penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

Fifty-two pick up

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A little over a year ago I started an experiment. I set up Penny In A Castle to write about…whatever came into my head. 

There were a few motivating factors.  I had been thinking about writing a blog for a while.  I realized I wasn’t getting much of a chance to write at work – and I heard that perhaps the writing I was doing was not of good quality. 

In the past I had been bogged down by the idea that a blog should have a central them, as well be coherent and consistent.  Really good blogs do.

Setting up a blog though, I thought, would be a good opportunity for a bit of free education in both writing and social media.  I have found that this experiment has provided me with both.  I’ve recommended several of my colleagues consider trying it if they find they are spinning their writing wheels.

Soon after I started, however, I realized that I wasn’t really intending this to be the typical blog. More like a digital chapbook.  A little blank notepad where I could scribble oddities down, and share them if people were interested.

So far, while it hasn’t always gone exactly as planned, I’ve been happy with how my little lopsided experiment has turned out.  I would especially like to thank all the people who have followed me, or liked my posts or commented.  It’s great to know that people are reading and to receive feedback.

I’ve learned a few things along the way. I have other ideas I’m hoping will continue to percolate. 

1)      Part way through the year, I noticed I was able to post approximately once a week. So I set myself a goal – one post every seven days.  While I did not exactly succeed in doing that (summer vacation anyone?) this is my fifty second post for the year.  I’m going to call that a win.

2)      I’ve done some reading about posting and many blogging experts agree that you should try to post on the same day at the same time every day.  I dutifully tried to follow this advice – for about a month.  Tuesday mornings would be the magic time (a week day when people might be paying attention, early enough that people might see it).  Invariably, even with back up posts, it went sideways. Now I post at whatever inconvenient time happens to come up – say midnight on a Sunday.  I do apologize for this to my followers. At some point, I will get my act together and post more regularly but this goes to my next point…

3)      Time is the precious commodity I don’t have enough of.  Being a working mom leaves not too much space for extracurricular activities.  As a result, I have ideas that slip by me as I’m running towards the next file pile or laundry mountain.  Sometimes I jot them down – either on an electronic document or in a journal book (with REAL paper!) at home.  While I like writing though, spending time with my husband and kids is what’s really important to me.  And carving out time through sleep deprivation is not an option.   Battling for time will continue.

4)      When I first started I thought I would write more fiction.  That hasn’t happened (I’ve written one short story since starting).  I think there may be a few reasons for that – fictional ideas haven’t come as quickly or easily as I would like (there’s that time thing again).  I seem to have written quite a few silly poems though.  Maybe because they stick in your head more and insist on having more attention – like the toddler grabbing at my leg while I am cooking dinner and trying to write a memo on my black berry at the same time.

5)      When I look at my tags the biggest ones are humour, family, children, books and poems. With slightly less emphasis on community and travel (which is surprising because we really don’t travel much).  I’m sure these will continue to be themes for me, but maybe I should branch out of my comfort zone a bit.

6)      I’ve discovered if my husband tweets any links to my blog my readership hits the (relative) stratosphere.  I don’t aim for fame, but I do appreciate when he does it. 

I don’t have big plans, but eventually the blog may develop and evolve further. At least, here’s hoping for another fifty two posts next year.

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Written by pennyinacastle

November 16, 2013 at 4:59 am

Posted in Random thoughts

Tagged with ,

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