Change and the new year are inseparable. Countless hours have been spent gathered round coffee tables, discussing resolutions and voicing a distinct desire to evolve. People want to better themselves; it’s only natural, and New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to change. This is because we all seem to view the end of the year as a time of closure, a time to move on. One chapter closes as another is opened. 2019 is a fresh start.
Feel free to hold me accountable for all the things I fail to achieve when the chapter of 2019 is also closed. Hopefully, though, that won’t be the case, as I thought long and hard in the days leading up to December 31st, 2018, about making my resolutions achievable. You can read and digest (and laugh at) my goals this Monday at 5PM, GMT.
One incredibly achievable goal was the total reorganisation of my blog. I was so determined to set this in motion that my impatience took over. I couldn’t wait until the New Year to start work, so come December 24th, Christmas Eve, I set about rebranding…well, just about everything. The fresh coat of paint applied will have already disturbed regular visitors. I swapped from the overbearingly large images and huge sidebars to a minimalist, white design. I created the header myself, which makes it a whole lot more personal than someone else’s drawing of Bruce Lee (which, admittedly, did make the website sickeningly cool).
The name changed, too! My Ten Thousand Kicks is no more.
- The name was too long.
Where do I go for video gaming news? IGN. How about videos? Youtube. TV? Netflix. They have names that are short and to the point. The old name didn’t roll off the tongue. It wouldn’t resonate with visitors. That had to change.
- The name was impersonal.
You look at any other successful lifestyle blogging site, and chances are the author’s name is featured somewhere in the title of the blog. The old website could have belonged to anyone. There was no sense of ‘me’. So I set about pushing my name together with adverbs – the quirkiest I could find, and it had to be alliterative, of course, to fit in with other bloggers – to create a memorable new URL.
It was hard.
The only word that really goes with ‘Josh’ is ‘Just’, and Just Josh is disgustingly unappealing. I moved on to ‘Hamilton’.
I love the new name. It’s like someone is shocked that I’ve written something amazing on my blog-
“Have you seen this piece of prose? It’s breath-takingly beautiful.’
“It’s hardly Hamilton, is it?”
-and cannot for the life of them believe that I wrote it. Self-deprecation at its finest.
I also want to use ‘Hardly’ to create a brand name, fitting all sorts of articles under the header. Posts like ‘Hardly Movies’, where I discuss films I’ve been watching, ‘Hardly Halloween’ and ‘Hardly Valentines’, where I tell everyone about how I’m celebrating those days. And lest we forget ‘Hardly Christmas’, though I’m not sure I’ll be using that moniker for a while.
Consistency is Key
I’ve resolved to remain consistent in my blog posts. When I first started writing in June of last year, I wanted to adhere to a schedule. I’d post something at 5PM GMT, every Friday, and it would be about anything. Sooner or later, I fell of the wagon, and the posts slowed down. Traffic followed suit.
When I’d finally secured a job in August, I could devote my time to writing, rather than job-hunting and CV creation. From then until November, I posted nearly every week until stopping in December, without a word, to focus exclusively on my PGCE application. I felt I was writing too much about the application, rather completing the application. Productive procrastination at its finest.
Now that I’ve completed my application, I can return to chronicle my foray into the PGCE next week and continue consistently with writing about the PGCE every Friday. Then I’ll publish about something else each Monday, which will change every week. In total, you’ll be blessed with 1200+ words every week, on top of all the writing I do for other platforms.
Notice the word ‘publish’, rather than ‘write’ cropped up in that previous paragraph deliberately. I’m hoping to write a backlog of posts at the start of this month, so I can post consistently without worrying about writing every week. While you can remain up-to-date using that method, it’s very easy to fall behind. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to write. Putting aside that bit of extra time when I’m less busy won’t even mean much extra work, either. I’ve only been writing this for 40 minutes and have surpassed 800 words. If I’m editing them for half an hour, posting two times a week and want two posts in my backlog, then that’s 4 hours, 40 minutes per week. By the end of the month I’d have 8 posts in my backlog, which will feed my blog for the entirety of February if need be, and will only have needed to write for an hour per weekday each week. When broken up and viewed in that way, content creation isn’t disastrously difficult.
Of course, it being Friday, and just after New Year’s, there’s only one post this week. Starting Monday, I’ll be hitting you with my complete list of New Year’s Resolutions, and then on Friday we’ll return for an update on my PGCE journey.
I’ve never been more excited to create content. I can’t wait for you to read it.
Catch my teacher journey updates every Friday and look forward to my New Year’s Resolutions this Monday, both at 5PM GMT. Read them the minute they go live by subscribing to my socials all over the web: