I can’t believe it has been six months since I started this blog.
During that time, I have found new projects, made some new friends, attended some great events and have certainly had my horizons expanded.
I’ve found great satisfaction in sourcing stories from all over the world and reading about the inventive ways people use bicycles to help themselves and others. All the while, I’ve been invigorated by the energy and diversity of how people use, adapt and integrate bicycles into their lives and impressed by the significant changes and deep meanings that come about from a life on two wheels.
Technicalities, timing and content
The technical challenges and achievements that I’ve had to work with have been really rewarding – and I have learnt a lot in the process. I’ve enjoyed testing myself and expanding competencies in relation to new skills and confidence using IT programs and processes that were previously completely alien – yet are now areas that I feel much more capable and purposeful using. It has shown me that ICT does not have to be so mysterious – and that Youtube tutorials are an invaluable enabling tool!
Looking back, my one of my steepest learning curves has been in how long the process takes (time) and the actual process of producing content for the blog (product)– and this is something that I am still getting to grips with. The parity and intense time allocation required for research, reading, thinking, writing, editing and blog publish/design should not be underestimated.
This has been most evident in the last 3 weeks as Semester 1 has returned back and juggling 4 teaching appointments, a Ph.D., Blog, and life in general, has been very edifying and I have really learnt what my limits are.
I have enjoyed challenging myself to produce texts on a regular basis. My favorite technique so far was a mini-challenge to write 500 words every day for a fortnight. However, it became quickly apparent that producing content and then editing and polishing work are two completely different things.
Insights so far -working to improve
Editing for grammar and expression is still an area that I need to focus on and hone. I know that it will take quite some time to find my own voice and to relax into a rhythm style and accuracy that feels natural – which was one of the reasons for starting this blog in the first place. Getting into a routine of writing is one thing, and now 6 months on, I feel that precision and thoroughness is equally needed – so there must be a balance to be struck. Even after writing a post and looking at it, I find a week later as I look at it again, grammatical errors that make me a little self-conscious. (If you see any, please sent me a comment with the location). So, I remind myself to be more vigilant about expression and accuracy, without being too harsh – after all I’m learning! One technique that I have employed very recently, that I should have used earlier is to use Grammarly software to run my text through before I post. I have done this for the past couple of posts – just as an editing checker and using it picked up a number of small edits that for whatever reasons I have not picked up myself.
Pleased that I have achieved:
- a variety of locations around the world as I did not want to focus on any one particular region, continent or demographic group
- include a wider variety of information sources – in addition to news, videos and projects (all of which could easily be the basis for content in an of itself), but that these sources are intermingled with community events, academic research, literature findings, and a handful of select PhD musing and ideas –which means that there is not one specific focus – which I think could be quite limiting, but that there is a clear theme that runs through the blog which means some variety can be included, without straying too far from core themes of this blog
- Promote community engagement – that I have been faithful to my love of creating and putting on my own community events that I have instigated and developed, which I enjoy immensely – as well as being a feature that sets this blog apart from other cycling news/product based information blogs