January 1st, 2019

me: ooh!

365 Project wrap-up

First of all: I did it! I actually did it! I posted a journal entry every day for an entire year. There were more than a few occasions when I did so with mere minutes to spare, but I never forgot. Go me.

And now for some navel-gazing.

What went well? I have for posterity, or at least as long as Dreamwidth’s servers stay on, a very thorough record of a full year in my life. I’ve shared it, mostly publicly, with my online community, which intersects with my blood family and geographically accessible friends. I really hope my children will read it all someday and enjoy how they featured in it.

I got better at curating photos quickly. As a side note, I think the overall quality of my photography has deteriorated over the years. It peaked at some point in 2010-2011 when I was using my dSLR, a tripod and a selection of lenses on a regular basis, and had been doing so for several years. I also had evenings and weekends to plan and set up shots, or to fiddle around for hours in Photoshop. I’ve relied heavily on my phone camera since having children. Although I do believe in the saying that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the quality of phone cameras has increased greatly since 2012, I know I’m not practising essential skills that help to make good shots into spectacular ones. But one of the positive outcomes of the project was that it helped me to see that even if I didn’t always have amazing shots, I have a visual record of the things I saw and did, and that is precious to me and to the people who are closest to me.

I improved at structuring coherent posts. I don’t think I was terrible at this to begin with, but it got easier as I plugged along. I know it’s obvious that practising a skill makes you incrementally better at it (see above re: photography). It was still nice to observe it happening.

One unexpected bonus was the improvement in my communication abilities in other mediums. I sent more e-mails, WhatsApp messages/texts, postcards, and special event cards than I have in years. I found it easier to do so without either overthinking the content, or considering contacting someone and then not following through. I didn’t anticipate that writing regularly in my blog would impact my fluency outside the medium, but I’m certain it’s linked.

What went badly? Sometimes it felt like a real chore, and that’s not even when I was tired, because honestly I’m always tired (see: two children under the age of six). For instance, on the rare occasions when the bloke and I are lucky enough to be able to go out together in the evenings, such as when we were in Vienna with the kids and the grandparents and I was on holiday, I really didn’t want to take the time out to post. My entries from that period are both brief and reluctant.

I often failed at replying to Friday’s Unscientifc Poll posts’ comments, which I found upsetting because I missed opportunities for some great conversations there. This is purely down to their timing. My weekends are generally jam-packed with children’s activities and evenings with the bloke, and while I could just about manage to post at the weekends, particularly if I’d been organised and teed them up in advance, I couldn’t spare the hour or two necessary to craft the considered responses those comments deserved. This was, and remains, frustrating.

Since I was focused on cranking out posts every day and at least trying to keep up with replying to the comments on them, I didn’t get to comment in as much depth on other people’s posts as I would have liked. I faltered more than once on keeping up with my reading lists, let alone responding. Now that I’m no longer duty-bound to daily posts, I plan to focus my blogging energy this year on that, and on maintaining communities that I love, like [community profile] awesomeers, [community profile] common_nature, and [community profile] bitesizedcleaning.

Would I do it again? Yes. Not immediately, though. Doubtless I’ll take on projects of shorter duration during 2019, but another 365 is out of the question for at least a few months, not least because I’ve been told repeatedly that my partner would like to spend a little more time with me in the evenings.

Finally, a shout-out to the people who identified the location of the n+2 issue (Days 327/328) in my project post numbering: My Mate Josh and [personal profile] rmc28. Thank you! I’ll be correcting the numbering during the third week of January, which I’ve earmarked for tidying up the project.

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