Daily Blog #127: What I learned during Blogmas!

Thursday Morning

Greetings and Salutations, wonderful Blog Readers!

Today is the second day of the new year, and Bret is sick again, and I am also feeling a bit under the weather. So, I slept in way later than I should, but managed to get ready way faster than I expected, so I got to the office around the time that I expected I would.

I ate my breakfast and I am now trying to get our records all sorted and neat for the New Year, and fielding questions from the few accountants and book keepers who came to into the office today, at other companies.

Later

It is now well into the afternoon, and I have managed to invoice all of our clients, and sort our several large problems that were all tangled up. Progressing forward for the day, answering questions and sorting out things for the other people who are working today.

Bret is still at home, feeling very unwell, puking and coughing, which is sucky. I am starting to worry, because he is sick more than he is healthy and we aren’t in a place for that. All the more reasons for me to go full steam ahead on keeping us fed from things at home. I want to make some bean and cheese burritos, just make like 20/30 of them, and freeze them, so we have breakfasts or quick food as needed. Maybe add some rice to make them feel more filling. I need to do more food prep to keep us fed and keep us on budget.

Aside from the purchases and investments we have planned for this year, and the travel, we need to put more away for savings, more so if Bret is going to keep getting sick, and we don’t have health insurance.

Anyways, I have blogged at length about the importance of us eating at home and saving money so I will move on to the main topic of today’s blog.

What I learned during Blogmas!

First: That I would rather do Blogmas for the full 31 days, not just till Christmas. I came to this conclusion in many ways, and here are some of them.

With the blogging every day for Blogmas, around day 20 or so, I realized how ingrained the habit was becoming, and I loved it.

Something I noticed just after Christmas, however, was how bored and lonely the Blogmas season got when I didn’t have blogs to read…and it was even worse on YouTube, when it seemed like every YouTuber who had been reliably dropping videos every single day, dropped off the face of the Vlogmas planet, leaving me with that terribly awkward week where no one know what day it is, or what they are doing, without my usual stream of new vlogs playing. I don’t want any reader of mine to feel that for more than a day or so. If someone wants something new to read, and they are willing to read, I want to oblige that.

For 25 days I had blogs to read and vlogs to listen to while I wrote my own Blogmas post, and then, it came to screeching halt.

But, I also saw an increase in my own read rates, once there were less bloggers blogging, so I guess I learned an extra bonus lesson- If no one else is blogging, you absolutely should be.

Which is a lesson a may be really applying in 2020, with so many of the marketing and social media experts claiming that blogs are going to make a major comeback. Here’s hoping.

Blogmas also helped me connect with fellow bloggers, and finally break my 100 followers benchmark, both of which were awesome. Meeting and reading fellow bloggers and their blogs was helpful, because I realized that not EVERY single blog needs to be 1,500 words long and fully illustrated with my own original artwork.

(But I also learned I really like to do those things, so…)

I got to move forward with blogging in 2020 knowing that not every single article and blog needs to be hundreds and thousands of words long.

I also learned that what I can do, by writing so much, is kind of special, and plenty of bloggers struggle with this. That being said, some of those bloggers are better at other things, so I am absolutely not trying to gloat, but rather say that these other bloggers helped me realize that I don’t have to force myself every day, but the skill I have of being able to naturally write quite a bit, while also seeing a fun life lesson in every day stuff, is unique, special, and yes, I should have confidence in myself.

I SHOULD tell everyone to go read my blog.

I should be proud of the work I do, and know that not everyone can do it, and furthermore, not everyone who can, does.

I do. And that is special.

I learned from other bloggers (although, the YouTuber vloggers did also help a bunch with this) that it is actually totally okay to be confident, and to be proud of the work I am doing.

Am I the best blogger? Nah, probably not. But I am a damn good one, naturally, and I am working everyday at growing those skills, which is, some argue, more important than being born good at something.

I also learned some more lessons in balance, which is a continuing lesson from NaNoWriMo. During NaNoWriMo, I struggled to blog every day, and of course, blogging every day made it harder to write as much creatively, but also, it was a crazy busy month.

Blogmas helped me learn the importance of blogging things in my spare time, and planning for them later. Prewriting several skin care reviews helped me fill out blogs that didn’t have as much planned, or that I hadn’t been able to format properly, and not miss a day. This also helped me realize how much I do like reviewing skin care products. This last bit also helped me see that I don’t have to be some beauty blogger to offer my insight about the products i used, and what was great.

