Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I've Learned From BEDA

It's the last day of BEDA so I thought I'd sum up what this experience has taught me.

1. I learned a lot more about how blogger works. Okay this one is a bit of a cop out in terms of things I learned but it's true. Before BEDA I just wrote my posts and hit "publish" all in one go. This month I started prewriting some posts (namely the Doctor Who ones) so that while on vacation I could just post quickly and not take time away from the trip. I ran into trouble because I found that posts I wrote earlier were being published as though I'd published them the day I first wrote them. At first I responded by using copy and paste to "create" a new post with the same words. Then I realized there was a thing at the bottom of saved posts that let me control when it said it was published. So that made it easier.
I also learned more about the stats feature. I can see all sorts of cool things like how many views I've gotten or what people googled to find my blog. My favorite so far is that someone googled "yes you are" rory amy gay to find my Let's Kill Hitler post.
I also learned how to put pictures in my posts. 

2. I have an easier time writing when I know what I want to write. This may seem obvious but it's true. There were some days where I'd write an interesting post and have an idea for another. Rather than write the next post early I'd say "now I know what I'm writing tomorrow" then I'd forget the next day. I learned to write when I have the idea, rather than saying I have to write on these days. I'd rather write a few posts that are interesting or fun for me to write than write "this counts as a post" everyday. Despite that I also learned:

3. I like writing more frequently. If I look through the archives I had fewer than 20 posts from January and July. With nothing written in May. I want to be posting content here even if no one's reading. Or commenting or whatever. I was never a good diary keeper because I was never accountable to anyone but myself. Even if I don't know for sure who's reading this, I still feel more of a reason to write when I post here because I'm not the only one who'll be reading it.

4. While I like writing reviews of things, I don't want to just write reviews. I like telling funny little stories of things that happened to me. I like sharing fun things I've found. I like having the motivation to put pictures from trips on the computer because I'll get to put them in posts about my trips. I like having that memory of how I felt about the experience then permanently captured so that I can look back on them later.

5. I learned more about how comfortable I am writing about my personal life. Whenever I bring up my blog in front of my mom she gives me a lecture about not telling any personal information so that the internet stalkers don't get me. However, since most of the people who read this are my friends who are following a link I posted on facebook, for me it's more about how much do I want to share with everyone. Most of you know where I live and all that but I don't always want everyone to know how I feel about other people or certain situations.  I've had quite a few posts that I've started writing that would have been interesting and easier to write, that I ended up deleting and replacing with something lame because I didn't feel right talking about it on the internet. I was going to put an example in but then I deleted it because I'm still not totally sure if I want to have everyone know about it.

I guess the upshot of this is I want to commit myself to writing more frequently. I think I'm going to try to stick to twice a week for now. For the next few weeks one of those will probably be a review of the new Doctor Who episode, though probably not always written directly after watching the episode.
I'm starting university within the next two weeks so I'll probably have stuff to write about from that, though I'll have to work out how comfortable I am revealing certain details. I don't think I'm going to assign myself days that I have to post on (like mon/thurs or sat/wed). However if I find myself slacking on the writing I might try committing myself to certain days.
I don't know if I'll do BEDA again in April or even next August. I'll have to make the decision then based on my schedule.I'll see how it goes. Either way, this month has been fun.

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