Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Look Back at My 2007 Blog Goals

Mandarine has inspired me to take a look back at the goals I set for myself in 2007. I did this once already about halfway through the year, but thought it might be interesting to do it one more time before really saying goodbye to 2007, so here we go:

Blog Goals: Final Analysis

Goal #1: Finally embrace my inner litblogger, instead of pretending she doesn’t exist, and maybe even dedicate entire posts to books I’ve just read, like others do.

How I Did: Well, I kept writing about books all year, but has anyone else noticed that I still adamantly stand by the claim that I am not a litblogger? I think I need to stop doing that. It’s just that I don’t put myself anywhere in the same league as the likes of Dorr, Hobs, Litlove, Stef, etc. I don’t even put myself in the same league as Charlotte, who posts on books about as often as I do, but when she does, her posts are really, really good. However, I’ve got my arms firmly wrapped around Litblogger Emily in a loving embrace as we kick off 2008, because soon you will be reading book reviews for the following three books: The Math Gene, Friends and Relations, and Blankets.

Goal #2: See if I can find a local chapter of M.A. (Meme’s Anonymous) and start attending support groups. Of course, this will have to wait until after I’ve designed and posted the “Meme Meme,” “The Food and Books Meme,” “The Valentine’s Meme,” etc.

How I Did: Didn’t find a local chapter. Didn’t stop being drawn in by memes. Plan to keep doing/creating them in 2008. Oh well, I don’t think I’ve yet reached the point that my work/home/social life is suffering, so it’s not a REAL addiction, is it? (Or am I just in denial?) Wait a minute. What's that I hear? I think it may be that food meme, spotted over at Cam's , just calling my name..

Goal #3: Quit coming up with ideas for new blogs and stick with making the two I’ve got going the best they can be (well, and keep the third one going at Halloween when it’s time to write another ghost story).

How I Did: Ian and Emily (“What? There’s such a blog?” I hear you ask) just sort of fizzled. For some reason, he and I thought our memories would vary much more than they do, and we both seem to have the impression that the blog was somewhat boring. Maybe it was only boring to us. Correct us if we’re wrong, and you might convince us to revive it. Meanwhile, in ’08, I plan to post more than one ghost story. Stay tuned to see whether or not I do so.

Goal #4: Speaking of challenges: don’t be so afraid of them, and maybe come up with a few fun ones of my own.

How I Did: Took on nonfiction five and outmoded authors in ’07. Well on my way with graphic novels and science in 2008. Didn’t come up with any of my own in ’07, but I’ve got a definite couple of ideas for ’08, if anyone is up for them.

Goal #5: Provide more links to great blogs in my posts, so people read them, and they don’t die. Some blogs I really enjoyed just eight short months ago have already died, and I can’t help feeling I should have provided lots more positive feedback (yes, of course, it is all up to me!). But seriously, if we all fessed up, we’d all agree how important comments are, and how disappointing it can be to be a “newbie” who doesn’t get any. I was so lucky to get positive feedback early on. I’m sure I wouldn’t have remained as diligent if I hadn’t.

How I Did: I did this, what, maybe twice? And then I just went back to linking to all the same people to whom I already link. However, Litlove is so kindly taking this one over for me with her new Best of New Writing on the Web. And Charlotte’s zine introduced people to new writers this year, as well, I think, so I don’t need to worry so much.

Goal #6: Stop worrying who might be reading my blog and that I might offend people. It’s an unnecessary worry that can so inhibit a writer. I don’t tend to write particularly offensive stuff; it’s not possible to please everyone all the time; and if I’ve offended people, it really may have more to do with them than with me.

How I Did: This worry has become more, not less of a problem, but for reasons other than offending my readers. I’m absolutely convinced that someday, someone from the church is going to discover this blog, even though most of them are over the age of 60 and refuse to pay for high speed internet access. It would not be a pretty thing for someone from the church to discover this blog.

Goal #7: Become even more convinced that I can write and that people actually want to read what I write. Blogging has come a long way in helping me to accept this, but I still have that little inner voice that loves to make occasional appearances by whispering, “Who do you think you’re fooling?”

How I Did: All right, you all have gone a long, long way towards convincing me of this, what with including me in web zines, etc., but I’m still stubbornly listening to what I now know have always been not one, but multiple little insecure voices who took up residence in my head when I was seven years old, wandering around, who quietly whisper among themselves instead of to me (but I can STILL hear them), “That’s no good. Who’d want to read that? What was she thinking when she wrote that?” However, someone told me that’s the mark of a good writer: never being satisfied with your own writing. Apparently, once you’re satisfied, you stop trying, and then you’re doomed (funny the things people tell you, isn’t it?). Anyway, I think everyone’s goal for 2008 should be to keep me unsatisfied, so I don’t stop trying.

