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Monday, October 11, 2010

A New Leaf

Today is my first non-DIY MFA blog post in over a month.  Part of me is still feeling a bit of withdrawal from the September extrabloganza but part of me is relieved too.  Here are some things I learned from this month-long blogging project (and I think they relate to writing in general too).

1) Blogging every single day with no breaks is hard, but totally worth it.  Don't get me wrong, it was totally worth it and a lot of fun too, but it was still a challenge.  A worthy challenge, sure, but still a challenge.

2) Planning makes all the difference, but over-planning can kill creativity.  During September, I had a plan for each post I was going to write and when I would post it.  I wrote the posts usually the weekend before they were due to go up and programmed them to go live at the right time.  This was all well and good, but it did take some of the spontaneity out of the writing so the trick was finding a balance between over-planning and planning just enough.

3) I can do it.  I know this one sounds like a no-brainer, but before September I had no clue if I had a project like this in me and if I could sustain the writing for a whole month, every day, no breaks.  Part of the reason I decided to embark on this project in the first place was to prove to myself that I could do it.  Now, when I start to doubt myself--"Can I really finish this novel?"--I'll just remember September and remind myself that if I could do this project, I can tackle a novel too.

4) Having a topic you believe in makes all the difference.  Having readers who also believe in your topic is even better.  Excitement is contagious.  No matter how excited one person is about a project, the level of motivation will only go up if you put him or her together with equally motivated people.  You guys are a big part of the reason why I made it through this project.  Without your enthusiasm and great comments, it would've been really tough.

5) I still have a lot of DIY MFA to share so it's not over yet!  Though September is behind us and I've covered the basics of DIY MFA, there are still plenty of topics to share.  Here's my plan for this blog going forward:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: I'll continue writing about DIY MFA and topics relating to it (like craft or literature), though I won't separate topics according to day like I did with the DIY MFA "classes".  Every so often, I'll do a Monday-Friday week-long series on one topic (and I'll try to announce when those are coming so you'll know to check back during that week).  For the most part, though, I'll be posting more organically, as topics come to me.

Tuesday/Thursday: These will be my "wild card" days when I'll post things that strike me more spontaneously, though writing and creativity will usually be central to the topic at hand, I may branch out to other topics those days as well.  I also may occasionally give myself a day off on a Tues. or Thurs.

Saturday/Sunday: iggi and I will take a much-needed weekend break so we can come up with new and exciting blog posts for the following week.

Sound like fun?  I hope so.  I'm a little nervous about abandoning the DIY MFA structure but I think this plan will work nicely and if it doesn't I'll change things up.  Of course, if I do decide to change things on you, I'll make sure to let you know.

6 comments:

Bess Weatherby said...

I'm excited about this :) And impressed -- I started out doing M-F blogs, but have scaled back to two a week! I'm glad that you are putting in the hard work to do a blog every day, and look forward to more DIY MFA posts as well as the Wild Cards. Sometimes those end up being the most interesting :)

Jolene Perry said...

Every time I write blog posts too far ahead of time - I don't like them anymore. Have fun with your new loose schedule!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Aww, I love seeing your thoughts on this! I've been so swamped lately that I haven't really commented a lot anywhere, but I have read all of your posts. You're doing a beautiful job! Good luck with the new schedule. :)

Wannabe Writer said...

Thank you so much for September! I'm very excited to see that there's still more to come.

Janice said...

I don't know how you did it Gabi, but I'm glad you did. It takes me almost a day to write a half decent blog post and even then I second guess myself.

I can't wait to see how iggi U grows :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I especially like #2 and #4. They are all very insightful lessons, though. :-)

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