Yesterday, over at my author blog (mindfulmonica.wordpress.com), I wrote about creating and sticking to a blogging schedule. The last step of that process is “evaluation,” which I promised to write about here today.
I’ve been blogging regularly on one of my blogs or another (I have four, each with a different purpose) for more than ten years. Some of you have been following me here since the beginning (thank you, loyal readers!). At my peak, I posted 387 times on three different blogs in 2012 (also, not coincidentally, the year my first memoir came out). At my laziest, I posted 107 times in 2016 (that’s still an average of twice a week, so “lazy” is relative).
If just sitting down to write something is the goal, then I smashed it. I’ve written more than 2,600 posts in the past ten years. Even if 90 percent of those posts are junk, I’ve written a lot of good stuff over the years (I would argue that only about 86% of those posts are junk because I think I hit it out of the park at least once a week, but I quibble).
However, if my goal was sales, well, I fell far short. I estimate I’ve collected about $3,500 in royalties over that 10 year period, and oof, that would make me, well, probably hungry and homeless.
This hopelessness all came to a head in June of last year. I’d made a New Year’s Resolution to write six blog posts a week, which I more or less stuck to through June. But I wasn’t feeling it. My creative well had run dry, and I felt like I was posting uninspired retreads. When I analyzed my stats, I couldn’t justify keeping up my resolution for the rest of the year, and I pretty much quit posting unless I had something to say, which wasn’t often (maybe you missed me, and if you did, thank you).
Because one of my primary goals by blogging was to keep up a writing schedule, I refocused my writing on my work-in-progress, Church Sweet Home, the memoir that comes out on Tuesday.
I resumed a regular blogging schedule six weeks ago, in part because my dear mother told me she missed it, in part because I had time on my hands during the stay-at-home pandemic orders, and in part because I was launching my new book. The break had given me a chance to refill my creative well again, and it’s been good to sit down to blog regularly.
The lesson here is, know why you’re blogging, and revisit your purpose every once in a while. If you’re blogging to make money, well, get another job. But if you’re blogging to practice the craft of writing and connect with like-minded people, then I wish you the best of luck in blogging to meet those goals.