Snapshot Saturday: State of the 31 (7QT, Vol. 42)

(Everyday Bravery, Day 7)

Oh, no – I’m falling behind! I’m pretty sure that when you do the Write 31 Days challenge you’re supposed to actually, you know, publish a blog post on each of those 31 Days. I’m not too far off from that, but I’m not quite there either. (I missed two days last week, but I actually wrote all seven posts. One was published earlier today and the other will be published on Monday.)

I’ll get there. Or I won’t quite, but I’ll still have done much more blogging than I normally do, and I’ll have learned some good lessons along the way.

At least that’s my hope.

So far I’m having Lots of Dramatic and Gloomy Reactions to undertaking this little experiment, plus a few that aren’t so negative. They’ll probably only be of interest to, like, five of my blogging friends, but I’m going to list them anyway. (Along with a photo, because I’d planned to show you a photo every Saturday and include a story about the bravery I was feeling when it was taken. This Saturday all I feel like writing are the Lots of Dramatic and Gloomy Reactions, so you’re getting a photo of my desk. Just imagine all my angst shoving my bravery right out of that space.)

Oh, and I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes, because my list happens to contain seven items. (Follow the link to check out all the other Quick Takers!)



I’m tired. I’ve been staying up late nearly every night to write and then getting up early to do the same. So I’ve only been getting five to six (interrupted, because kids) hours a night, and it’s wearing me thin. I need to do something about this before I get sick.


Few people are reading my posts. I haven’t been getting many views in the past several months because I’ve done so little blogging. Which is fine – that makes complete sense. But I was hoping that with this Write 31 Days project, I could build my numbers back up. I figured I could at least get to where I was a year or so ago and I was super hopeful that I could do better than that. Instead, so far I’ve been getting something like a third of the views I was back then. And I lost several followers on my Facebook page. Which is a big bummer, because . . .


This is hard work. My mind is constantly ‘on,’ I’m jotting down notes wherever I can, and I’m sneaking up to my desk every chance I get. I push a post into existence, and then once I post it, I feel all angsty until I can determine how it’s received.


This has been a hard week. Lots of people I love are hurting or anxious or stressed or just dealing with a lot these days. They’ve had hard times of it lately and will continue to for the foreseeable future. I’m here at home, hurting for them. And wishing I could do something more concrete.


I can be an insufferable know-it-all. I don’t know why this realization (which is always kind of in the back of my mind) has become so prominent to me all of a sudden, but it’s there. It’s there telling me to put my nose down, be quiet, and just leave everybody and everything the heck alone. Hmpf.


Maybe I should just give up the blog. Maybe I shouldn’t even finish this #write31days thing. Maybe I should just throw in the towel and go clean my house and read to my kids and bake a pie or something. Because this is hard work and life is hard enough already and I’m not getting enough sleep and nobody’s reading what I write anyway.


But all that drama and doubt aside, I think I’m starting to learn some practical, constructive lessons here. I’m starting to learn to write a little faster, to be a little less of a perfectionist, to take more risks. I’m discerning my most productive times for and methods of writing. I’m learning that I don’t need to step away from social media entirely, but I do need more screen-free periods in my day for peace and productivity. I’m learning to focus more on my writing while I write, more on my house while I do its work, and more on my kids while I’m caring for them.

Those are good lessons. So for now, I’m just going to keep pushing ahead, keep working with what I’m learning. I think good things will come of this project even if those good things don’t include higher viewing stats. And if I get to the end of it and decide I need a blogging break, well then . . . I’ll go bake some pies. November will be a nice month for that anyway.



This post is the seventh in a series called Everyday Bravery: A Write 31 Days Challenge. Every day this month I’m publishing a blog post on Everyday bravery – not the heroic kind, not the kind that involves running into a burning building or overcoming some incredible hardship. Rather, the kinds of bravery that you and I can undertake in our real, regular lives. To see the full list of posts in the series, please check out its introduction.

These Walls - Everyday Bravery


Interested in coming along with me as I share stories about my family and chew on the topics of motherhood, politics, and society? Like These Walls on Facebook or follow the blog via email. (Click the link on the sidebar to the right.) You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram and you can find me at my politics blog at the Catholic Review, called The Space Between.


9 thoughts on “Snapshot Saturday: State of the 31 (7QT, Vol. 42)

  1. I have not read as many other blogs that I usually follow lately, but that’s because of the time issue. However, I spent two hours tonight reading, or commenting, or sharing articles that touched me.

    I don’t have a large following, am struggling to build a large following, am hesitant to continue all the copious time on social media to promote my blog, and I, too, have considered ending blogging. But, I also keep reminding myself the purpose of why I blog – to maybe touch one other person in this big, wide world. And, because I *know* I am called to write.

    So, just know, perhaps more people are reading than you realize, and perhaps they just find it difficult to put their thoughts into words or have time to read, but not comment.

    Great thoughts, and a gentle reminder to make sure my priorities continue to put my family first!

  2. For what it’s worth, I always enjoy reading what you write, even if I don’t comment on it. 🙂 That said, you have to do what is good and challenging and affirming and life-giving for you. (Selfishly, I *do* hope there will be more to read, though!) lol

  3. Julie! This is ME, 1-7! Every. Single. Bit! of 1-7! Solidarity, my #write31days blogging friend. I, for one, am loving your bravery and your thoughts. You have a very unique perspective that is always so thoughtful in a beautiful and good way. I thought so when I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago and still think so now. Prayers for us both as we discern our blogging paths!

  4. I did the #write31days challenge last year and I can understand a lot of what you’re saying here! My pageviews were pretty normal throughout, but I continue to see people click through the landing page even a year later…so maybe a delayed reaction? I also lost a few followers during that time, but I had a feeling that would happen – sometimes people can’t handle the sheer amount of posts, hah! My most faithful blog readers and friends stuck around and I really appreciated that.
    My takeaway is that if you’re still feeling like it’s a worthwhile challenge, keep going! But obviously not at the expense of your health and sanity.

    • Yes, all of this!! I think I lost steam halfway through when I tried it last year because I didn’t really get organized beforehand, but I saw the same things – a few followers lost (because they get sick of you popping up in their feed all the time), fewer comments (because people participating are too busy writing their own posts), fewer views on individual posts. But I *did* see an overall increase in views, so that was something? Good luck!!

  5. Do you enjoy writing? Obviously it’s going to be hard work – anything worth doing is hard sometimes. But if you enjoy it, then keep at it, even if your readership is low. (Yes I am preaching to the choir 🙂

    • I do enjoy it, very much. And it’s not like I feel like I need a huge readership. It can just be discouraging to put so much time into something that few people read. And when you’re feeling low, that discouragement can quickly turn into “What’s the point?!”

    • Yeah same, especially since I might have 2 readers at this point 🙂 Honestly though, you do offer something fairly unique. There are a lot of Catholic mommy bloggers. There are far fewer that discuss both home life and the broader world. There are even fewer that are written by people with real life political experience. So that’s the point, if you’re looking for one: you offer something different.

  6. Don’t forget people are subscribed!

    Even if you don’t get in all 31 days, you could always post several in one day, and I don’t think that would be cheating. 😉

    You may have said that. (embarrassed emoji face)

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