The Art of the Final Blog Post

blackpen

Doesn’t that title just sound dramatic?

Now, I don’t want to drown the world with all the tears from my readers because they think I’ll never come back. Even if there are only about ten of them, I don’t even want enough tears produced to create a puddle. Someone could step in that and ruin their perfectly new shoes. I assure you, the title is for poetic purposes only. I’m not planning for this to be the actual final post on this blog, but rather a conclusion post to wrap up the 30 week project that brought this blog into creation in the first place. Reclusive Ramblings isn’t even close to dead, and one day I will be able to grow it into the great masterpiece it is destined to be, but for the next few months the weekly blogs will be less frequent as I dive into my Junior year of college.

homedog

Now, writing a weekly blog post for a total of 30 weeks isn’t as ambitious as those dedicated folks who write a daily post for years, but it was an equally difficult and rewarding experience for someone who sat down to write only when the inspiration and motivation struck, which was about as common as lightning striking in the same place twice. Meaning, sometimes I would manage to write several poems and story snippets over only a few days, and other times it would take months for me to sit my derriére down and force some words onto paper.

This blog has taught me to push past that, and I’ve learned more from it than I thought I would. So, in memory of Reclusive Ramblings humble, 30-post beginning, I’m going to impart unto you some of the wisdom I have gained from the past few months.

Inspiration can be found anywhere. The first few weeks, I was having the hardest time coming up with writing material. My stress seemed to spike through the roof, because if I couldn’t even come up with my first five ideas, how was I supposed to come up with 30? As the weeks progressed, I found that inspiration came to me a lot easier. For one, I stopped worrying about it. In my experience, ideas will rarely come if you are trying to force them, kicking and screaming, from your mind. Instead, relax and look at the world around you. Take notice of how weird nature is, stalk people, write down the strange little thoughts that cross your brain. Ideas emerge best outside the chaos of your own mind; that’s probably why 80% of my inspiration came to me when I was in the shower. There is little else more soothing than warm water, steam, and off-key singing.

The internet is your best resource…for procrastination. Writing a blog post took me about an hour and a half. “Preparing” to write a blog post, with the help of YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest, took about three.

Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own jokes, even if no one else thinks they are funny. Your humor is a part of you, and even if you cringe when you go back and read something because writing a blog post right after finals week is as good of an idea as building a city next to Mount Vesuvius, seeing your humor and personality show through your writing helps the understanding of yourself. Granted, the humor might be very bad and very dry-humor based, but it takes an awesome person to fully appreciate it. And you, the creator, are that person.

Editing, using a hardcopy, is magic. I would usually give my draft a day or two to ripen before I looked at it again, and then I would print off a hard copy, find a quiet place, and edit. Reading through it outloud two or three times, while making notes and edits, was not my usual process. However, when the printer decided it didn’t want to work a few weeks ago and I had to edit my post on the computer, I found myself missing my pen and the feeling of physical paper beneath my fingers. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to go back.

There’s a reason cats rule the internet. Need a break from writing a blog post so you don’t claw your hair out and toss your laptop across the room? Purrhaps you should try watching cat videos for five minutes. I’m not kitten you when I say that laughing at the dumb antics of some other creatures tacks another day onto your life. And if you happen to be looking fur a great GIF to add some pizzazz to your post, cat GIFs are not in short supply.

glassescat

Word counts are the biggest brats. My goal was 600 to 1000 words per post, but most the time I either found myself scrambling to lengthen a post or to shorten it. Very rarely did it fall perfectly between the range.

What doesn’t kill you makes for good writing material. Almost killed by driving a terminally-ill golfcart across a busy road? Write about it! Constantly driving a 15-year-old, rusted mailtruck? Write about it! Allergies making you look like the walking dead? Write about it! Stepping outside for the first time in five years and realizing that weather still exists (even if it doesn’t want you to)? Write about it!

Something difficult is something worth trying. I found myself not wanting to do this more often than not. There was blood, sweat, and tears as I tried to manage the blog through family vacations, mountains of homework, personal issues, and change. But in the end, I can stand tall and say that I stuck with it, met my goal, and declare that I have a blog worth being proud of.

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