My friend Tamara from Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom is organizing a blog link-up called Top Ten Thursdays. She’s the one who roped me into the IKEA cake challenge in February. She asked our blogging group if anyone would be interested in participating and I said maybe, because I have a love/hate relationship with blogging challenges.
So she made this week’s theme “Top Ten Things We Love or Hate about Blogging Challenges,” ensuring my participation.
So without further ado…
Top Ten Things I Love OR Hate about Blogging Challenges
(in no particular order)
- They force me to write.
I started this blog as a way to keep track of our lives here in Switzerland. Sometimes our lives aren’t that exciting; everyday life in Basel isn’t all that different from everyday life in Peoria. So sometimes I just don’t think I have anything to share here.
Sometimes I have a ton that I want to (slash feel like I “need” to) write about and I can’t get out of my head enough to do so.
If it’s Thursday and I signed up for an event, though, I guess I should (electronically) show up.
- They make me go out of chronological order.
Since this blog is supposed to be about our lives, I want it in order. Because that’s how it “should” be.
But blogs don’t necessarily work that way.
Of course, if I kept on top of my posts in a more timely manner, this might not be as big of an issue!
- Sometimes I don’t think I have anything on topic to say.
This definitely applies to me in real life, but it applies to my blog as well. I really struggled with some of the letters in the A to Z Challenge. (X, for example, which is also one of my top-read posts in the history of the blog. Thanks, pervs!)
I think the nice thing about this challenge, though, is that if I really don’t connect with a weekly topic, I can just bow out. I won’t RSVP and then I won’t be letting anyone down. Nice!
- They may not allow for as many pictures in a post as I’m used to.
A great way to record our lives here in Basel is via picture and not so much the words. That’s not always the case; sometimes words are entirely necessary. But in general, I feel like the pictures and videos do a better job of showing our lives than my words could ever do. And topics like this one don’t lend themselves well to pictures.
- They allow me to ignore other things that I probably should be doing instead.
Who doesn’t love a good reason to procrastinate? I certainly do. I probably don’t really need any new ones, though, ha!
- They give my writing some direction…
That I don’t have to come up with myself.
Sometimes that’s good: Participating in the A to Z challenge so soon after we moved to Basel made me think about our new home in ways that I might not have otherwise.
Sometimes it’s bad: I’m just over half-way through this list and I’m not sure where the next four items are going to come from. I don’t generally have this issue when I pick the topic of my post myself.
- They give me a chance to look at my blog from a different perspective.
In this case, it’s an aesthetic perspective. I want the line items on this list to stand out, so I started out with them in red. Red doesn’t really go well with the overall color scheme of my blog, so I had to play around with some options, which also made me think about other changes I might want to make to the look and feel of my blog (sometime in the future).
Now I’m also second-guessing myself for including this on the list because what if you are all judging me based on the color I end up choosing?! Argh!
- They set deadlines for me.
Personal blogging is a leisure activity, which is nice because I can do it in my spare time. However, I am not good at prioritizing my time and binge watching TV or taking a nap will often win out if I don’t have something more pressing.
So writing this list is keeping me from re-watching an episode of Game of Thrones or watching a new (to me) episode of Downton Abbey, but that’s not a bad thing.
- They help me improve (or at least maintain) my writing skills.
Speaking to a child all day and listening to/translating German is doing a number on my English skills and writing helps to keep them from getting too rusty. All of the jobs I’ve applied for require excellent English skills and I can’t market myself that way if I can’t speak well or write clearly.
- They keep my posts in check.
During the A to Z Challenge, I kept my posts to a pretty reasonable length; they were short and sweet. I can’t say the same for some of my other posts. (Sorry to those of you who have actually read through them all!) If 10 items on the list is my goal, then I know what I need to do and I don’t need to come up with a lot of superfluous words on top of that!
With all of that in mind, I am going to bring this Top Ten Thursday post to a close. See you next Thursday, if not sooner!
Please check out these other Top Ten Thursday participants!