WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES

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

7

Thanks to All Things Dog for hosting the Mutt Monday blog hop…

MuttMonday

And while this is not strictly a post about mischief, we’re joining our pal Snoopy’s Monday Mischief blog hop

MOndayMischief

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About Gizmo

Hi! I'm Gizmo...a handsome terrier-about-town with a distinct point of view. I will write about whatever interesting things come across my desk, appear on my twitter feed @GizmoGeodog, or meet me out on the geotrails. I love to geocache cause it takes me to all the wild places & I can get back to being a real dog. I care about all my brofurs & sisfurs who haven't found their own forever homes yet, & raise funds to help them whenever I can. My girl brought me home from the shelter & together we explore our world. I do my best to make her smile, & she does her best for me. We are a team.
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34 Responses to WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES

  1. Congratulations, my friends!!! It seems that you accomplished everything you set out to do (and I knew you would…you are a determined lot)!

    I love the new look! I’m absolutely “feelin’ it”. Keep up the great (and sometimes hard) work!
    Your pal,
    Oz

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you Oz and Mom…We appreciate the input and support you’ve been kind enough to offer and have bright hopes for our future

  2. Gizmo we love the fact you get to go hiking, and are looking forward to reading your post. ~Fenris

    • Gizmo says:

      Alasandra I’ve thanked you privately but let this be the first public thanks for all you’ve done for this blog over the past week…You’re super!

  3. Drafts and pre writing is not cheating and that is the way most peeps post. Your blog looks good. It takes time to find your voice and be comfortable, You just end up growing with it. Main thing is enjoy it. Have a marvelous Monday now.
    Best wishes Molly

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you Molly…I’ve started to realize that a good blog is almost a living thing…It will grow and change over time and I look forward to seeing where this one’s going to take me

  4. catchatcaren says:

    i used to blog every day but for 2013 but now that I am blogging nearly 4 years and have two blogs, I am making a conscious effort NOT TO. It is taking up way too much time. As for the blog following and commenting, I follow over 300 blogs and NO I don’t read each one every day. If a heading interests me I’ll read it (plain and simple)…if it is someone who reads and comments on my blogs I make it a point to return the favor. For those who don’t read or comment on my blogs I don’t worry about it.
    Great accomplishments!

    • Gizmo says:

      I can certainly understand why writing & publishing two blogs daily can start to take the fun out of things…As for skimming headlines, that’s a good point…I do try to take time with my titles figuring that;s what draws folks in…Thank you for your support and know that it’s appreciated

  5. I like the new look of your blog. It has been fun to read all your posts and get to know you better. I don’t know what to tell you about the reader. Mine is pretty full too.

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you Mary…that’s nice to hear from someone with your artist’s eye…and we do share a love of the outdoors that is evident in both our blogs…I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you, Roxy & Torrey

  6. Ann Paws says:

    I love your new look! Great job. Sounds like you’re doing a great job with blogging! I like to write my ideas down to. And then when I’m in a writing mood, I’ll start the article! Sometimes my ideas seem to run out however. It is hard to follow so many blogs. I have some that are favorites that I always end up visiting. Otherwise, I try to browse through my reader for posts I want to read. (Reading as many as time allows of course)

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you Ann…I’m not an artist so I don’t always trust my “eye” … It’s good to know I’m not the only one with Reader Overload:)

  7. “Haha aww Gizzy, you can never bore me!!!!! Asforthis challenge seems like a great idea, I would tell my ma to do it, but then that would mean she would be taking out of valuable play time with me, so I won’t let her see it! Also she takes fooooooorever to do one little post, if she did it every day I think she’d be up 24/7 on this computer. As for embarrassing, she is a bit embarrassed right now at her most recent post as she did a video where she had to show her face! I told her it’s not that scary though ;P”- Kirby
    We love what you did with the place! Your blog that is, looks very professional and fun!!!!

