When I committed to WordCount Blogathon’s challenge to write a post-a-day-in-May, my goal was to focus on our blog and my writing. After two years of heavy writing for Depression Cookies and a cross-country move, I lost my energy. Now I feel renewed. Initially I was going to set a 500-word-a-day goal for writing starting in June, but now I know I can do much more.
But this knowledge was only the tip of the iceberg. This is my feeble attempt to quantify what I’ve learned:
* How to better define what I want our blog to be: our blog started as a way to promote and discuss our novel, Depression Cookies. Now, thanks to seeing so many wonderfully diverse blogs, I realize Mom and I have so much more to say. We are a mother-daughter team who wrote a mother-daughter book . . . there's a wealth of topics for us to cover.
* Respecting Copyrighted material: Don't get me wrong, I would never steal another's thoughts or hard work for my own use. Still, I didn't get the nuances of using images or "selected pieces" of blog posts. Now I do. When I wanted to pass along some great information from a discussion I attended, I contacted the speaker and asked if I could paraphrase what I learned. She was thrilled and I've formed a bond with her. I wouldn't have thought to contact her before.
* Twitter: Before Blogathon, I had only dipped my toe into the pool of Twitter. Basically I signed up kicking and screaming. I’m still a Twitter-newbie, but I’m starting to appreciate what it has to offer.
* Links: It never dawned on me to put links within my posts. Such a rookie mistake.
* Community: I am a better blogger when surrounded by a community of bloggers. You get what you give. I’m updating my Blogs We Love sidebar come June 1 to reflect this new and growing community. I became a better mother when I surrounded myself with mothers, the same has been true of blogging.
Then there’s the invaluable advice I’ve received on Feedburner, Google alerts, blog stats, freelance writing, writing techniques and inspirations, and the list goes on and on.
Thank you Blogathon bloggers and our ring-leader, Michelle Rafter. Although it's been a crash course, I now have reliable sources to use as I continue to learn.
What in your life has been made better by community?