Throughout my 40th year of life, I posted on this blog every single day. This wasn’t initially a goal — during my parental leave, I enjoyed writing a little something here just to get a marker of my baby’s life down and to do something a tiny bit creative while braindead and sleep-deprived. Then, at some point, it became a point of curiosity as to whether I could make it a year, and finally I got so close, it seemed somehow mandatory to reach the benchmark.
There have been good and bad things about publishing here every day:
- I have a lovely little treasure box of a year of my baby’s life. I keep a diary but my diary is mostly just a boring emptying of my brain’s current stressors. Because I was publishing here for an external audience, these posts include detail and narrative that I can imagine reading when I am much older and have forgotten all of this.
- Forcing myself to find something worth writing about every day caused me to be more observant and to think more creatively. I wrote when I thought I couldn’t possibly write, and those were some of my better posts. There’s a lot of stuff here that I’m proud and happy to have written that I absolutely would not have written if I didn’t have this arbitrary self-imposed requirement.
- I’ve gotten a lot of really nice compliments from people on my writing, including sometimes from people who I had no idea were reading this blog. That’s felt great! Also, my family has really enjoyed reading these posts.
- It’s taught me that conditions do not have to be perfect for me to write. I can get really avoidant about writing and think my house has to be spotless and I need five hours of uninterrupted time, etc., and this has really broken me out of that way of thinking. This is also helpful for my job, which requires a lot of writing — previously I felt if I were exhausted and not able to think clearly, I simply could not string two words together. But now I know I always can if I make myself; it might not be solid gold, but I can at least get a draft down and refine it the next day.
- I think I have gotten better at writing.
- There’ve been a lot of good posts that I wouldn’t otherwise have written, but there’ve also been a lot of pointless things that I posted just because I had to post something. I don’t really agree with adding to the noise that’s out there — if you publicly share something even just on social media, I feel it should be of at least some use to somebody.
- Blogs are dead and writing here has basically been like throwing a party in an empty parking lot. It’s really depressing and lonely to write something you think is good and get no response to it whatsoever; most days here I just get a like or two. Not to mention all the bots that interact with my posts. By comparison, it’s so easy to get real engagement on Twitter. I’ve been doing this for myself when I’m older, but even still, it feels silly some days and vain, like performing for a mirror.
- I have Opinions about talking about Edith on the internet. I know this is a minority opinion and I won’t go too into it, because most people feel differently, but I think it’s important to be a good steward of her privacy until she’s old enough to take control of how she wants to represent herself. It’s a tricky balance because my experience of motherhood is my own story, not Edith’s, and talking about my life on the internet is one way I communicate and express myself, and I’m allowed to share the most profound thing that’s ever happened to me. But it’s also Edith’s story, and I don’t have the right to tell hers. I’ve tried to walk a line that feels comfortable to me, but sometimes I really feel like I shouldn’t be talking about her at all.
- It’s a real pain in the ass to have to post something here every day, especially on the weekends.
Going forward, I think I’m going to aim to publish something twice a week, and also maybe put a little more effort into my diary. I’m hoping this balance will keep all the good stuff above, but cut out the bad stuff.