Thirty days has September,
April, June and November...
Was it really thirty days? Now it's over it feels like fewer - and yet it was certainly more than I expected.
I estimate it took me somewhere between sixty and ninety hours to write a blog post every day in November - mostly in the evenings, seldom taking less than two hours, more usually three. I write slowly, constantly revising and reading aloud what I have composed; adding links, further editing and replying to comments took another hour a day.
But I enjoyed it: the hours at the computer, the time to myself, the planning and researching, and the interest shown by my family. By declaring a commitment I had more motivation to see me through and more support too. 'Leave your Dad alone, he's doing his blog,' was a regular call from the kitchen.
There was much that I missed as I sat here: my hundredth post, twenty years since I moved in with Jane (she forgot too) , bonfire night parties, Strictly Come Dancing... so no loss there, then! But there was also much that I found: new words, new themes, new readers - and a little more knowledge of what works and what doesn't.
In my first piece of the month I wrote about the tension between quality and quantity. I said I hoped to experiment... be prepared to make a muck of it – fail spectacularly if necessary. I don't think I quite achieved that, but I hope I made some progress and made the Bike Shed more distinctive in its way.
I said too that I wanted to use the blog as preparation for the final module of my degree - it begins in January and I have submitted a proposal for my assessments to be based on the writing I produce here. If it is accepted, you can watch and share in my progress.
I have long felt that the writing establishment underestimates the potential of blogs - indeed, I've written about it here, arguing there is an element of snobbery to it. So I was pleased to learn that the Open College are encouraging students to start a blog as a learning journal. We bloggers are making progress; slowly slowly...
A bit like Views From The Bike Shed. After more than 120 posts it has grown from a throwaway notion into something I value highly - enough to spend the equivalent of two working weeks in November writing for it.
Earlier today I checked my blog archive. I was surprised to find that my first post was published on 2 December 2007 - happy birthday tomorrow! I also looked twice at the first words - in one of one's life's amazing coincidences they were:
Where did November go? I seem to have missed it this year.