In late October, I set out to blog every day on my personal website for a month straight. I wanted to get more material out there written (rather than ghostwritten) by me. I also wanted to liven up my personal site, which can be a bit neglected as I spend so much time working online to spruce up other people’s websites and content. I’m happy to say that I fulfilled my goals, both in quantity and in quality. However, I’m not quite sure if I’m willing to commit to this writing pace, and I’m not even certain that I’m delivering the right voice on my blog.
Writing every day, for a public audience, as myself, challenged me as much as I hoped it would. I had let myself get rusty! After shaking out the cobwebs, it was fulfilling to speak for myself about whatever I wanted. It was also a real pleasure to reflect on books and culture on paper again (so to speak), fleshing out my opinions and forming defensible arguments. I loved doing it, and I want to do more of it.
I also enjoyed writing posts that were more observational, dealing with career arc and twenty-something life issues, although I felt a level of discomfort about those that was absent in the pop culture topics. First, sometimes I felt a little insecure about my authority on the subjects; second, I wondered if this blog was really the right place to share musings like that; third, I had to identify my boundaries about how much personal information I’m willing to give up to the big, wide, omnipotent internet. I hope that I can become a better essayist, and I think it’s healthy for me to continue to develop that skill set here, although I’d also like to contribute as a poster to more established blogs and online magazines to get more feedback as I grow.
I say I’m not sure of how to proceed, after this experiment, because the content from this last month has been kind of a hodgepodge. If I were to size up this blog in my professional capacity, I’d say its direction is more geared towards Tumblr than a proper, successful (read: single topic) blog. And, as I’ve touched on above, I’m still a little squirmy about how much personal info to put out there. It can be intimidating to take even simple things like jokes or entertainment opinions and send them out in the wilderness of the internet! I’m going to give this more thought over the next few days and see where I land.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my readers this month. I’m not sure how much the average internet user knows about website data, but through analytics tracking I can learn some interesting things about every visitor to my website, particularly how he or she got here, which pages he or she viewed, and where in the world he or she is located. When I started this experiment, I decided not to look at my website data until after the experiment concluded. Whether I had zero daily readers, or hundreds, I figured either way that information would distract me.
I checked out the data today, and I found it really fun to review (although that might be the digital marketer in me speaking again). A larger number of people than I expected checked out my blog this month. The people who found their way to my blog either Googled “Jane Austen” or “Jane Eyre”, or came through my social media profiles, so it’s fair to assume that this latter group consists of the people I know in real life. And those people are the best! It’s amazing to me how my old friends and classmates have scattered to the most interesting places all over the world. I am so glad that you all took the time to read my words. Thank you!