As you may or may not know, I finished 30 straight days of blogging two days ago with my post about tips on hanging curtains. I gave myself a little break yesterday, and it was nice; I have a couple of freelance projects I needed to tend to (and continue to need to tend to), and I really fleshed out my ideas for both bedrooms in the apartment. Ideas that I’m sure I’ll share here before you know it! But right now, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on what I think I got out of my 30 days of blogging.
In January, Tyler and I did the Whole30, which is 30 days straight of whole eating–no processed foods (including grains and legumes), no sugar, no alcohol. Those 30 days went by pretty quick, but it was long enough to make good habits and learn a lot about ourselves. Inspired by our Whole30, we decided to apply the 30 day challenge to life’s other endeavors; Tyler loosely settled on 30 days of making a video game app, and I settled on 30 days of blogging. I feel blogging really important to me, and I was letting it go by the wayside because I started to feel that pull of “it isn’t perfect, so I won’t do it”. But, as my friend recently reminded me of Voltaire’s famous quote:
Even if it may sound like an oxymoron, perfectionism is definitely a negative quality. Mostly, for me and my husband (a fellow sufferer), it gets in the way of actually doing things. When I finally started this blog (my second) in 2010, it was after years of talking about doing it. When I finally started to blog on a more regular basis it was almost a year after that, and only when I finally found a layout that would work well enough, and when I think I had finally had enough of talking, but not doing. Because I’m working on new design and layout for my blog, I think I subconsciously decided it wasn’t pretty enough anymore to continue blogging regularly. I tried to be “sporadic” with my posts until my blog design was done, but life and work and projects got in the way of finishing that design; moreover, I think by not blogging, it was out of sight, out of mind. In my case, I was letting the perfect get in the way of good, and I wasn’t progressing because of it.
So I decided to suck it up, and do a 30 day blogging challenge to get me back in the grove, get me over the hump of perfectionism, which can also be a hinderance in the form of “waiting for the perfect light for a photo” and “not sharing anything until it’s completely finished, and perfect”. But what’s rather lame about that is this: I personally LOVE when I see the real in between processes of work, especially the way that rooms or art or ideas in general come together. It shows off the real progress that has been made! So, when I decided to just share a daily about rearranging Laelia’s room into a big girl room, despite the fact that it’s certainly not done (or “perfect”), and in a couple of cases I took photos at night(!) (which is something I certainly would never have done if I wasn’t obligated to post daily), I learned to be more comfortable sharing my work in-progress.
Another thing I learned was how to make shorter, less involved blog posts. From embracing wordless Wednesdays to separating posts into two or three smaller ones, I definitely began to feel okay with making a post without having to elaborate and elaborate on something. For example, when it came to making the post about my curtains, at first I was thinking about making it all one post; the before and after, the tutorial on how to do the triple pinch pleat, and tips on how and where to hang them, AND why I love IKEA hardware so much… but when I was composing the post, I realized they were actually separate posts, and I don’t need to force them to be one, singular post simply because they are related. Making huge blog posts takes a lot of time up front, it hinders my blogging rate, and what’s worse, it becomes less readable. My sister pointed something out; when it comes to articles, if they are not bullet pointed or in a slide show form, she’s less likely to read them. I’d like my blog to be more snippets and morsels, then a novel. And I have a tendency to write too much!
I also learned that I have a lot more to blog about than I would have previously considered! I mean, I always knew I had a lot to say, but now I’m a lot more comfortable sharing the small things, not just the big things. So overall, I’m really pleased and very satisfied with my experience, and happy to be blogging regularly again–This blog will still be getting a redesign, I’ll still be writing big posts, but I’ll be sharing more tidbits and vignettes! I think it will write a more complete picture of my life and my style, and it will become more of the blog I always wanted it to be, but I didn’t have the courage to make. The courage to let go and just do it!