Friday, 1 May 2020

My Blapril Is Over

We did it! We've reached the end of Blapril 2020! (Well, due to a technicality it actually runs to May 9th, but just to keep things consistent year by year I'm calling this the end for me.)

Within the month I posted twenty times  (if I count a few extra warm-up days on the start), and I even like quite a few of the things I wrote, so we're counting the whole thing as a resounding success. I've spent a lot of this month thinking about what to write about and looking forward to writing, and while that has mostly resulted in an over-large ideas folder rather than a whole bunch of posts, that also bodes well for the possibility of continuing to write into May and potentially on into the future (even if my track-record of keeping the place running outside of blog festivals leaves a little to be desired...come back in a week and see how that turns out?).

As we complete the month and the posts of appreciation, relief, and thanks roll in, it has left our noble leader Belghast pondering about the value of the challenge aspect of our little annual blogging festival; whether driving ourselves past our comfort zone to post more than we would normally in order to get special shinies to hang on our blogs is really worth the sense of burn-out that so often follows. I didn't think I really had a horse in this race, as I don't think I've ever displayed one of the Blaugust badges that I've won over the years. I am enough of a geek to appreciate gamifying any and every aspect of life that you can, but I take part for the sense of community and encouragement, not for the prizes. 

But perhaps that's the point, because it's clear that despite never going in for the shinies, Blaugust is undoubtedly the thing that gets me back to blogging. Let's take a look at the numbers:

2011: posted 38 times, 27 of them were in Blaugust, with the rest spread throughout the year.
2012: posted 29 times, 24 of them in Blarch, Blaugust and Blogtober.
2013: posted 3 times, all in Blaugust.
2014: posted 40 times, 34 in Blaugust, 1 in prep in July, 4 immediately afterwards in September.
2015: posted 35 times, 31 in Blaugust, 1 in prep in July, 3 immediately afterwards in September.
2016: posted 44 times, 40 in Blarch and Blaugust.
2017: posted 14 times, 3 in the lead-up in July, and 9 times in Blaugust.
2018: posted 18 times, 15 were Blaugust, with another 1 directly before and after
2019: posted 24 times, 18 were Blaugust, with another 1 directly before and after
2020: posted 24 times so far (if I count this one), and 20 of them are for Blapril.

In many ways, this is just a Blaugust site. 88% of my posts are a direct result of Blaugust! I return here every year to write and to rejoin the community, and then I disappear again to hibernate for the winter. I guess you could look at those numbers and say that blogging festivals obviously burn me out, and that if I didn't try to sprint I could jog for longer, but I think it's pretty clear that it's the exact opposite, every year the festival helps relight the spark. Perhaps Blaugust hasn't worked for me to develop a regular blogging habit as I continue to vainly hope, but the mere fact that for a month a year I am encouraged to come out of my shell and doff my writing cap again is a big deal. Thanks to this blog, I have a record, in my own words, of my life over the last decade that I just wouldn't have otherwise. Sure, it's mostly about the videogame bits, but it's a darn sight better than nothing.

So this time I'm going to celebrate the fabulous Blaugust shinies that I've gained over the years, and look forward to adding a third silver one for this year to my collection somewhere down the track.

PS. In the 2018 version of this post, I mentioned that going forward I was going to try to add more pictures of me wearing ties. Everything has changed so much since the start of the blog, ties aren't a part of my daily life any more, and haven't been for years. Heck, I haven't worn one since my friend's wedding back in August last year, but here's a good old fashioned blurry tiepic, just for the old time's sake.

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