    • Gizmo says:

      Hiya Kirbster…figured it was time for some Spring cleaning around here…so glad you like it…and thanks for the kind words…mom really appreciates it…I’m with you on too much ‘puter time for moms…they do spend too much time there, but at least they make sure we keep in touch with all our pals…my mom’s heading over to see your mom’s video now…promise we won’t laugh 😀

  8. Hi Gizmo! We just came from Alesandra’s blog and wanted to say hi! We live in Florida too!!

    The Florida Furkids

    • Gizmo says:

      Hi Furkids! Glad you came by…Wasn’t Alasandra nice to do my new header and to say such nice things…We’re happy to make some new Florida furriends!

  9. rottrover says:

    Congratulations, Gizmo! Your scheduling is a very good idea. We’ll forward this post to mom – it might help her be more focused!

    -Bart and Ruby

  10. Congratulations on the 30-Day Challenge. I don’t if I could do it. Like you, I don’t think I have enough to say. And, for me, is it interesting enough for people to read.

    • Gizmo says:

      It was a learning experience Lynda…I worried at first but reminded myself it was an Imperfection Challenge, so permission to be less than great was built right in and that made it OK

  11. Congratulations on completing your challenges! It’s always nice when we have that extra nudge to keep us going and to build our confidence!. I find that making a list of ideas for blog posts really helps me out too!

  12. Zena says:

    The new look really fits your theme and you most definitely did not bore us! We look forward to what you have to say 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      I’m glad you like our makeover…Still tweaking and refining but it does “feel” pretty good..and thank you for the kind words…they are appreciated

  13. Woof! Woof! Just one thing to keep in mind … Blogging is FUN, Make it FUN for you and Gizmo. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  14. Bored? NEVER! Your blog looks great! Congratulations re: the challenge. I am perpetually behind on my blog reading because I subscribe to so many. I have yet to develop a working system to get them read and feel pretty apologetic almost all of the time. Unfortunately, I have no suggestions for you on that issue!

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you Sue…I appreciate your kind words…”Apologetic” is the perfect word for the way i feel sometimes….and it’s helpful to see that I’m not alone in that…There are so many blogs I enjoy and want to make sure their authors know that…

  15. 2browndawgs says:

    Congrats on completing your challenge. I am always behind in my blog reading…lol. I read quite a few blogs and really enjoy them, but am usually a day or so late in commenting. I allow myself X amount of time each day to read and have to save some for the next day…or two. 🙂 Love your header. 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you! Glad you like the ‘new look’ I like your idea of allowing a fixed amount of time each day…I’m going to think about that one, figure out where and when that will work best for me … and it’s good to know that my fellow bloggers will understand if I get a bit behind 🙂

  16. I am so thrilled that the blogging challenge was a success for you and helped you in so many ways. I am sad to admit that I petered out at the end of the month. My life is so chaotic right now that I have not been able to establish a regular morning routine like you…although I would love to.

    My Feedreader is also unbelievably stuffed. I used to try to visit every one of them, every day. As my list has grown I find it impossible. No offense to anyone but I had to divide the blogs into check every day, check weekly and check monthly categories. I only read the posts that grab my attention for the second two categories and try to read all of them for the first category…although I might read 5 at once every week or so. My main goal right now is just to visit and comment on the blog posts of the people who take the time to stop by and comment on my blog. Sometimes that is all that I can handle.

    • Gizmo says:

      For me it was worth it to keep to the challenge cause it got me to develop the morning routine…that is working so well that Gizmo is at the door every morning at 6 waiting for his walk…I appreciate hearing that I’m not the only one with blog-reading backup … I hope that means everyone will be understanding when I get behind…and I do try to visit everyone who comes by here 🙂

  17. Jodi says:

    Good for you and congratulations!! It is a big accomplishment. Speaking strictly for myself I can tell you posting every day is an addiction. I can’t seem to stop myself, although I’m not sure my blog is growing as quickly as yours, I’m very happy with the relationships I’ve formed. Keep up the good work!!

    • Gizmo says:

      I agree…When we’re out on or walks I’m thinking about what I’m going to post next and the ideas keep coming…I may miss here and there, but I have a feeling it’s going to stay mostly daily…and I see your blog mentioned all over…it’s on my list!

  18. Pingback: TODAY’S THE DAY! PET BLOGGER CHALLENGE 2013 | Terrier Torrent

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