I finally Blogged Every Day April!

Today is Day 30, aka the last day of Blog Every Day April!

I am still a little bit shocked that I made it. First of all, April really flew by, didn’t it? A lot of folks on Twitter are remarking that March felt really slow while April felt really fast, perhaps because the stress of a global crisis was still novel  in March, which made it seem longer, while it felt more routine by April, which made it seem shorter.

In any case, I am kind of in disbelief that it’s now April 30th, and this is my 30th blog post in 30 days. (Really really close to a true BEDA…) Let’s do a bit of reflecting on my most successful BEDA yet.

Sandy Beach Sunrise
A little throwback to our trip to Hawai’i last year, where we caught the sunrise at Sandy Beach

Not scheduling was a little tricky. In an ideal world, I would have blog posts written ahead of time and schedule them to go up so that I wouldn’t lose track of time and forget. In the olden days, when I was updating twice a week, I did often loosely schedule posts because there were so many days when I wouldn’t even open my computer when I got home.

When in doubt, list it out. Even though I feel a bit lazy/guilty about it, listicles are the way  a lot of writing on the Internet exists. It’s how I consume a lot of it and, apparently, it is now how I sometimes write if I don’t want to rant about one specific thing. Plus, I have been so inactive on this blog that I feel like lists are the easiest and fastest way for me to try to get this blog caught up on my thoughts.

What do the people want? Sometimes, I consider taking more action based on what my blog traffic looks like. After all, my most popular post of all time remains Sansa’s lemon cakes recipe; if I had known people are still looking at this in droves, I would have made a prettier batch and learned how to properly write a recipe blog post, maybe? Other popular posts are very specific movie reviews (The Lobster still has folks reading about it, apparently). And I could pivot to the crowded space of movie reviews and fictional foods…

What do I want? It’s hard to know what I want to become of this space right now. It doesn’t feel as safe treating it like a diary the way blogging was when I was 10 years old, complaining about boys and teachers. It really only takes one really bad experience to teach you how foolish it is to broadcast unfiltered thoughts that you share with your peers and, perhaps worse, complete strangers. I still haven’t written much about why my hiatus was so long and devastating.

I don’t know if I want this blog to be that honest, if I’m being honest. I do journaling now, and I think that’s a good place for me to be more honest and to reflect on the less happy things that are happening. I do really love reading my old blog posts, especially now that they’re not as cringe-y as my old Xangas always wound up being. But it’s hard to know what I really want to put out here. In the past, blogging has felt like a lot of pressure; I would stay up late uploading and editing photos, writing and editing posts, planning ahead activities to do “for the blog” just for the sake of having content. I don’t regret filling my time with activities, but it did feel a bit perverse that I was making my life richer and more interesting… for the sake of then documenting it on the blog.

Of course, in quarantine, I don’t have the option of throwing myself into as many activities as possible and then frantically writing about them afterwards. The temptation to turn the attention of the blog inwards is really strong, but I am extremely hesitant about being so publicly introspective. I often find myself dissatisfied with how much of an open book I am, with my lack of restraint. I consider myself lucky that this quality of mine hasn’t landed me in any serious trouble. (That I know about, I guess.)

Ultimately, I think I need to really figure out what I want this blog to be for. If it’s no longer where I think out loud to sort through my feelings like it was a decade or two ago, then what is its purpose? I’m not trying to set myself apart from any other blog if I decide to do something that is already popular enough, but is that what I want to do?

I am definitely not going to be continuing daily blogging, and I don’t think I’m going to immediately resume my twice-a-week schedule, although I’d like to get back to that eventually. I just need to think a bit more carefully about what I’d like to make of this space that I’ve carved out for myself.

And I have already renewed my domain so I guess I’m committed to keeping it!

What kind of posts do YOU like reading? I know I don’t get a lot of commenters on here but I see engagement in other ways. (People texting me or telling me on other social media – thank you!) It’s much more gratifying for me when I write something that other people like; after all, a blog is a public space and, ultimately, a public performance, isn’t it? If the audience isn’t happy, then I’m better off just typing things up in a word processor.

What posts were you not a fan of? I know which posts I hate when I look back on my blog. It’s very obvious to me when I am lazy and just word-vomit, but I don’t know that it’s as obvious to everyone else. I also cringe a lot at some of the types of content I’ve put on here but, again, maybe… people like it… even if it’s at my expense hahaha.

April is done. I can’t believe we are really at the end of the month. I’m not sure if I’ll do another BEDA next year, but I feel really empowered knowing that I succeeded this year at a challenge I took on a whim. I wonder what arbitrary challenge I should do next?

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