Blog Ahead: My First Challenge

I entered the world of blogging in December of 2015. I wasn’t really sure what blogging was or what I was doing. In a short time I discovered that blogging was an activity I really enjoyed. There is a pride and a satisfaction that comes from publishing a well written post. Unfortunately, there are occasional writing plummets or prolonged periods where there just seems to be no sparks of inspiration dancing across the keyboard, and of course there are simply life’s schedule hang-ups that impeded the flow of creativity and productivity. These things can add stress to writing and blogging, and therefore take “enjoyable” out of an activity that otherwise provides pleasure. With all that in mind I am pleased to announce my participation in the October 2016 Blog Ahead Challenge hosted by herding cats & burning soup!

The goal of the Blog Ahead Challenge is to increase your scheduled posts by 30 and therefore create a nice stock pile of posts for yourself to draw from during expected or unexpected schedule crunches and writing blanks. The challenge starts October 1 and runs until October 31.

For me, as a post-a-week blogger, I have 5 scheduled posts for the month of October (currently unwritten, yikes). My challenge goal will be to have 35 scheduled posts by October 31, so I will be very busy behind the scene trying to reach this goal.

Please check back here throughout the month of October because I will be adding mini-updates about my progress on a weekly basis, and I may even include some previews of those tantalizing works in progress!

If you are interested in joining the challenge yourself click the link I included above for details and the access to the InLinkz linkup.

you got this

Mini Update #1 30 Topics decided is a sigh of relief!

Week number one consisted of coming up with 30 topics that fit under my blog themes. So, of my 30 topics broke down under my 8 themes as follows: 5 under memoir/life stories, 4 Creative Writing, 2 Travel, 4 Mental Health, 4 Parenting, 3 Children, 1 Craft, 4 Writer’s Tool Box, and 3 under the Blog category. I also successfully created 5 rough posts and a polished post.

Teaser#1 is a quote from one of my first few posts created in this challenge: “Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~ Unknown

Mini Update # 2 Breath of Fresh Air

I have created a total of 14 posts at this point, and I am working on another today. I seem to have what amounts to a one a day rhythm going. It is a refreshing feeling to know that I have 14 posts in a stock pile with plans for posting in 2017.

Teaser#2 is another quote from a post I am currently working on: “They are all a little crazy, but they have (or had) the potential for good & great things. However, they got caught in a cycle of misdirection.”

Mini Update #3 End in Sight

I created some feature images for a few of these posts this week, and I am working steadily toward the end goal. I have created 25 posts at this point. However, a few of them are just rough and need a bit of polishing up, but I feeling I am in a good position to complete the challenge.

Mini Update #4 Successful Completion

My goal was to complete the BlogAhead challenge with 35 scheduled posts, 5 of which were for the month of October. As of October 30th, I have 38 posts! I have also taken the time to schedule them into my 2017 schedule and it takes me to about the middle of November after I left space for my monthly Coffee Posts. It feels great. I can now keep writing and it will be pressure free!

By Shari Marshall – 2016

8 thoughts on “Blog Ahead: My First Challenge

  1. Although I don’t see myself being up for the challenge, I do like the idea of having posts to fall back on during those times when I find it hard to come up with something or am just schedule challenged. I’ve found that many of my posts are time and period specific so I would need to make them independent of that (see, I’m already planning ahead, lol). Great idea and good luck with this!

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    1. It was the idea of the fall back posts that drew me in. I was sceptical myself when I first found the challenge because I typically find inspiration in the moment and then run with it, but I kept coming back to the idea and so I looked at challenge information a bit more and some of the links that were already up and here I am. There is also a Facebook support page for the challenge. Thank you for the good luck wishes, and if you decide to give it a try we can try to help each other over the time/period/in the moment hurdles. Thanks again for the pre-challenge support!

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  2. If for no other reason, joining a group that goes by the moniker “herding cats & burning soup”, I’m all in, feet-first!
    I’m also new to blogging (just started last month) and still trying to navigate the terrain (BTW, your blog site is beautiful!). I’m slowly – s. l. o. w. l. y. – learning about tags, links, and widgets, and begin to feel faint when attempting to format anything beyond simple text!
    I decided early on that I wanted to post weekly, and to remain as consistent as possible; thus far, I’m winning that battle, save for a day’s delay here and there! However, it’s not without extreme effort! I’m currently employed full time, a single parent, finishing up my master’s degree, AND pursuing this whole writing thing… Celebrate Exhaustion! :: sigh :: Therefore, the idea of “fallback posts” seems like a dream come true! Here comes the big ol’ “but” – I’m ramping up for mid-terms this week, my courses end on October 21st (which means a tremendous amount of research and writing to be done in the wee hours), and in the office environment, third quarter ends September 30th, which means extra hours at the office, filing quarterly reports! Ugh! My soup is definitely BURNT!
    (…please explain why I still feel the masochistic urge to enroll in this challenge? somebody stop me…)

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