}

Friday, December 23, 2016

A mission accomplished

This is the 366th AmeriNZ Blog post for 2016, and that means—even without a single post the rest of this year—there’s now an average of one post per day for 2016, and this post is the perfect way to make that achievement. This also means that the pressure’s off for this year—not that it matters, because there are several posts in the queue between now and December 31. It is, however, a good sign for many reasons.

2016 has not been one of my better years, and for a lot reasons, some of which are shared by millions of other people. But this was the year of my hospital adventure, and also feeling terrible for months before that. There were also two interruptions in our Internet connections that made posting blog posts difficult. So, the fact that I caught up on blogging, that I made up for lost time and actually completed my annual goal, means that this year is ending far better than it was in the middle. It also probably means that 2017 will be better than this year was—it pretty much has to be, to be fair.

The fact that 2016 was a pretty bad year for me personally suggests why achieving this goal matters so much to me: I triumphed over my own adversity, and did so with vigour. Yeah, the goal in ordinary years is unimportant in the grand sweep of life, but this year it was much more important to me than ever because it symbolised not just the achievement of a personal goal, but also of survival itself. Melodramatic? Tough—it’s actually true.

I achieved this goal because I set out to be a blogging machine, and that was actually harder than I thought it'd be. I’ve never been one to just post a YouTube video (or whatever) without saying something about it, so everything I posted since August was the result of thought and effort (some more that others, of course, as is always the case).

Because I knew I needed a LOT of posts, I created a lot of very rough drafts of posts to flesh out later, mostly nothing more than things like YouTube embedding code, links to relevant articles, and anything else I wanted to reference in the post. I’ve always done that to some extent, but over the past few months they were deliberate, planned, and numerous—and most of them ended up polished and published.

There were a lot of posts over the past few months, beginning with a slow start, the one extra post in September, followed by a strong October (43 posts) and a an outrageously productive November (51 posts), leading into December—31 posts in the first 23 days. That adds up to 156 posts from September 1 through this one, and that’s almost 43% of my annual goal in less than four months.

The truth is, I started out reasonably strong this year (33 posts in January and 35 in February) because I knew there would be periods when I wouldn’t have time to blog, as is true every year, and I wanted a buffer. But with the exception of July, I didn’t again come close to the one-per-day average until September, and I fell further and further behind.

I caught up because I wanted to, and I made it my priority. During this period I also resumed podcasting, still not regularly, but a resumption, nevertheless. In the New Year, I plan to resume making videos, but more about that when it happens.

For now, the important thing is that I achieved a goal that mattered very much to me because achieving it symbolised triumphing over adversity, and even over what could have happened. Sure, it’s the goal’s not important, but the triumph is. And it’s a good sign for what next year could bring.

Special thanks to Roger Green, who encouraged me and cheer-led (is that a word?) for me to meet my goal, probably because he’s one of the few people I know who cares about such things. Speaking of which, check out his latest “Ask Roger Anything” post in which he talks about some of the things he feels about blogging; I completely relate to what he said.

Related: This is blog post 333 for 2016 – a progress report on this project from the end of November, including some surprises I found along the way.

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