Back to the Beginning

This blog has been around since December 2013. It started with a challenge I called ’21’ with an intention to write a blog post every single day. I wrote and published 17 out of 21 intended posts, which is 80% of the goal, and it made me happy. Please check my December 2013 archive for evidence!

I was reminded about the idea of writing (almost) every day by Hana Ticha’s post. She blogged 15 times in one month! By the way, this now became #hanachallenge on Twitter. There are bloggers I read and respect who committed themselves to frequent posting now, and some who have even posted 15 times! [Note: I highly strongly recommend following Hana’s blog, if you are not doing this already]

Even though I am not ready to take up the challenge myself, I would like to share what I learned about the habit/style of blogging from Hana. Quote:

Based on what I’ve read, many bloggers like to save random blog-worthy ideas in the form of many separate drafts which give them great content ideas to come back to. Some say they even have up to fifty drafts. This is amazing given that I’ve never had more than one draft at the same time. Once I turn an idea into a draft, I need to finish it. Starting another draft usually means abandoning the previous one. It’s no longer worthy of attention and it will never be because it wasn’t finished. Having so many drafts would feel somehow cluttered for me anyway. It sounds strange now that I read it back but this is the way I write (and live?) – I need to focus on one thing. Once it’s completed, I let go of it and move on.

Zhenya’s thoughts: I should say I am guilty of having lots of drafts (on my computer, in a notebook, on pieces of paper, etc.) I often wait until an idea ‘shapes itself’ but oftentimes, this does not happen. The original thought is forgotten, and when I come back to it, sometimes months or even years later, I don’t feel the same urge to write about the subject. I am going to try to de-clutter those multiple drafts in the coming month, so you might hear from me more often, and the posts may be about different, sometimes less predictable things!

I would also like to thank Hana for sharing the link to Jonas Ellison’s post How one year of daily blogging changed my life.

The author reminded me about Seth Godin’s blog I used to follow (where the author is posting every single day, for years!), and his own reflections on the benefits of daily writing are very inspirational. A quote I am taking with me is this one:

If you grow an audience, awesome. But even if you don’t, you’ll have built an incredible body of work. A digital trail that chronicles your evolution.

Zhenya’s thoughts: I agree. My first posts did not have any audience. Literally, sometimes 0 visits for a day or more. That was not the point. The idea was to begin, to start shaping what I now call ‘my reflective lounge’. Still in the process of experimenting though!

 

**** Now I am sharing my original, un-edited post describing how it all started (was hiding as a ‘private page’ on my blog)

Coffee as a part of the writing process.

This is my very first independent blog, and also an attempt to learn how to write blogs, how to be clear and concise and easy to read, and (hopefully!) how to engage my reader and not to make you bored! My very first Blog Challenge Project is called  ’21 day blog habit’ and was inspired by my colleague and friend Wilma Luth (if you visit her website you will see in what way she helped me!)

Why 21? As you might know, there is a firm belief in psychology that it takes us about 21 day to have a new habit of doing something. I do believe this is true, and I often try this trick with my habits (for example, running, or exercising, or cutting down on sugar, or…) Another funny thing is that 21 is my favorite number, and it is also my husband’s birthday 🙂 So much to say about the Why behind this choice!

Anyway, the challenge I set to myself is writing for 21 day, and making sure I have a finished piece of writing about 300-500 words in size/length and an image to go with it. The pieces need to be thematically meaningful (i.e about teaching and training ELT ideas that are possible to become Wednesday seminar topics) but can vary in content and subject.

Note added on February 3, 2014: I think the major aim of that 21 day challenge was achieved, which was simply ‘to start blogging’ 🙂

Note added on September 23, 2017: Thank you for being with me on the blogging journey – and for reading this one! More soon…