Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Help, I'm Blogging As Fast As I Can! The 2012 WordCount Blogathon

I hope the verdant mountains of North Scotland represent my blogathon journey

How many times have you agreed to do something then slapped yourself on the head several times five minutes later and said, “Stupid, stupid, stupid”?  That happened to me about 9:20 p.m. on Monday night.  Why?  Because at 9:14 p.m. I signed up for the 2012 WordCount Blogathon that runs for the entire month of May.  Yes, I agreed to post every day of this month, even though sometimes I find it hard to get two posts a week completed.

This is my year of challenges.  This is the time of my life when I’m eager to try new things.  This is the point when I’m committing to writing.  So why not go all in?  Go big or go home, and so forth.

Why beat myself up like this?  Less than a month ago my daughter called us to say she was going to run a 10k race.  She had never run a race in her life.  Her jogging habits had been intermittent, but she had been a 2-sport high school athlete.  As a break from her law studies she started working the treadmill at the gym, where she was spotted by a trainer who saw her 8-minute treadmill miles and told her she should join him and his team in a post-Boston marathon competition.  She had two weeks to learn how to run a road race.  Despite ankle problems and a makeshift brace she came in third on her team and maintained her 8-minute mile pace.  She’s now considering tackling a marathon in the future.

You won’t EVER hear of me running a marathon.  Or jumping out of a plane with a parachute strapped to my back.  Or climbing anything that requires more than hiking boots and a walking stick.  But my daughter’s adventure is just a reminder that lack of time and foresight is not necessarily a hindrance.  Many of the blogathon participants decided long before 9 o’clock the night before the event started to take up the challenge.  They’ve already noted that they’ve created calendars and filled them with blog topics.  They’ve even written posts and have them cued up and ready to go live while they sleep. They’re on top of things.
I hope these poor fellows don't represent me at the end of the challenge

However, lack of preparation is not going to stop me.  I think I’ll find my stride as I move through this.  After all the wonderful comments from you, my readers, on my tagline post, I do the blogathon as a way to improve and pay you back for your thoughtful support each week.  I’m doing it to make this page more interesting for you.Some days you may only get a few lines because of my other writing commitments, preparations for a big writing workshop this month, and my upcoming trip to France.  Some days you’ll find topics out of the normal realm as I attempt the blogathon theme days (haiku, anyone?).  I hope it’s fun for you and that we cross the finish line together.

Finally, Happy May Day.  Did you ever make May Day baskets and hang them on doors?  Here’s the wonderful Lily of the Valley gift my friend Martine sent me from Paris.

  "I bring good luck" -- I hope so

What challenges have you taken on recently?  What motivated you to start or keep going?  Share your experiences in the comments box.  And if you have any suggestions for topics you’d like to see covered – or re-covered – just let me know.  This even includes photo themes.  Let the race begin!

I’ve been collecting links to great stuff online for a while but haven’t gotten many of them posted.  Here are just a few more:

I love the Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green.  They combine random insanity and an educational focus.  Here’s a bit of both.  Sing it up, people!  “Oh, this is how you load a dishwasher.  This is how you load a dishwasher . . .” (And always check to make sure you don’t wash your cat).

Blogger Bella always has something interesting to say (and great pictures of Roxy, her dog).  This one is for other bloggers and blog readers.  She asks “How important are comments to bloggers?”  While her post is thoughtful, the comments she got are even better.  Why do you comment on blogs, dear readers?

Jon Morrow has lots of good advice for bloggers.  This time he tells us that we’re all working too hard to be original.  That’s not what sells.  See here what he means.


Anonymous said...

Good luck to you Julie! I know you'll do well just because you've made the decision to do this.

And good luck to your daughter with her marathon training. My son ran is first race ever last year - a half Ironman. Now he's training to run a full Ironman this August.

Our kids inspire us!

Lee I said...

I'll be rooting for you. I did my own private challenge to myself in March to post daily. I ended up doing 20, not even my highest monthly number. I decided I won anyway.

I'm also going to France next month. Are our paths crossing? :-)

Rossandra said...

Oh, Julie, Julie, Julie, why did I have to go and read your blog? Drunk with success after making it through the A to Z Challenge (I REALLY didn't think I would--trip to England and all), I now want to do this blogathon. But I've got a final edit on my book. And I'm already a day late. What to do? Okay, if I can come up with two blogs today, I'll do it! Either way, I'll be reading your 31 blogs for the month of May and beyond.

Julie Farrar said...

Rossandra, I was amazed that you could write as much as you did when you had that big trip. It will be a challenge to me because I have at least 7 days in the month I'll be away from home. I'll have to try to stock up on posts, which has never been my strong suit.

Lee, I'll get in touch with you about my France schedule.

Annette Gendler said...

Onward and upward, Julie! More power to you. It's kind of cool that you and your daughter are both doing challenges.

Tia Bach said...

Love that you joined Blogathon, and I'm looking forward to more of your posts. We'll be here to encourage you along the way.

Last year was my first year, and it was such a wonderful experience.

Tele said...

You can do it, Julie! I'm looking forward to having a smorgasbord of your posts to binge on when I get back to land!

Rossandra said...

Julie, how did you get that blogathon blog in the middle of your blog? I saw the origin was Photobucket, but I couldn't find it there. I got the official badge from the blogathon site for my sidebar but it doesn't work in the blog proper. I have a Wordpress blog. Thanks.

Jessica Ferguson said...

I just finished the A to Z Challenge blogging every day. I made it and it was fun. Good luck with yours!

Unknown said...

WOW Julie - good luck. I related straight away to your post - I've been trying to restrain myself from joining in everything that's going. Currently I've just started ROW80 which is helping with getting my writing in perspective with other areas of my life and that's quite enough. I think the value of doing these various challenges is the community that forms around them and the connections made to people you may never encounter otherwise.

90 Days Novel said...

We started a challnege to write a novel, from a dead start, in 90 days, with no prior writing experience.

You can see how we're doing at 90daysnovel.com (or find us on twitter @90daysnovel)

Julie Farrar said...

I've never felt up to the A-Z challenge, but after this one -- who knows? As for ROW80, I know that's a good one for getting life and writing organized, but I think I could only have one goal at a time. I read what others are doing and think I could use ROW80 to get my act together, but I'm not even organized enough to make up a list of goals (hence the problem with my life).

monicastangledweb said...

Best of luck, Julie. As for me, I took on the Fifty Fifty challenge, as you well know. Well, I don't know why because the reality is, I don't really have time, and I'm not keeping up very well. Sigh.

Julie Farrar said...

You reminded me, Monica, that I haven't updated my 50/50 page in awhile. Must do that this weekend.

Bella said...

Julie, good for you for taking it to the next level! I love that you're following in your daughter's footsteps of taking on a new challenge. We should all be more like you. But alas, my laptop sharing situation continues. Hence, my delay in replying to this wonderful shout out of yours. Please forgive me. I can't wait for summer when the Son will finally have his own laptop! I look forward to seeing how your challenge develops. And I say, haiku most definitely! Thank you so much for the shout out, lady! I'm most appreciative! And that Lilly of the Valley is out of this world beautiful! :)

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