2 March 2015

100 not out

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/
Today's post is a landmark one, as it's the 100th weekly piece I've published since launching The Reluctant Perfectionist early in April 2013. And, ironically, it's actually my obsessive nature - and my associated love of rules - that I have to thank for this consistency of output.

Emily Benet's blogging workshop got me started and one of her tips was to decide on a sustainable frequency of posting and stick to it. I was working four days a week, so settled for weekly, on my day off, ie Monday. 

As the weeks and months passed, and I published post after post, that decision became a rule set in stone. Never mind not missing a week, I could not, whatever happened, publish on a different day.

My blogging platform's scheduling facility allows me to plan around events that might divert me, by setting up posts to publish in my absence. Last year, I was able to blog through holidays, celebrating my boyfriend's birthday and even an operation. I do sometimes wonder, though, whether this facility might, one day, result in a piece appearing posthumously... 

Those of you who receive posts by email might, by now, be thinking 'Hold on, I sometimes get mine on a Tuesday'. This is because the mailing software looks for new content around lunchtime every day. If I post later than that, I miss that day's 'collection'.

When I realised my 100th post was coming up, this became a new goal that I absolutely must not miss. As it got nearer, I grew more and more nervous that something insurmountable would intervene to stop me - like a runner who has trained for months for the London Marathon, only to sprain an ankle two days before the race.

The way I administer my blog reflects other aspects of my personality, such as my need for control and certainty. 

I keep meticulous records, including a spreadsheet where I log my weekly word count, with formulas to calculate the annual and grand totals and also average post length, both annually and overall. This may seem pointless, but it's somehow reassuring to have these facts to hand - perhaps any crumb of knowledge is a comfort to those of us who crave certainty. Incidentally, I've written 50,722 words worth of posts...the equivalent of half a novel!

My filing system includes electronic copies of all posts and accompanying images, screen grabs of every blog page, and a back-up of the design template. This all, supposedly, provides a fail-safe system in the event of my website suddenly disappearing off the face of the internet. In reality, I could never recreate the entire content, even with all of these tools at my disposal; it would take far too long. Nevertheless, having an emergency plan in place makes me feel better. Control, control, control - it's all about control. 

Still, whatever happens in the future - whether my blog disappears or I do - nothing can take away the fact that I made it to 100 posts. Now, where has that celebratory card from the Queen got to...?


Lindsay said...

Congratulations on reaching a 100. And I'm sure the Queen sent a message to you on her blog!

Anonymous said...


Helen Barbour said...

Thanks, Lindsay! Ah yes, I didn't think to check the Queen's blog...

Helen Barbour said...

Thanks, ocdtalk!