Today I finished work as normal and got a wee congratulatory message from WordPress about having 200 people subscribed to this very blog. It feels pretty big, but it also made me wonder about a few things.

It made me think about how useful milestones can be. I guess, the most common thing they are used for, is to be a target. To have something significant that you can work towards. It is really useful, and is used in everything from school education to weightloss to saving money. And having a goal is a proven motivational tool. Or it can be.

I have a lot of experience at setting goals and doing nothing to achieve them. These targets are usually something I do really want, but I just get a little over-eager in planning things. Like I’ll get so far, and then I’ll just give up. Because whilst my target is there, it begins to feel like I make a lot of effort and I’m no further in reaching my goal. Over time, I have learnt I work better with smaller goals. Wee bits at a time.

For example, I have tried a lot of monthly blogging challenges in the past, and I have failed them all. I made a change this year, and tried to simply post something every day. No end goal in focus, just the short termed goal. And it has worked, we are nearly at the end of January, and I was able to post something every day. Because the goal was more achievable, it was easier to get a momentum going.

It is nice when your smaller goals, do add up to a bigger milestone. It’s a satisfactory feeling. There are 200 people following this blog, and that feels pretty special. This blog has been about expressing myself, and that is about it. Other than posting regularly, there has been no real targets for me. It’s all fairly natural.

Thank you to anyone who has followed this blog over the years. I appreciate that you took the time to take a wee bit of interest in whatever nonsense I ramble about. ❤

Lacking In Something

I love writing. I used to try and keep journals growing up, with varying amounts of success, simply because I like it. I liked the idea of writing something personal about a certain situation, having a certain view, and then reading it at a later time, laughing at my own reaction about something. Or even being like, ‘I can’t believe I felt like that about such and such a person’. As I got older, I realised that a lot of the things I felt were memorable at the time, I actually didn’t remember at all later on. Like, that moment that your first crush ignores you at break time was heartbreaking at 10 years old, but it doesn’t take long for that same moment to have you scratching your head as to why you were so upset. It’s one of the good things about keeping diaries.

I have tried to keep up writing personal journals, but I am getting to the stage where it can take 2/3 years to fill a single book. Which feels a little frustrating for me, because I feel like I am missing out on things. It is like when I discuss this with people around me, they can equate it to not posting on social media. I’ll be honest, I get super annoyed, when people think my wee diary with scribbled drawings is the same as Facebook. My diaries, especially when I was a teenager, were my venting point, that best friend I could tell my secrets to, and noone else would ever. Facebook, is the polar opposite to that. I suppose the idea with social media, is that you can post tidbits of your life to share with others, which is nice, but not everything needs to be shared. For example, glad to read that someone has a new puppy, not too glad to see someone has a new partner on the side. Some things should stay private, right?

This conflict in my mind, between what to share, and what to keep private, is getting harder to negotiate. For years, I used my blogs to vent, my diaries for more personal stuff, and other social media for… well more venting. If I get annoyed with a work colleague, for example, I will rant, but it will go in a small notebook that will never get anywhere near the internet. If it is a bigger issue, like people with bad attitude in the workplace, I may post about it online in a blog post. Mostly, because it allows me the space to explain in a broader sense, because it isn’t about a particular person. However, if I am PISSED, I may rant on Facebook, and honestly, that never ends well. Someone I know will ALWAYS think I am complaining about them, when I’m not. So it creates drama where there should be none.

But because I end up being cautious about what I write, in case I do indirectly offend a friend, I umm and errr over posts, and post nothing. My draft list is getting pretty long at this stage, because I do write a lot, I just decide to sit on the posts for a while, rather than just throwing it out into the wilderness of the internet. It frustrates me, because I never used to be so indecisive about what I post. And now, it is just becoming counter-productive. But that mental barrier holding me back is also stopping me from writing in my diary too. I think it just because there was no distinction of what I was writing, just different categories would go different places, and now I kind of have a block about writing anything.

I hope I am not the only person having such problems.

What Is Your Purpose?

Why do you do what you do?

Everyone has their own reasons for doing things. They have a way that they want to express themselves, and they use it. I say this because a taxi driver isn’t defined by driving taxi. Your job doesn’t define who you are as a person, it may not even define your social values that you hold. So how do you try and give yourself more value in the areas that matter to you?

I write. Or try to. I have always written out my feelings and thoughts, in a way that I found difficult to speak. Over the years, writing blogs like this has helped me try to get to grips with what is happening in my life and even the world. I have tried to organise my thoughts in a way that helps create purpose for me. If what I say makes sense to someone, and may help them with something, it feels great. It feels like I have achieved something.

But, I find other people define me as one of those weirdos who shares their whole life online. Although, I don’t actually talk about personal things. I maybe talk about feeling depressed, or stressing out about life, but details are missed out. I try to put in what I learn, or advice that I should try to remember, and it’s almost like I give myself a pep talk. But a lot of people don’t see that.

But as life changes, my needs change, as does where I try to find meaning. If I don’t write, and out something ‘out there’, I feel angsty. I feel like I need to post something. It has become something that helps me organise my thoughts and ideas, and to me that is important. It’s the feeling I get when I write, that gives me purpose. It’s hard to explain it to someone, but I feel this immense sense of achievement, although it seems nothing to most people. But that makes it all the more important to me, I don’t expect it to matter to anyone else in the same way.

Pending NaNoWriMo 2011

It is quickly approaching that time again when thousands of writers undertake the task of writing a 50,000 word novel through the month of November.

Yes. November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I did attempt this challenge last year, but I think I got to about 18,000 words and I just got so stuck. I missed a day, and then two days, and then it all pretty much fell apart. I think it is an interesting challenge, and it would be such an achievement to reach the end of November knowing I had written a novel. Please visit this site to sign up, or for more info.

So in my second year, I have decided to start to prepare to writing every day. So am going to do a Post-A-Day, in a bid to inspire myself. I think it will be a big help this year, as last year I was going in blind, and was unsure of the actual volume I had to produce. As much as you try to imagine having to post over 1,500 a day, it is hard to picture until you actually do it. As you will know if you have read this blog before, I have no problem with speaking my mind and writing about anything. So I can’t imagine this post a day thing to bother me. But I say that. I do post frequently, but it comes in spurts.

So, wish me luck on both post-a-day and NaNoWriMo. And if you read this, let me know if you take part in anything to try and challenge yourself.