Well, I’ve done it, 28 blogs in 28 days each taking 28 minutes to write (well, err… 28mins to write plus 30 mins to edit, to be more honest). I thought I would spend my last blog of the series reflecting on the experience. Although I extended the writing time by adding some time for editing, I have on the whole stuck to the rules and have also written 28 blogs on unique subjects.
My main concerns when I began the challenge was that I would find it hard to source 28 subjects worthy of a blog piece, but this was mainly because previously I waited until something felt really important before I wrote a piece that usually took 2-3 hours. I now realise that isn’t the point of blogging, which I suspect is the point behind the challenge to get academics to write more. They encourage you to be freer with your ideas and to rid yourself of the need for perfection in what you write. I still very much felt the need to proof what I wrote, hence the edit time allowance, but I don’t think that is such a bad thing in a time of indelible posts online.
Did I enjoy it? Yes I very much did. With the exception of one Sunday when I really felt quite blue (the day the blog about Down’s syndrome) and really felt it was a chore to fulfil my obligation to the challenge, I was mostly happy to practice my skills. Having said that, there were certainly days when I felt too busy to do the daily blog justice, but these days didn’t seem to correspond with a lack of interest from the readers, so I guess I kept the quality up to a certain standard.
What have I learned? I learned to think quickly and write concisely, to summarise and not to blab on. I also learned that one has to be quite giving of ones ideas in order to make a blog interesting, yet when the ideas approached the subject matter of my upcoming books I had to balance this with not giving too much away, in case it gets nicked by some stranger in (on?) a mac.
I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to read my posts, so it was really uplifting to receive responses from both my Facebook friends as well as those less known on Twitter and Linked In. Thanks so much for the compliments, it has really bolstered my confidence and I now realise that maybe I do have something to offer as a writer. I was worried that my Facebook friends would tire of my posts especially, because I am already so prolific on there, and it was lovely to get likes and responses from those I’d assumed had back grounded me a long time ago. It turns out you are still out there!!!
The most popular posts were:
Why Russell Brand is Wrong About Pornography from March the 2nd
Busting the Good Woman Pedestal from March the 3rd (probably because I linked back to it to explain the concept of ambivalent and benevolent sexism)
On Men’s Need to Know they are of Normal Penile Size from March 4th
My Thoughts on Being Childless from March 18th
My thoughts on Emigrating to America from March 10th
50 Shades of Grey: A Pornographer’s Review from 21st February
I have gained roughly 30 new followers on Twitter, which is good but not amazing considering the amount of work involved but I have upped my stats on my blog site, so that was good to see.
Mostly I have learned a good habit, one which will help me with my professional career and importantly it has helped me work through some ideas for my book about gender I am currently working on and which had somewhat stalled as I found the angle I needed. The challenge helped me find that angle, not through the actual writing – I haven’t actually written much on the subject of masculinities – but through taking my focus away from the task in hand. Just as the best business ideas come to those taking a bath, I have found allowing my imagination to go all over the place to prove very helpful and I am now ready to start afresh on the book. This is exactly what I hoped would happen so I guess it is the definition of success.
What mostly surprised me though is how easy it is to roll out 1000 words in half an hour on so many different subjects. I worried I wouldn’t find inspiration enough, but sure enough, everyday someone somewhere is doing something objectionable regarding gender and sexuality and I really feel I could now go on for months on end writing everyday. This is helped by my realisation that the slightest thing can be inspiring, like writing about the song Jessie’s Girl, a song I randomly heard the day of the blog on the radio. This is much like I used to approach shooting porn films, taking inspiration form the slightest source and running with it. I once shot a film Pound a Punnet because I saw a woman wearing fingerless gloves whilst selling fruit. If you can base a whole DVD on extrapolation from such a small detail, the world’s your oyster…
Any thoughts and ideas about my blog are most welcome, good or bad, I
I‘d really love to hear your thoughts on them. Did anyone actually read all of them and can they remember them all? I’m not sure I can!
Thanks for your time, Anna