In late February 2017, I decided to join the Slice of Life Writing Challenge for March. This writing challenge, hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.org, involves writing daily for the month of March and responding to at least three other bloggers’ posts. I did it and then some. I kept writing and writing and writing. Five years later, I am still writing daily.
How does one write daily for five years?
Commitment – writing daily is a habit. Someone said that if you do something for three weeks, it becomes a habit. I committed to writing every day. It felt good and the commitment to myself to keep going. Somewhere during the five years, I felt committed to continuing to write for my readers, too.
Networking – Joining the Slice of Life challenge at the outset of my blog was key. It provided me with a ready-made community of bloggers, teachers, and authors. It is essential to feel connected in the blogging world. The Slice of Life community continues to provide that connection for me as I have participated in their month-long challenge each year since 2017 except for this year. I still pop in on Tuesdays to blog with the SOL participants. Their Tuesday forum, Slice of Life Tuesday, runs all year.
Two years ago I started participating in the Poetry Friday forum and that has also been a source of networking, sharing, and support for my writing. Both groups have been essential in my daily writing experience. I’ve had the good fortune to meet many people from all over the world through belonging to these groups and putting my writing out there in cyberspace.
Support – Support is essential in any thing you do. Everyone knows this. Where support comes from might surprise you, as it did me. Most of extended family does not read my blog – my parents and my sister are included in those who do not read The Apples in My Orchard. My sister in law, and a few of my close friends read daily. My sons read the blog when they have time. A few of my other close friends do not read it – ever. My husband is a faithful reader.
Support comes through as comments or queries or follows. As a writer, you want to know you are connecting with your readers. When someone says, I read your blog – I totally get what you are writing about or I love those photos you posted, it can make your day! Simple questions such as, what have you been writing about these days or how’s the blog going would also be entirely welcome. But, I don’t expect it. At this point in my blogging experience, I know who reads it and who doesn’t.
One caveat to blogging is that if you expect people to comment on your blog, you must be willing to read and comment on the blogs of others. I am trying to be better at this.
At the time of this writing I have over 750 followers for my blog. This means these readers receive my blog digitally when I push “publish” each day! I regularly hear from the same people with comments. This connection with others is part of the reason I write. It also provides me support as a writer and makes me feel good.
Dealing with Negativity – Honestly, I try not to write in negative tone. However, there have been times that I’ve questioned things like education, giftedness, even politeness in society that have generated some contentious comments. Since my blog is reflective and I am writing from my own experience on topics, it’s okay that not everyone agree with what I write. I try to not let negative comments or in some cases, lack of comments, bother me. It happens.
Carving Out Time to Write – This might be the most difficult thing to do when blogging daily. However, since I am retired, my time is my own. I used to try to blog in the morning each day. But, now, I blog anytime of day. I make time to write. Some days are harder than others. And, yes, I’ve skipped a day or two over the last five years. But, I’m careful not to skip too many. I know that when I don’t write each day, I don’t feel as accomplished. It’s become part of who I am – a writer.
The downside to writing a blog each day is that I also have other writing projects going on. Some days, it’s hard to work on another project after I’ve already written several hundred words in a blog post. I’m realizing that to get the other projects done, I might have to give up a day or two of blogging during the week. Currently, I’m trying to find that balance.
Making money – I’m mentioning this because some might wonder if I make money off my blog. Some people do this with their blogs, but I have chosen not to. I do not have affiliate links or get paid in any way for what I write. I have to admit that I’ve thought about changing that but haven’t taken the steps to do so.
Scheduling of Post Topics – One thing that has helped me to keep writing is regularly scheduling some of my posts. For example, on Sunday, I post Silent Sunday which has no words. The post is filled with photographs of my own on a topic of my own choosing. This post has followers that regularly check in just to see the photos. Then, I started Keto Monday when I was on a Keto Diet in 2020. I found that food posts with recipies or links to recipes drew more followers – some that might not have followed my blog previously. When the diet ended, I switched the name of that post to Foodie Monday. I don’t do a food post every week, but when I do I try to do it on Monday. Tuesdays have been reserved for a Slice of Life post, a reflection on life at the moment. And, Poetry Friday is filled with – well, poetry! This past week, I started a new series called Now, Creating. I will move that to Wednesday or Thursday.
I think the regular scheduling of topics gives my readers a preview of what I’ll be writing on any particular day during the week. So far, it’s working.
Choosing a topic to write about – Surprisingly, this has not been hard for me. I write about whatever comes to mind. I know that when highly emotional, or feel strongly about something, the words will flow more easily. Luckily, it’s rare when I sit and wonder what to write. I guess I have a lot to say and as an introvert, it is easier for me to write my thoughts than to say them.
In summary, I cannot believe that I’ve written daily for over five years. It is an accomplishment. I’ve learned about writing, style, publishing, and editing. And, I’m still learning. Most of all, writing helps me to connect with others, say what I think, and also feel good about myself.
Thanks for all these years of support!