Skin care is a passion. Sure, I am a stoner writer, but I don’t have to JUST write about life, cannabis, and writing. I can write about whatever I want, and, sometimes, as it turns out, I can do so well.

I am also really good at being productive and managing my time, and those are also both passive hobbies of mine, of which others share in the passion, and I can write about those too, even though I am not some high powered CEO getting paid tons of money, or some wildly successful entrepreneur. I may not be one of those types of people, I am an artist, but artists can be obsesses with time management too. In fact, with how many of us need to run the “entire writing empire” as it were, we need to be even more on top of our time management…But that’s not the only reason either. Fellow artists need to see the ways artists can make the most of their time because much of the time management advice out there isn’t suitable for artists.

So, not only did I learn a bunch about the writing I do, I also learned a lot of confidence that I could really use going into the new year, and the next chapter of my life in general, and also as a writer.

Blogmas also showed me how much I enjoyed having a cover photo that told the reader the name/number of the blog they were about to read. Now, for Blogmas, I used free to use photos from Unsplash, with the exception of less than a few seasonal photos that I took that were able to work as cover photos.

So, as you all know, I am always trying to illustrate my blog more with original photos, and now I want to add original cover art, as well. Who knows, maybe it will turn into a set cover, with just the text changing, but at this moment, I don’t know what it will end up being, just that I like having a titled cover photo.

I also learned the kind of content I like to listen to and watch while I write, which made me very glad I already have paid for upgraded YouTube that doesn’t play commercials. I like to watch and listen to Vlog content, which we all already knew, but I have also been enjoying going down “What would happen if” rabbit holes, and also mysteries of the world rabbit holes, some of which go hand in hand with my creative writing.

With Blogmas I also got to have the lesson of consistency with content reinforced. The simple fact is if you put up the content every day, you can grow faster. I improved my reading rates, likes, and follower counts this month, and while vanity metrics aren’t the most important thing, it is a nice lesson to have reinforced. Consistency is key.

I also continued learning balance with writing and home life. As you may recall, I struggle every day to try and balance creative writing and blogging, but I am always trying to balance that writing with not only my day job, but keeping the apartment in good shape, while making improvements to it all the time to better suit our purposes.

I do most of this, to all of this, on my own, so balancing all the demands, not to mention eating, socializing, and working out, gets very tricky. Blogmas was crucial in helping me learn that balance…but also…

Blogmas helped me put important things first.

I think one of the best lessons I learned was “No, this is my priority right now, and my priority matters.”

It may be simple, but simply saying “No, this matters to me, and that is enough to make it a priority” was enough to really help me put what I wanted to do, first, or, to do it at all. Had I not made blogging a priority I wouldn’t have gotten to finish Blogmas, much less do it the entire month.

This attitude is taking me into the new year with confidence. I am making my health a priority by working out, doing something healthy for 30 minutes a day. I am making my writing a priority by writing every chance I get, and doing less of the stuff that gets in the way.

I have stopped asking Bret to do much of anything around the apartment, because it just leads to me getting pissed off when he doesn’t do the thing, so instead of us fighting, I am doing it myself.

Not healthy, but it stops me from getting frustrated and wasting tons of time fighting with Bret. The two chores he does are one load of laundry a week and taking the trash out every couple of days or so. I am working on buying a small apartment machine that works without hook ups, to take over much of the laundry so we aren’t only doing one single load a week which is absolutely not enough, like Bret does.

If he can’t be bothered to do things that are important to being a grown up, I am not going to hold his hand to figure it out. You either grow the fuck up, or you don’t. I don’t know if he will ever figure it out, and whatever happens if he doesn’t figure it out, is on him.

Because I also realized during Blogmas that I really do love this stuff and I can’t stand the stupid shit that gets in the way of my blogging, writing, creating in general. Every time I fight with anyone, especially my partner, I am miserable and all my creativity gets sucked from me. So, I am making the changes needed to get the most out of my time. Does that mean I have to do everything and no longer have a partner I can depend on to do things productively around our home and life? Yes. Does it stop me from getting disappointed that my full grown adult partner can’t be bothered to do a single thing that would make both of our lives better? Yes. I lowered my expectations and no longer expect him to be an equal partner in this.

Who knows what that will lead to. He knows I am doing it, it’s not like I haven’t communicated it with him. I just no longer want to be frustrated at him, because it doesn’t change him, or make him help, it only sucks my energy from me, and makes us both miserable.

Fuck that.

