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Benefits of Binge Blogging

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A few weeks ago - three, to be exact - I accepted a challenge: To blog every single day for 30 days. Today is Day #22 and I want to share a little about this journey with you.

How the Madness Started

Exactly 22 days ago, we had no idea where we were moving or even IF we would definitely be moving. We knew that our assignment to Hawaii had been cancelled (booo!) and we were told that it was possible that we may stay in Germany for a year or two more (yay!). We didn't know if we would be able to stay in our house since our landlords wanted to sell it or if we would have to find a new place to live. 

It was a stressful week, to say the very least. 

So what did I do? I read this blog post and thought, "I don't have any time to do something like this. It's insane to take this on right now. It would be setting myself up for failure. I don't even have 30 ideas to blog about. I can't even remember if I washed my face this morning."

I thought all of those things as I went to Sarah Arrow's Website and signed up for the challenge then dropped into her Facebook Group and committed myself to this madness. 

Because you know what they say - if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. And I've never been busier than these past few weeks. 

What I've Learned So Far

Over the past three weeks, I've learned a lot. Like, a whole lot. I haven't put it all into practice just yet - I need time to think and mull things over before acting - but here are some of the lessons I'm learning:

ONE | Exactly what I've just said. I need time to think about things and sort out how I see the parts fitting together. This is both a blessing and a curse. I admire people who just jump in and make changes on the fly; I wish I could be one of those people but I'm not. However, sometimes it's vital to just have a little faith and make a leap. I'm working on that; I can change, right??? I don't have to know how to make the perfect info graphic to make one good enough to share. (Maybe?) I struggle with this because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I simply don't know how to do a lot of this graphic design stuff. I now have a TON of new tools at my disposal to make some tweaks and changes and I'm excited to learn how to use them effectively.

TWO | One of Sarah's best sayings is that writing is a muscle, one you have to exercise. It's so true. And just like all muscles, the more you work it, the more fit it becomes, and the more easily it does it's work. Writing has gotten easier. My vocabulary has improved (or resurfaced - I always had a decent vocabulary). My grammar rules have magically returned, even if I choose to ignore them sometimes. Working your brain is a good thing. 

THREE | Creativity breeds creativity. I started this journey after having seriously ignored this blog for a long time and I had about a dozen half written posts waiting to be finished and published. I've finished a few of them, put a few on hold, and I have a few more waiting for their day in the sun. But, more than working on what I had already started, I've found that the more I write, the more the ideas start to flow and the more post topics I come up with. Which leads me to....

FOUR | The importance of organization. An editorial calendar is instrumental to blog success! Yes, I've read those very same words from other people and I even printed off one I thought I would like. I never used it because the blocks weren't big enough for me to write in. I still haven't found one I am in love with, and am thinking about just creating one myself, but for now I'm just using my regular daily planner that keeps the rest of my life organized. I just jot down the post idea on each day's column as well as a little "to do" list for the upcoming posts.

If you're curious, I'm currently using the 2014 version of this planner from BlueSky. I love it so much I am thinking about doing a full review so you can see how awesome it is.

FIVE | I have found more things beyond travel that I want to write about. It's not something I've followed through on (much) so keep an eye out for that. I see a bit of a growth spurt coming. I just need to figure out how to organize it first. {See #1, above!}

Where I'm Headed

I have 8 days left in this challenge, which takes me to December 10. Depending on what's going on with movers and whatnot, I might slow down some. I tend to lose entire days when I'm flying around the globe but I am going to try to keep with a regular blogging schedule, even if it's not every single day. 

In light of some of the new ideas I've had, I want to do a bit of a makeover and possibly move over to self-hosted Wordpress. I feel like that's going to be a big project and I'm not even sure how to begin to approach it, but I've got a few days in Tennessee with the family for the holidays... sounds like a good time to jump in over my head, right? 

Sure, why not! It seems to be my M.O. lately.

Oh, and I would have to talk the hubs into that one, too, since it costs money. Hmmm... we'll see how it goes. I may be able to make enough changes right here in Blogger to keep me happy for a while. It's not like moving around the world is cheap.

Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept It....

 Check out Sarah's Challenge! If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, I think you'll love it. She has so many great tips and suggestions, all for free. And she does a fantastic job explaining things in ways that are easy to understand. 

The Facebook Group is super supportive and all of the members have been wonderful about helping to any answer questions. I've even made some new friends along the way.

So mosey on over, check it out, sign up and join the madness. You won't regret it. 

Oh, and p.s., we're moving to California! EEK! I'm so excited! :)

8 Responses to “Benefits of Binge Blogging”

  1. Glad you're having fun, and yes, a WordPress self hosted site is a commitment, you can also do a heck of a lot more with it. California! Is this your last German Christmas? Christmas in the sun won't be the same!

    1. I mentioned WP to Mike the other day and he gave me The Look... the one that says, "everything you want is expensive; how much is this going to cost me?" lol, he'll come around. And, yes, this is my last German Christmas - that's why I'm trying to squeeze every bit of cheer out of it I can. We lived in Florida for a while so we're used to Christmas on the beach and that's good, too! I haven't spent much time in Cali so I'm excited to see what it's like. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi! I love your "binge blogging". Thanks for sharing what you've learned so far--we are definitely in the same boat. My blogger cousin moved my site from blogger to self-hosted wordpress ( You might enjoy her travel blog, too ( I look forward to seeing what you do next!

    1. Thanks for the sweet comments! I can't wait to check out those sites. I just love reading other blogs!

  3. 100% agree with your #3. In September, I did a 30 day sketch challenge and it really, really, REALLY helped me kick myself back into gear creating art regularly and consistently as well as sharing it. Hmm, definitely considering taking up this challenge as well. My blog could use a little more content than I've given it!

    1. Awesome, Sarah-Lambert! I just love your site, both it's design and the beautiful products you make. You are so very talented.

  4. I've just joined the 30day challenge...eeek! So I found you via the FB page post :) I totally hear you and feel perhaps a similar madness in my life for completely different reasons. I haven't blogged regularly for over 12 months and have just felt to pull to blog again. Not sure why but I'm about to start again! am also on blogger with a terribly basic diy setup and looking to switch to something sweet and clean, so love to stay in touch!!

    1. Yay, Michelle! Welcome to the madness! I can't wait to read your posts!