Ah, a new year. There’s nothing like it for charting progress and tallying up successes. In the blogging world, it’s the time many bloggers examine their stats and reflect upon how well they stuck to their publishing schedules.
Unless, of course, you are me. It’s no wonder my favorite childhood cartoon was Underdog.
Oh, I looked at my stats all right. When it comes to posting on this blog, on a scale of “comatose” to “killing it,” I fall somewhere between “sloth” and “distracted toddler.” The most baffling thing to me is that I’ve actually gained some followers. And some of them aren’t bots, but actual real live humans! Crazy!
In 2017, I published a measly 19 blog posts. Four of the 19 were reruns of previous posts, triggered by WordPress daily prompts. In another, I cannibalized my LinkedIn account, simply linking to a couple of work-related articles I’d posted there.
My last post of the year, God help me, was a plea to bloggers to stop apologizing for not posting. Can you say “rationalization”?!
It would be easy to feel bad about my lack of productivity on Maid’s Day Off. I do wish I posted more often. Ironically, I’m very disciplined in other aspects of my life.
The tagline of my blog is “Stuff I think about doing when I’m doing other stuff.” Before I became a freelance writer, I thought my full-time job was the big thing keeping me from doing things like blogging.
Now I work from home. I love it, but it’s been difficult to keep a schedule. When I have a freelance assignment, it gets my full attention. I pride myself on meeting deadlines and I’m often ahead of schedule.
The rest of the time, not so much. Without someone holding me accountable, distractions are everywhere. I get sucked into the siren song of social media. I like reading the paper while watching the morning news. And grocery shopping without the weekend crowds is a joy! But it all keeps me from my keyboard.
In mid-July, I set a goal to write at least 500 words every day. The hope was that a few decent blog posts would rise out of the dreck. I stuck to it seriously for about 104 days only missing 17. I’ll take that as a win. Unfortunately, not much of it ended up on my blog. The more I wrote, the louder and snarkier my inner critic became. Not only has my blog lacked quantity, I’ve also reached new heights of mediocrity!
I know it’s not all crap, and I’ll be revisiting my files to see what’s salvageable. Part of that will involve contemplating my focus. My original vision for this blog was humorous observations of my world mixed with some memoir. A few tragic life events made it take a detour down some unplanned melancholy roads. I want to get back on track, as soon as I figure out which track I want to be on.
So, my blogging record has been less than stellar. But many of the things keeping me from blogging in 2017 are things I can be proud of.
It was my first full year of freelance writing. I continue to write for a local business journal and have gotten some new clients almost by accident. I can’t wait to see where it goes in 2018 with the business plan I will be implementing.
I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone to market my business and do quite a bit of networking. It’s still a struggle for an introvert like me, but I continue to suck it up and get out there.
I’ve tweaked my online portfolio and written some articles on LinkedIn.
On a more personal note, I’ve succeeded in meditating daily and sticking with a regular yoga practice. I’ve traveled a bit and spent valuable time with friends and family. I even had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing a solar eclipse at totality!
So, even though my presence on my blog has been somewhat forlorn, I can’t call 2017 a failure. I’ve got some goals for Maid’s Day Off for 2018. I’ll do my best to meet them, but I refuse to be too hard on myself if I don’t. That’s the thing about a new year. You always get another chance.