up to writing I had a few posts ready in draft form that I could publish as needed. I didn’t consider that “cheating”.
Will I embarrass myself? What if I publish something inane? Clearly they’re not all gems, but I don’t feel that I ever really embarrassed myself…This was an imperfection challenge after all…the idea was to let go and that was good for me…I can get caught up in rewriting and polishing to the point of obsession…Once I accepted that perfection was not my goal my writing became freer and more fun.
Will I bore people? I don’t think I did bore you…At least I hope not…
And once I commit will I follow through? Yes I did follow through…I published something every day for 30 straight days. That’s gotten me interested in doing other challenges like the 30/30 and Train Your Dog challenges that I’m working on this month.
So was the challenge a success? Absolutely! There have been so many changes in the last 30 days I can hardly believe it. I feel like I’ve reached out and become active citizen of Blogville. I read many blogs each day and try to leave comments where I can, as I know how much I appreciate the ones you all leave for me. I’ve joined pet blogging communities like Blogpaws and Pet Blogs United, reactivated Gizmo’s FB page, started using G+, reworked the Pinterest account, got invited to join Triberr and done my best to get everything linked and present a unified image. I have met so many new people and made new friendships that I value greatly. There are plans for some actual meetups and doggie play dates with fellow bloggers coming up soon and I can’t wait. And then in August Gizmo and I are headed to Atlanta for Barkworld where we hope to meet up with a whole lot more of you.
Have there been any downsides? There’s only one that jumps out at me…I’ve found so many new blogs to love that my Google Reader is jammed to the gills…I would love to hear how you all manage this. Can you find time to read every blog you like every day? Do you set aside certain days or times for catching up with your favorites? Do you feel guilty if you miss a day?
Readership of this blog is growing daily. You my readers have reached out and given us so many wonderful awards that I’ve created a separate page to showcase them. I can’t thank you all enough for that show of appreciation…it means a great deal to me.
I believe that this blog would have grown and changed over time, but never as quickly or with so much confidence had I not done the challenge. Do I plan to continue posting every day? I’m going to try, but without pressure…I’ve thought about posts that would need some research and may took more than one day to put together…and I have a couple of out-of-town trips coming up that will make it difficult to post…for those reasons I’m not promising daily posts or absolutes, but will be here most days not because I have to, but because I want to be. Did I find my voice and connect with my right people? Yes, I believe I did just that…This blog is a work in progress, but I feel certain it’s headed in the right direction.
Here’s today’s ticker
Thanks to All Things Dog for hosting the Mutt Monday blog hop…
And while this is not strictly a post about mischief, we’re joining our pal Snoopy’s Monday Mischief blog hop