Back at the end of January, I signed up for the 400 Mile Fitness Challenge, then hosted by the Books, Fitness, and Other Stuff blog. The challenge was to reach 400 miles by the end of this year, either by walking, running, or bike-riding. I've been walking, and I was excited to reach that 400 mile goal this morning. :)
I had only been blogging a month when I decided to sign up for this challenge, and I had doubts about whether I would ever have any success with this blog, or be able to maintain it. The challenge was the first thing that really helped me to start meeting other bloggers, including the very kind and supportive Lynn Marie at Life through Bifocals, and it was also the first time I started to feel a connection to the blogosphere.
As the year went on, I realized that my little runner moving along the exercise ticker represented more than just my exercising goals. She had also come to represent my blog and my writing journey as well.
The blog was in its infancy at the same time she started on the ticker. Now that she's at the finish line, I can't help but look back on how the blog has changed during the journey to 400 miles.
The post that announced my participation in the challenge was my 16th post. This is post number 129. Back in January, I had maybe 5 or 10 followers, most of whom were friends and family. Now, I have 301. Back then, I had never heard of a blogfest or a blog hop, and I had no clue what on earth a blog award was all about. Now, I've been fortunate enough to both give and receive awards, and I've participated in so many fun blogfests and hops, where I've met some amazing blogging friends from all over the world. I've published two articles, been honored to write a guest post for another site, started a second blog, and even overcome my fear of sharing my work publicly.
It's been a good year, and it's safe to say that it all started with this blog. I am going to keep my 400 mile exercise ticker, as it will always be a reminder to me of what you can accomplish when you commit yourself to a goal. And, that you never know what else will come your way while you're on your journey.
As the ticker has been such a great motivator for me, I've decided to start a new one for my biggest goal, completing my novel Polar Night. I know that 60,000-80,000 words is considered an average word count for a novel, so I'm starting a ticker to track my progress towards 80,000 words. I'm hoping this will be as motivating for me as the exercise ticker was, and I also hope it will be inspiring to track my progress publicly.
The word count ticker is only at 12,892 words now, and 80,000 looks a long way off. But, I'm confident that I'll get there. And, I'm anxious to find out what new and unexpected joys I'll have as I travel along on the journey.
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ~ Vincent van Gogh