Looking back to daily blogging in 2011

Today’s daily prompt from the Daily Post is titled “Winning Streak” – “What’s the longest stretch you’ve ever pulled off of posting daily to your blog? What did you learn about blogging through that achievement, and what made you break the streak?”

It’s funny that the Daily Post is the website that’s asking me this, because, back in 2011, I blogged for 366 days straight from December 31, 2010 until December 31, 2011. The Daily Post had a blogging challenge in 2011 where they encouraged everyone to blog every single day of 2011. To help people out, they posted topics and prompts every day of the year.

I actually decided to participate in this, and successfully completed the entire challenge. Some days I had things to blog about already, but on the boring days when nothing happened, the prompts were pretty useful.

Although I don’t really make any effort to blog daily anymore, I still check the Daily Post website once in a while to see if there are any interesting topics, and this one caught my eye because it was so relevant to something I did three years ago.

From this experience, I learned that in order to be committed to something like this, you really need to want to do it (or be forced to do it). Seeing as I wasn’t being forcefully required to blog daily, I had to find some intrinsic motivation to keep going, because it’s very easy to skip days or fall behind on busy days.

It helps that, not only do I enjoy writing, I also enjoy posting content for others to read and enjoy. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, making content for people to enjoy started getting difficult because I was also blogging on days I wasn’t feeling very creative, but regardless, I still like sharing my thoughts to people who want to listen.

This extended period of blogging, among other things, made me think about the theories behind mo­ti­va­tion. It encouraged me to think about the things I do on a daily basis, and decide if it’s something that I really want or need to do.

For example, if I’m participating in a particular activity and I think it’s boring, I stop to think about why I’m doing it. If it’s something that I’m not required to do, and there aren’t any severe negative consequences to not doing it (i.e., a severe negative consequence of not going to work is having no money), then I choose to stop doing it and find something else more worth my time.

At the end of the year, I decided to break the streak because I got a little bit burnt out from blogging. I also decided that I no longer wanted to blog when I wasn’t feeling particularly creative, or if I didn’t have any interesting concepts to share, because I wanted to change my blog’s reputation to being a site that always publishes content worth reading, rather than a site that publishes something daily, even if it’s not something worth reading.

Overall, I think that this daily blogging experience contributed in helping me find a middle ground for blogging where I am now, and was definitely worth the time and effort invested.