This is another instalment in my (sixth) Week of Lists: one fun and awesome list posted every day for seven days on a variety of topics.
Just this past weekend I quietly celebrated another blog anniversary on this site. Technicalities of names, technology, and other factors aside, I’ve been blogging within the realms of this collection of writing for some thirteen plus years now — and boy are my fingers tired! Ba-dum ching!
Actually, it’s not usually my fingers that get tired. It’s my brain: the poor idea factory that is responsible for churning out original ideas for content here. The thing is, if you’re wondering why I do all these little blog post stunts —daily happy updates, weeks of lists, reloaded summary posts, photo challenges, and virtual runs, just to name a few– it’s because coming up with original ideas, day after day after day after day… that’s a tough prospect. Lather, rinse, repeat… insert new stories here, and don’t worry as much about format and style and blah-blah-blah-blah…
But a blogger has to try.
That said, it doesn’t mean I can’t throw new things against the wall on occasion, either. Sure, some of it sticks, some slithers down and lands in a whimpering mess on the floor, like so much metaphorical spaghetti, sure. But a blogger has to try.
With hundreds –sometimes thousands or tens of thousands– of readers picking over posts here, there is a certain sense of obligation to try new things. And as spring revs into full gear, the rains starting to wash away the dust of a long winter, I’ve put my mind to some of those ideas. Feel free to borrow or adapt from my…
Five Spring Blogging Plans to Record Your Amazing Summer
1 : An Adventure To-Do List Challenge
People like lists. One of the reasons I keep coming back to this list format is because of the two types of lists I keep on my site, these are the less popular and they still get a butt-load of traffic relative to the rest of the site. The other kind is to-do lists: for example, my completely orginal 100 Things to Do Before You’re a Teenager list is closing in on twenty-nine thousand reads as of me writing these words. That tells me that if I were to come up with a post called, say, “16 SummerTime Adventures” or “23 Epic Local Wanders” or “14 Awesome Days Plans” or something like that, people would probably be interested. Plus, I’d be guaranteeing myself at least X-number of blog posts as I wrote about each and linked it back to the original list.
Along the same lines, having a kid who is starting to catch a little of her dad’s photography obsession bug, I’ve been pondering the idea of a photo scavenger hunt for her. Mine would be kid-focussed, but your doesn’t need to be. Plan out a solid list of photos-to-take this summer, from bugs to foliage to rainbows to muddy boots, and track your progress as the summer goes. And it goes without saying that you’ll post the photos.
3 : The Epic Serialized Story Project
I’m in the air about this one, but I like the concept. I’m in the air because last November I swore to take the year off of my creative fiction writing obligations. It was kinda a brain-break. But, that said, the notion of writing a serialized story that takes place somewhere in your life –and maybe this could even be a non-fiction one– seems like a neat idea to me. Again, the once-per-week model works well, keeps you busy enough but not too overwhelmed with work, and gives you the chance to do some interesting work. Personally, I was going to find some kind of little pose-able character who could have imaginary adventures in our backyard. Photos. Stories. Adventure. And sure-fire fascination for my local six-year-old… even if I would be breaking my own writing rule this summer.
One of the things I’ve learned from writing my various blogs and posts is that whenever you write something you tend ot learn something. It might not be much more than a bit of personal self-reflection, but often you’re forced to dig deeper on topics if you want to sound even remotely knowledgeable on a variety of topics. Whether you go full-hog and set up a unique category or post-type on your blog, or just simple keyword the relevant writing, there is a lot to be said about writing about the things around you: for example, one my summer goals is to learn more about the local foliage and flora. I’ve lived here for many years and I can name like six species of plants (and that’s counting the ones I bought from the greenhouse with little name tags on them.) Pathetic, huh? My hope is that by picking out something to write about on occasion –like local plant species in my case, you can pick your own interest– will motivate me to do a bit of research and learn more.
5 : The Photo-A-Week Finale
Daily photos are tough. Believe me. I did that 365 days, a-photo-per-day thing a couple years ago and I’m still trembling in fear of the idea of a repeat. I did something similar with videos last year which, though much less demanding on my time, was still complex and time consuming. That said, I think most bloggers could handle one pic per week. In fact, I’d bet most bloggers randomly snap one pic per week, anyhow. But try this. Find a spot in your yard or neighbourhood that you can visit at least once per week. Pick an angle, pick a shot, and then snap. Repeat weekly. At the end of the summer, take all those (nearly identical, but seasonally changing) pics and write one post as your summer finale. You’ll have about sixteen to twenty pictures, depending on when you start and end, but it will make for an interesting chronology of your summer when it’s done.