blogging is not yet a habit

When I started this trial of blogging every day, I committed myself to an honest attempt for 31 days of writing and publishing a blog entry. I had not laid out clear objectives, but essentially I wanted to see whether I enjoyed blogging and whether I could find topics to write reasonably meaningful stuff about. I am now at the last three days of this trial, and it is probably time to step back and see what works, what doesn’t, and what I’d like to do in future.

The idea for my month-long trial came from two sources.

One is the concept of 21-day habit formation, which states that to form a habit you must do the new activity daily for 21 days for the mind to set the pattern. I first read this in the path-breaking book,  Psycho-Cybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz (the book was published in 1960, but it is still definitely worth reading). In the preface, Dr. Maltz says, “It usually requires a minimum of about 21 days to effect any perceptible change in a mental image.” I believe that the common belief that a habit needs 21 days to form comes because of this book, but there I may be mistaken.

My second inspiration was an excellent article on such trials by Steve Pavlina, where he suggests that this duration is enough to break initial barriers to a new habit, and give enough experience to decide whether to continue. Steve based his selection of 30 days on the free-trial offers of shareware software.

Well, so I’m 28 days into blogging, and I can’t in all honesty say this is a habit. I need to remember to do it, and to force myself to to it every day. I struggle for what to write about, toss around a few ideas, have a few aborted beginnings, and finally decide on one and just forge ahead. As a writer, I am already familiar with writer’s block, so okay, now I know there is also a blogger’s block 🙂

I had thought that 31 days of making these entries would make me comfortable with blogging. The answer so far is, no, it hasn’t made me comfortable. I had assumed that I would (by osmosis?) understand more about blogging terminology and ‘politics’, but frankly, I haven’t even tried. I had even thought I would get a clear idea of the shape and direction I want my blog to take. Though not totally blank here, my ideas and thoughts are fuzzy even on this.

What I do know is, I feel very satisfied when (if) a blog entry starts taking shape the way I want it to, and it is gratifying to click the Publish button on such days. So yes, I would like to continue blogging. But daily? Nah. I don’t think I have the time and energy to maintain a daily blog habit, nor do I have enough to say 🙂

Reviewing the topics I have chosen so far this month, most are on personal experiences and inner journeys, quite a few related to my insights and problems in caregiving, and some on life as such.

I did think of writing on other topics, but could not muster enough enthusiasm. So I wrote nothing on politics, or economic breakdowns, or ecology, or social topics like education or entertainment like films, or even opinion pieces on phenomenon like Wikipedia. Do I have opinions on such topics? Yes, sometimes, but they are not so bright and burning in my mind to transform into ready articles. More, they would need research to do justice to the topic, and they don’t grab me so much emotionally that I would spend a half-day drafting an entry in my current one-entry-a-day format.

So, for my experiment, the canvas I chose was personal. In a way this reflects the fact that I am not yet at peace in my microcosm, so I do not concern myself or stay so well informed about macrocosm.

Look at it this way–there are enough experts out there for lofty topics–me, I am happy to try becoming an expert on myself. Most probably, my future blogging will be much along the same lines: personal observations and insights, personal explorations, of a serious or semi-serious nature.

One thing I am certain about: I will not target to blog every day.

I am toying between once a week and twice a week, but I am not planning to commit to a frequency as I did for this month. I don’t know whether the release in ‘pressure’ will result in my not making any entry at all–I will review and revisit this at the end of March.

One area I think I would have enjoyed writing about, but did not do often enough, is comments on books I read and how their insights resonate in me, or cause a aha! style of click in place, or how I disagree with them. I think the reason I did not pick this was, these would need note-taking and summarizing thoughts, and a forced one-entry-a-day did not give me enough time to do justice to a book or a section of it.

I do hope to try more of this type of book commentary/ discussion later–I think I will enjoy it. I love reading and mulling over what I read, so jotting these musings may be fun, too.

For the next two days, I hope to look around and see what others blog about, or how they decide on the thrust of their blogs. Two days is probably not enough to study this, but all I want is a flavor of what types of choices people make, so that, come February 1, I am clearer and make my choices for my next phase of blogging.

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

One Response to blogging is not yet a habit

  1. austere says:

    Fair enough.
    To think of something to write everyday is difficult.
    Sometimes its okay to “just be”.
    Looking forward to Feb.

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