I am a fully grown up woman who can live happily and gladly by herself. Why the fuck would I allow some guy to piss me off and steal my mental peace? This way, I know who is doing everything, and I don’t fight with Bret as much about him actually participating in our partnership. Will it possibly hurt our relationship, if he continues to refuse to participate? Yeah, probably. But he has been told a thousand times or so, and any more wastes my time, and annoys him too, I’m sure.

2020 is all about being happy. I like a clean apartment, and time to write. So, I am making it happen.

Blogmas was crucial to putting together my plans for 2020, proving to me, along with NaNoWriMo, just what all I could do.

Blogmas taught me to love myself and my writing, and do dedicate my whole self to my dreams and pursuits, because I am absolutely worth it.

I enjoyed Blogmas so much I can’t wait to do it again, and I am already designing blogmas shirts to wear next year.

So, did you do Blogmas? Vlogmas? Please let me know, because I would love to support people who are that dedicated to their art.

Now, it is after five, and I need to wrap up at work and head home. I have a chill evening ahead of me. Bret is unwell again, as I mentioned, and says he can’t keep anything down, so I will probably just make myself some ramen or whatever and leave him to rest up. If he wants soup, I’ll make him some. I also need to work out, clean up, finish, illustrate, and format this blog, then schedule it for posting tomorrow morning, I think. I also may do some knitting tonight or something else fun, but I also may turn on some Zomboat and work on Flake City, because I have some top notch actors who are all willing to voice some parts for me…So I want to get some things made up for them to read and work on some audio promo/excerpt book thingies.

In a world of doing unique marketing, you really can create anything you want, and I am leaning into that, heavily, so stay tuned to see how that all goes.

But for now, I am going to finish up and head home. Hopefully while I work out tonight I can add some to this blog, and finish the blog off while i face mask tonight.

Until then!

Later

Alright, I’m on my bike, and while I’m towards the end of the cardio, I figured I would try and update briefly.

I walked home, had a pleasant trip, and then got home to a very sick Bret who is having trouble keeping water down.

I hard boiled some eggs for some ramen I’m gonna make myself for dinner after my work out. I’m super hungry, I skipped my salad this afternoon for lunch which was foolish on my part but I wanted to get my workout done so I jumped into that once I was done chatting with Bret.

I tried a new pillow, and my butt still hurts, but less- so I’m on the right track.

Once I finish this, I’m aiming for ten miles and I’m nearly there, I’m gonna do some light stretching and then make some ramen, do dishes, write, skin mask while I edit and finish this blog up- and then I will schedule this for posting tomorrow and call it a night. It’s nearly nine, however, so I will have to make sure I don’t dawdle.

So, I’m gonna finish this workout, go me for actually doing it, and I’ll update in a while!

Later again

So I made amazing ramen, did the dishes, took the trash out, went out with Bret to take Chance out to pee, swept up, wrote on some writing stuff, and worked on editing this blog.

Currently, I am smoking a bowl and contemplating which face mask to use. I am leaning towards the “I’m Green Tea” layering mask from Tony Moly that I reviewed during Blogmas and have fallen in love with.

It is around 10:30 right now and I would love for us to go to bed at a good time, all the more important to do with Bret feeling so unwell. Plus, tomorrow is Friday and if I get to work early, maybe I can leave early…or even if I stay till my regular time I can get an extra hour or so, since Bret didn’t work today and likely won’t work tomorrow, after a few weeks of not working much.

With one paycheck that is likely to be non existent, every single spare hour I can get paid for is crucial, more so with having a day off of work this week, and so much time off last week too. My paycheck is likely to be small, and Bret’s even more so, and we need to earn money to save money.

I ended up using the layering mask, and my skin is soaking it up fast, so clearly it was a good idea. Now I am just trying to finish this blog up and edit it in the twenty to thirty minutes this mask will sit on my face. If I go to bed right after the mask, I can be in bed by 11:30 or so, and that sounds wonderful.

So, we have discussed the many, many lessons I have learned from Blogmas, and some of the stuff I am doing moving forward to cut frustrations from my life and make more time for creation of my art. I have no idea what we will discuss next, but tomorrow is Friday, which is fucking amazing, and then we have a weekend before the grind really starts back next week and everyone is back in their office and school, blowing up our phones with questions and needs.

I hope whatever you have on your schedule for tomorrow is wonderful, and that you have a fantastic day. Tomorrow is the first Friday of the year, so lets make it a great one!

Thanks for reading!

Abbi

Published by Abbi Grasso

I’m write and stuff. I write meta fiction, cannabis content, and modern fantasy. Sometimes separate, sometimes all at once. I focus on the meta more than anything. I make stuff too, not just universes.

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