Goal #8: Learn more about the technical aspects of blogging. I think it’s about time I got past patting myself on the back, because I. Know. How. To. Italicize.

How I Did: Mandarine says I’m no longer allowed to refer to myself as a Luddite, and well, you know, Mandarine knows everything (AND he’s a rocket scientist), so I’m going to listen to him.

Goal #9: Contribute more posts, and encourage others to contribute to What We Said . Creating that blog was such a great idea on Bloglily’s part, and I’d hate to see it fizzle out. As a matter of fact, I think it could be grown into something much bigger than it actually is.

How I Did: I failed miserably, but so did all the rest of you. Come on, get on the schtick and write, please! (And thank you, Ms. Make Tea, for helping to revive this one in '08.)

Goal #10: No blogging after 8:00 p.m. This will give me more down time, which I need. It’s important for the brain to slow down in the evening, and computer interaction does anything but slow down my brain.

How I Did: I did very well with this one. Maybe slipped up a few times when I couldn’t sleep, but overall, I think it was probably one of the most worthwhile goals I had, and I’m sticking to it this year. It may be the whole reason I logged in so many more pages of reading print books this year than I did last year.

So there you have it: a number of sort-of-accomplished goals, a couple of fully-accomplished ones, and one "failed miserably." Not too bad, but note I won't be setting any goals in 2008. Goal setting seems too much to resemble planning when it comes to follow-through for me.


IM said...

It's so much my fault that Ian and Emily fizzled. My time management skills are to blame. I also got into the habit of writing about what was happening to me lately more than what I remember of the past. The past stuff, I think, is more interesting. BUT... I want to go back that style of post. One thing we might consider is an Emily and Ian podcast, if we could get past laughing so hard at all the funny stories.

Anne Camille said...

So, what did you eat today? (Question #1 from that food meme....)

mandarine said...

Apparently, you did much better than you thought you would.

litlove said...

I don't dare look back at my 2007 goals because I can tell you right now that I didn't achieve any of them. But it's fun to read yours, Emily, and you look like you've had a tremendously productive year in retrospect! (It looked pretty productive at the time!). And we litbloggers have never considered you to be anything other than one of us. It's just that sometimes you write literature as well as reviewing it :)

Charlotte said...

I think an Ian and Emily podcast would be hilarious. I was a fan of the blog, even thought of doing one with my own brother (but our joint memories are rather sad, so I was worried we'd get lachrymose) and I would love it if you would resuscitate it.

I agree that we all need to work harder at What We Said. I will give it some thought.

Also, hooray for all the goals you've achieved - looking forward to reading more of Emily the Litblogger.

Emily Barton said...

Ian, don't blame yourself. I did the same thing, writing about what was happening to me lately and couldn't think of what was most interesting from the past. A podcast might be a lot of fun (she says, with great trepidation).

Cam, so far, nothing but a cup of coffee. But I'm getting ready to have some Amish whole wheat toast (the Amish make the BEST baked goods) with butter and jam and a glass of milk. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at such things, but I promise it won't be anywhere near as good as what Ian says he's been cooking up over at his blog.

Mandarine, yes, so now I can just rest on my laurels.

Litlove, you were too busy achieving the goal of getting well, so we could all get your lovely voice back (far more important than anything else you might have thought you were going to do). And I'm so happy to be considered one of you.

Charlotte, well, we'll see what we can do about a podcast in '08. Maybe we'll revive some bizarre characters we invented as children when we used to play around with a tape recorder. And please do keep adding your voice to What We Said.

Stefanie said...

I loved reading your review. I had considered reviewing my 2007 goals at the beginning of the year, but well, I couldn't face up to them because I know how far off I am from them. So very brave of you. You did pretty well. And I agree with Mandarine, you can't call yourself a Luddite anymore. Didn't you do a pencast in 2007?

Rebecca H. said...

I love the idea of an Ian and Emily podcast! In fact, as many member of your family as you can you should throw in there. It would be fabulous.

Emily Barton said...

Stef, yes I did do a pencast, and I plan to do more in '08 (see Saturday's post).

Dorr, oh no, another request for a Michie podcast. Looks like we'll have to throw something together at some point.