183 Days

Blogging in the Balance?

‘At our age, we’ll always be immigrants in the digital world.  It’s the youngsters who are the natives.’

That was part of the argument that my friend Gillian put when she was persuading me that I should embark on a blog to learn more about the online world.

This is my 183rd post, since I didn’t start posting every day until a few days into January; meaning that I have been present in the blogoshere for that number of days, six months, or half a year.

In my old life working in the world of international taxation, 183 days of presence in a tax year is the measure used by most tax treaties to determine the place of residence of a person who moves between countries.  Consequently where others might have to do a spot of quick mental arithmetic if asked how many days there are in six months, it requires no thought for me.

So by that measure, I may be an immigrant in this digital landscape, but I’m a resident, and I’m adapting to some of the local customs.

What have I learnt?

I have surprised myself that, having made the commitment to post each day, I have, by hook or by crook, by using some stuff from my back pocket and from behind my ear, by posting the occasional stand alone random photo, I have posted 183 separate items.

On average this, in aggregate, will amount to in the region of 90,000 words, which is the equivalent to a decent length novel.  Somehow the pure randomness of the entries has made it easier to write than that apocryphal novel, of course.

There is absolutely no way I can predict the reaction that any post is going to generate.  Some of the ones I have done very quickly on what I have felt is quite a trivial topic have elicited astonishing and pleasing comments from unexpected places.

I have been surprised and gratified that I receive regular feedback and comment from people I do not know apart from through this blog; something I had not anticipated before I started my online exploration.

Taking photographs for inclusion in the blog has become part of the experience for me.  I started including images at the outset solely on the basis that wordpress recommended it as a way to make the posts more interesting; but now I keep my camera or phone ready to take random shots, which I would never previously have considered.

Keeping to the commitment has meant that, on some busy days, I have written the post in half an hour squeezed in between appointments, before going out early in the morning, or, most unusually for me, late at night before bed.  These are days when, without the blog commitment, it is likely I would not have written anything very much at all.

On other days, when I may have more opportunity, there has been a tendency for the post composition to expand to fill the available time, thus significantly reducing the amount of time I have left to get on with my other writing projects.

This has meant that I have been reconsidering my undertaking to post every day.  Instead, I am now revising the pledge.  For the next couple of months I will post at least four times each week to experiment and see how that impacts on my ability to work on other things, and I will review this again in September.

In the meantime, thank you for reading and commenting, and I hope you will stay along for the ride.

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  1. Congratulations on reaching day 183. Quite an achievement in my book.

  2. Congratulations – on two points – for persisting with the daily post… and for reviewing at this halfway point and finding the best way for you going forward. I think the second thing may have been more of a challenge for you than the first!!

    • LOL Voula! Thanks – let’s see how the new resolve goes…..I may have difficulty keeping track of the days!

  3. Well done on the half year! Look forward to seeing how it goes. I hope on the in-between days you are still pledging to write something?! I have yet to carry out my review. It’s got to happen soon, I think, but I need to make sure I replace the freed up time with something positive because that was my big incentive and purpose.

    • Thank you – and the same to you! The test is that I absolutely must work on other things on the in between days….if I don’t then I’ll have to think of another strategy!

  4. margaret nickels

     /  July 6, 2011

    Stunning , and it is probably a good thing to vary the routine for other reasons as well.

  5. Jill Goldberg

     /  July 6, 2011

    I am shattered. Your blog is the first thing I open every day. But, hey, it’s your decision…
    (Seriously, it’s great that you have got so much out of it. And that we have. Please don’t stop altogether.)

    • Hi Jill, I’m sorry to hear that you’re not well. I hope you feel better soon. I’m not giving up; I just need to experiment with lower frequency to see if I can get on with my other projects. It’s very flattering to know you’re reading every day. The one for tomorrow’s already lined up and scheduled, so no big changes as yet!

  6. Jill Goldberg

     /  July 6, 2011

    (Just to say have been in bed all day with flu and didn’t open laptop until now. In case you thought I was exaggerating about your blog being the first thing I open). 🙂


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