Ok, so I realize I’ve already done a Getting Ready for Blaugust post, but honestly? That was more about making the decision to really go for it again this year. Now I want to talk a little about what I’m doing to give myself the best chance of meeting my goals without getting burnt out.
Step One – Filling Up My Content Calendar
I can’t believe how long I tried to blog without having any kind of plan besides my monthly goal posts. I mean, I love a plan! I love a schedule! Why did I wait until the beginning of 2022 to start using a calendar to plan my posts?
I have no idea, because this is probably the only reason I’ve been doing as well as I have this year.
I’m pleased to report that I have something down for every single day during the month of August. This includes all of my project posts for the month, as well as a post for each of the theme weeks (because I want my shiny Blaugcheivement banners), and four prompt posts (also because I want my shiny Blaugcheivement banners). Once I had those in, it only left me with eight days worth of content to decide on, which then really didn’t feel too overwhelming.
One of my favorite things about my calendar is that once I have everything put in, it’s super easy to move things around however I need to. Every one of those small boxes can just be dragged and dropped around as much as possible. In fact, several of my post ideas have been dragged through several months already!
I am trying to be optimistic that I’ll be able to get a handful of these posts scheduled before the first day of Blaugust, to allow myself wiggle room. Unfortunately my early July wasn’t as productive as I would have liked it to be, and I also have something to post about every day leading up until Blaugust (although I’m working on this post a few days before it will be published, so I’m on the right track). That said, it’s not uncommon for me to write two, sometimes even three, posts if I plan my time well, so
Step Two – Blocking Out Time to Write (and Play)
For me, the hardest part of a blogging marathon is coming up with enough ideas. The second hardest part, however, is making sure I leave myself plenty of time to actually do the work. I’ve made sure to keep my Sunday afternoons & Wednesday evenings unscheduled as much as possible for the past couple of months so I’m guaranteed at least two solid blocks of time to work.
Now, for my normal posting goals, I can usually squeeze most of what I want to get done in a week in those two blocks, for a total of somewhere between 8-10 hours. I don’t honestly expect that that will be sufficient in during Blaugust, so I’m planning to also put in a couple hours on Monday and Friday mornings, even if it means setting my alarm a little bit earlier.
Honestly, if I didn’t have as much free time as I do, I am fairly certain I would have set myself a more modest goal. My biggest challenge has far more to do with energy levels and the ability to focus, so I expect I’ll be heavily relying on scheduled posts to keep everything going smoothly.
No, my biggest struggle with time is being clear that just because blogging is something I do for myself, doesn’t make it any less important than anything else I do. If I have dedicated blocks of time already set aside, I plan other things that need doing around that, and am far less likely to decide that this time, during which I should be writing, is exactly when I need to be doing just about anything else.
Step Three – Getting My Images Squared Away
Obviously, for gaming-focused posts, I’ll take screenshots during my playtime, so there’s not much I can do about those in advance. However, for any of my non-game specific posts, I am currently working on making sure I have graphics pre-made (thank you Canva!) or pre-downloaded (thank you Pixabay!) and stored where I can access them easily prior to sitting down to write.
Again, the last several months have gotten me into good habits, as I usually am working on making sure I have all my #JustOnePercent graphics done and games downloaded during the last week of the month. When I sit down to do something blog-related, I want to be able to jump right in, rather than spend half of my allotted time looking for things.
I’m also considering keeping a link file in GoogleDocs for the game pages or other blogs I know I want to use in my posts – again, keeping what I need handy makes it less likely I’ll get distracted.
Although I haven’t quite finished up all of my Blaugust preparations, I already feel like I’m going into Blaugust 2022 more likely to succeed than in any prior iteration. I did manage to pick up Rainbow Diamond awards during Blaugust 2019 and Blapril 2020, although last year I only managed Gold during Blaugust 2021.
I think it’ll be very interesting to see how I’m feeling about this year’s marathon once it’s over – it remains to be seen how different I’ll feel about it having spent a good amount of time getting ready in advance.