Friday, August 30, 2013

August Break Wasn't for Me

I jumped into August Break without thinking twice, but agonized for weeks over whether I would have the stamina in June to do the Blogathon. Turns out I had no problem completing the Blogathon. With August Break I chugged along at first, posting a photo every day that went with the daily theme.

Then two things happened: 1. We had our apartment painted and, as mass chaos broke out at home, I fell off the daily posting routine. Having to deal with the dislocation of my home life was certainly the main culprit, but then I discovered something else: 2. August Break was killing my blogging voice. I just didn't feel like doing it.

Isn't that odd? You'd think an easy challenge like this one of simply posting a picture every day would be just the thing to keep me going, and the daily theme wasn't even prescriptive. And yet, it turned out that posting only a photo didn't work for me. Don't get me wrong, anybody who's been following me knows I love posting photos, but for me it's more about the story or little insight that goes along with them. I am a writer first and a photographer second. I take photos because they help me tell a story. Left to my own blogging devices, even in an ostensibly more daunting challenge like the Blogathon, my mind is constantly percolating with ideas that I could blog about. Somehow, August Break with its handy list of daily themes turned off that faucet. Suddenly I had to look to the theme list to see what I could blog about, rather than having my usual bunch of draft posts going. I didn't like that, chaos at home or not.

Nevertheless, I'm glad I undertook August Break because it taught me a lot about how blogging works for me, and it's always a good thing to learn more about yourself. Now I am returning to my tried and true routine of posting about twice a week, sometimes more often, and to blogging about all those things I usually blog about. Blogging is a home for my voice, a place to develop it, and to share my take on this world of ours with my wonderfully generous audience of readers. My blog is not a place to follow someone else's lead. So, if you have any insights on this turn of events, do chime in, please!

10 comments:

  1. I did enjoy the August Break photos you posted and the commentary with some of them. But I'm also looking forward to your regular, excellent posts. On with September!

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    1. Nancy - as always, thanks for your encouragement.

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  2. Look at you Annette, two blog challenges! Congrats. I'm not familiar with August Break, I'll have to keep it in mind for next year.

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    1. Anne - thanks. By all means, check out August Break.

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  3. I do occasionally think of joining the ranks of photo blogs everyday, but it would require a different mindset than writing blogs.

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    1. William - you hit the nail on the head. It is indeed a different mindset!

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  4. Annette, I've enjoyed following your blog since finding you during the blogathon. I didn't participate in the August Break for just the reasons you explore... my blog is what I call my "stream of consciousness" and I always have a bunch of drafts going (except for this past month when I've been streaming my consciousness about my life with Dinah Dog and after). Although I love taking photos, for me, they are really the frosting on the words. Thank you for your insights!

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    1. Lois - thanks for sharing your blogging insights as well!

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  5. Hi Annette. I've been away from the blog world for a while this summer and came to check what I missed with you. I'm with you on the monthly blog extravaganzas. Some days the themes can inspire me and push me to do something new, successfully. But most of the time its a rush to get the blog post done to say I've done it. Then I feel like I'm sending blog spam to my readers for thirty straight days and making them hate me. I try to offer my readers something good when I post two or three times a week, but I can't do that every day because it distracts from the main writing I'm working on away from the blog.

    All that said, I love to look at the challenges and what others have done to get blog ideas that I can work up on my own schedule. Hope you had a good summer. And by the way, did I tell you I finally started my MFA program this summer. My head is exploding from how much more I've learned about writing in such a short time.

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    1. Julie - thanks for chiming in. It's good to hear someone else feels the same way I do - I definitely don't want to generate blog spam. You did tell me about your MFA but I'm dying to hear what program you're in and how it's working out for you. Do email me, please.

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