No it didn’t pan out! Good intentions to blog for 25 days before Christmas resulted in a TOTAL BUST. Today is the day after Christmas, and I’m finally DECOMPRESSING (like many of you). What the heck was I thinking? Blog for 25 days before Christmas with a full work load, while living in a house into which we have not fully moved, and while recovering from surgery?
Oh, but lessons learned about even attempting such a venture were valuable.
- Don’t start blogging on a whim without a plan.
- Don’t write a post just to post something. Quality is more important than quantity.
- Don’t force yourself to write content just for the sake of writing it. Write because you are passionate about a topic.
- Evaluate schedule to ensure you have the bandwidth. Ensure you have time (and energy) to devote to consecutive days of writing, content creation, and publishing.
- Allow time for research. Some of the best posts are educational, and the research that goes into developing educational material takes time.
- Personal and professional blogs should have a content calendar. Guess this goes back to lesson #1. Have a plan.
- Be consistent! A lot can be said on the topic of consistency, and it’s my word to live by for 2013.
I’ll stop there, even though there were many more lessons.
There are seasons in life when one cannot dedicate time to pursue all one desires to accomplish. Everything we do has an opportunity cost.
I decided to dedicate some time this year to send Christmas cards – after many years of being too busy at Christmas to connect with friends and family. I will confess, it is time-consuming. We spent over 2 weeks addressing and writing personal notes in 55 Christmas cards. (Even with that, there were more people I wanted to send cards to, but I ran out of our personal photo cards.) Heck, creating the personal photo card with a quick summary of 2012 took a few days, which also meant I wasn’t blogging.
This time expenditure was a choice to do one thing and not another.
I mentioned to my husband that I had not been very social the past few weeks. He understood my version of “social” referred to time on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. He said,
“You are being social. You just wrote Christmas cards to 55 people. That’s old-school social!”
I realized my opportunity cost was that I had chosen to connect with people in writing rather than online. Some of these people are my online friends, but many, many more are not.
During the past few years, I had made a choice at Christmas. I was either working or hanging out in social media. This year, I stepped away from the computer and practiced some penmanship to socially connect.
My Greatest Advent Present
My greatest advent gift this year was receiving a phone call from a dear friend from many years ago who used to be one of my closest confidants. She was so excited to receive our Christmas card that she picked up the phone! We were both remiss that we had lost touch. We plan to see each other in early 2013. How often do you cry when you got off the phone with someone?
The ROI (return on investment) of this choice (opportunity cost) to send Christmas cards was renewed relationships with friends and family. It paid off.
There are 364 days until next Christmas. Plan now. Schedule time for friends and family in 2013.
My hope and prayer for you is that you’ll forget about “online” for a few hours now and then. Put away computers, tablets, and phones to enjoy some “old-school” time with loved ones!