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Thursday, March 24, 2011

My 300th Post!

Today is another milestone I could never have imagined as my blog turns 300 today. I will try to avoid what I wrote on the 100th and 200th post, but I may repeat myself as I haven't read my own blog so I could repeat myself.

Anyway, I was asked a question earlier this week by a person whom I haven't talked to in several years, and I was asked, "Is it difficult writing so much?" I thought about this for a while and realized that it is actually harder working on my books now. I am currently writing my 4th book (only Finding Kansas has been published) but without the instant feedback it is harder.

There is another reason why writing a book is much more difficult than writing a blog. With a blog there is no set limit on length. What this means is some blog posts are long, some are short, but with a book one needs around 85,000 words. Let me say this written out for dramatic effect, eighty-five thousand words. What this means is that as MS Word is counting the words I know how close I am to completion. With some many words needed it is easy to become overwhelmed.

When writing my first book I never intended it on being a book so I wasn't paying attention. This sort of happened with the second book as well, but when writing my third I found myself fretting over words. The same thing now has happened on my fourth book and this is a great example I can use. When one can see just how much work is needed, and in terms of writing a book it is a lot, one can get overwhelmed. This happened to me every time I missed a day of school, which was often, because I would get a sheet with all the assignments due. Seeing every paper due at once made me think it could never be finished. This is the same way I sometimes feel about writing in book mode.

Writing in blog mode? This is easy. It is once a day, usually written in the morning every weekday and sometimes the weekend on special events. While it is now easy for me it wasn't always so. I still have a sheet in my desk from last March that was a "blog idea paper" (actual words on the top) that had ideas for my blog and what day I would write it. I was so scared of not having anything to write that I had two months worth of stuff planned. This may sound good, but because I was trying too hard the ideas weren't all that good. This is one of the traps I would fall into at school when overwhelmed; quantity trumps quality when stressed because as long as it is done I don't have to worry about it.

Since the days of last year of massive planning I now usually start planning the blog the night before. Each day I take mental note of any challenges I faced, or conversations I heard, or bits of items in the news all in hopes of having the topic for the next day's blog. I have quit thinking weeks in advance because if I do I assure you the quality would drop off. I am glad I have done this because I believe this keeps me more aware of the now and lets me see each day as a learning experience.

It's been an amazing run so far and just the first three months of 2011 have been fun to write. From writing about the struggles to getting up to bowl without offending other bowlers, to the day I had a flat tire, to the thoughts of saying goodbye to my car, to the horrible experience in jury duty, and of course the severe allergic reaction to being stung by a bee, I can't believe the stories so far.

Tomorrow I start anew with post 301 and tomorrow will be like any other day, and the day after that, and if I keep going I might start planning so I will quit doing that, but I will thank you for reading and look forward to one of these chats at my 400th post... dang, I can't quit planning my blog in the future :)

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations Aaron. I remember the night you called from the bowling alley and bowled your first 300. It was one night, a couple of hours, and bam, it was done. Your effort and commitment to changes lives has been a blessing. Keep writing and just don't plan too much.

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  2. It is interesting to me that in some areas of your life you need to do things the same way all the time, and in other areas, like this blog, how you do it can change.

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  3. From one blogger to another, thank you for sharing your words and insight with those of us in cyberspace. I look forward to reading your next 300 posts.

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