DAY 30
of the 30-Day Blog Challenge, 2011
“Celebrate good times, come on!” [tanananant-tant-tanantant] “Woo hoo!”

Ooh la la! I’ve made it to the last day of this year’s 30-Day Blog Challenge! This has been my third year of doing this around mid-July and I can truly say that the longer I do it, the more challenging it feels…which is a little surprising because one would expect things to be easier after having done it a few times. I am quickly reminded of my first major, Business Economics, wherein my third year, I still struggled with the economics subjects (hence, the shift to the more apt—for my personality and inclinations, at least—to Journalism). And, like college, I should probably keep at this until the fourth year, or even beyond.

Anyhow, sharing my thoughts about this whole process of blogging for 30 days straight!

1) Super (Mommy) Bloggers
I have newfound respect for daily bloggers in general. I know for many people out there, publishing a post everyday is the norm rather than the exception. Whereas I strive to follow a decent personal writing schedule, many of you just do it. I particularly admire the moms who find time to write posts on a regular basis, and even find the time to read blogs like mine (you know who you are!). While doing the Challenge, I struggled with getting everything done in one day—a full-time job, yoga (I’ve skipped some classes), my online part-time job (I’ve already missed a deadline…or two), updating my accounting Excel sheet (it’s backlogged/back-dated as I write this), the occasional magazine article, and making it to the 12 midnight blogging deadline. I can only imagine what it’s like for busy mommies out there who juggle jobs, PTA meetings, birthday parties, breastfeeding, and so forth. Hence, my virtual salute to all of ya!

2) Car Service
I recently asked a new friend how her boss—a famous person in the publishing world whom I shall not name here—managed her time and how it was possible for said boss to do everything that she did (books, magazines, speaking engagements). Even without asking, it’s quite obvious that in order to successfully multi-task, one has to have top-notch staff. That’s a given. But my friend gave two answers: One, the publishing executive woke up early and went to bed late. Two—and literally, two words: “car service.”

You see, we all spend an inordinate amount of time commuting, running errands, and going from point A to point B on a daily basis. Being chauffeured to wherever means having pockets of space and time to zone out with one’s Blackberry, iPhone, laptop, or iPad and do what one has to do…like blog! Even if it’s as simple as doing your hair and makeup, being able to tick off something on your agenda while in motion gives you plus points in the productivity department. So, here’s my friend’s advice, and I paraphrase: “If you’re negotiating a new job and it comes down to benefits and less money offered, ask for the car service.”

Noted!

3) Gadgets To Go
Speaking of the things above, there have been times in the last 30 days that I’ve typed up drafts in my phone, or ducked into Starbucks and tip-tapped on the iPad (I recommend the Blogpress app, by the way). Once, I even worked on a post on the bus. If you’re planning to do the Challenge, great gadgets are a big help, especially on days when you’re pressed for time or when your schedule is packed; or even when you’re just being lazy.

4) Bloggerjuice, Bloggerjuice, Bloggerjuice
I’ve said—or read?—this time and again: Writing is a muscle, and it needs regular exercise. I’d say it’s like going to the bathroom; you need to do it everyday. The nice thing about having to blog everyday is that ideas flow and even when you’re stumped for a post, something still comes up; the blogger juices flow. While I’ve mentioned that the Challenge gets harder every year, it’s actually more of a function of time and scheduling, because it’s more difficult to write after a long day when you’re tired or sleepy, or, again, lazy. But, in terms of ideas presenting themselves or sentences/phrases/paragraphs forming in your head as you wait for the train to arrive, you get more of those as you write more often.

5) What’s Next?
Truth be told, I doubt if I’ll ever get to blog daily. It also comes down to quality vs. quantity. And my take on that is to have hearty helpings of both: quality, for when you want to tone that muscle and hone this skill; quantity, for when cardio and consistency are called for.

If you don’t hear from me as often, that means I’m actually spending time finishing my long overdue Manila novel…and then hopefully have the discipline and fortitude to start the next one for here in New York. Friend and former Seventeen boss, Maya Calica, blogged about writing a novel in 30 days in her post, “Who wants to write a novel?” You’ll also find her Suite 101 article linked up, “Writer’s Block Be Gone—Tips on How to Write Your First Novel,” which is very insightful and a must-read.

A bit of trivia, it was actually a blog post of Maya’s that prompted the 30-Day Blog Challenge back in 2009. In it, she said, “Do something regularly over a period of 30 days and you will create a habit.”

So, off I go, and onto the next challenge! Thank you, everyone, for the pep-comments and, of course, for reading my blog! It means a lot and it makes sense out of what I do and why I should keep doing this. Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart (and chocolate-starved stomach).