Personal

Staying Accountable Via The Blog

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of this blog for a while. Partly it’s just a dumping ground for my general musings, partly it’s a place I can go when I’m trying to remember the name of that good book I read six months ago. Partly it’s a way to look back on the year at the end of it, work out what went well and what didn’t, and plan the following twelve months.

But one thing a lot of people use blogs for is something I haven’t done so far: a way of staying accountable. 

I do a lot of things with my life. I’m a psychologist of religion (and am trying to get back into doing more of that); a writer of digital forensics textbooks; an editor of a digital forensics website; a consultant on child protection online; a singer-songwriter (something else I’d like to do more of); a poet; director of a company that specialises in writing, editing and translation across 46 languages.

And I’m other things too, of course, like we all are. A friend, a believer in good wine, a West Londoner, a Rromni, a linguist, a reader, a Kierkegaardian, a swimmer, a person who’s renovating their flat…

It can be difficult to juggle so many lives. (I know he’s not technically juggling, but any excuse for a Bowie gif, right?)

Last year I took a year off from almost everything. This year I’m easing myself back in, but it’s hard to remember how I fitted everything into my weeks before. Surprisingly, it didn’t involve not sleeping enough. It did involve not having much of a social life, but I’m cool with that because I’m so far up the introversion scale I’m practically a hermit.

I think part of why I’m struggling to juggle all my projects is not having to be accountable to anyone. I’m really good at hitting deadlines, and I’m good at working on things when I know people are relying on me to get shit done. I’m not so good at just getting on with stuff I want to work on when it doesn’t have a strict deadline, and there’s a lot of that stuff this year (music, the second book, academic research, and renovating the flat).

Then a few days ago I was reading a post on Dream Write Sell which talked about how to market your book before it’s come out. Since I need to pitch my next book to a new publisher, it would be helpful to have as many people waiting for it as I can, so I can show the publisher it’ll sell and won’t be a total flop. One of the tips was:

Write a blog post once a week about your writing process and progress. Tell future readers what you worked on that week. Readers love to see their favorite authors’ creative process in action.

I liked this idea, because I blog anyway, so adding in a day per week on which I talk about how the book is coming along isn’t difficult.

I’m not just working on First Steps In Digital Forensics, though. I’m also working on some other stuff. Are there enough days in the week to blog my life? Do I have enough time to do it and blog about it?

Probably, if the posts aren’t very long.

The thing is, in many ways the projects I work on are their own reward. I’ve recently had a conversation with someone about starting a project together – no details yet, I don’t want to jinx it – which has made me feel more excited about life than I’ve felt in a very long time.

It’s just the getting started that’s the problem, and sticking to things that don’t have hard deadlines.

That’s where you come in. My (few, but wonderful) blog readers. I’m going to keep you updated about things I’m working on, and I’m going to do it on consistent days, so you can follow different threads depending on your interests.

The threads will be as follows:

  • Miscellaneous Monday*
  • Book Blog Tuesday
  • Wine Wednesday
  • Forensics Thursday
  • Flatspiration Friday
  • Psychology Saturday
  • …and on Sunday, she rested. So nothing.

*occasionally morphing into Music Monday, but I’m not going to force myself to do loads of music stuff, because even if I’m good at time management there is some kind of limit.

I wish I could think of a way to make ‘Thursday’ alliterative with something digital forensics related. If you have any ideas for that, let me know.

So, here goes. Let’s try this accountability thing. Maybe it’ll help. And if you blog about something you want to be kept accountable for, drop a link in the comments and I’ll come nag you too. 😉

I should probably take this opportunity to say that the blog will be on hiatus next week, because I’m taking a week off to work on the flat. But after that I’ll be back in full swing!

3 thoughts on “Staying Accountable Via The Blog”

  1. I’m lucky if I can write a blog post a week 😉 and I’m loath to share too many details of things before they’re out in the world (I know you’re not supposed to be afraid of people stealing stuff, but having had stuff stolen, it’s a hard one to kick)… my Russian language studies are too beginner/basic to connect to writing in the English language… and during the week I might have ideas for things I forget I thought about by week’s end. Maybe keep me accountable for remembering to write those things down? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about sharing too many details – I don’t plan to go into great detail about anything though (except home decoration plans, which people are welcome to steal), it’s more a case of having a touchstone so I can at least say I’ve done something that week.

      Russian language studies sound interesting! I’ve always wanted to learn a language that doesn’t use a Latin alphabet.

      I will try to nag you about writing things down from time to time 😉

      Like

  2. Haha thanks! I like the “touchstone” idea, that helps frame it better in my head.

    I took Russian in college and over the years found that I remembered more than I thought, so I picked it back up again. I struggled with it when it was for a grade and I had to switch gears, but at this point in my life when I can do it on my own time and there’s no pressure, I can more easily pinpoint my weak spots (cases, prefixes/prepositions, verbs of motion) and work on those as needed. I think that learning a non-Latin alphabet has to do with orthography or how closely the letter corresponds to a particular sound… Russian has a relatively shallow orthography where for the most part (with a few exceptions) sounds and letters correspond. For me the challenge isn’t reading the words; it’s determining the right preposition and case! I’m getting better, though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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