When Keith trains for races, he ends up with a few different goal times in mind. There's the ultimate goal: a ridiculously amazing time that would require perfect training and an unblemished race. There's the mid-range goal: a pretty good time, usually a PR, that falls a bit short of his wildest dreams but that he would still be satisfied with. Finally, he has a bottom "goal" time in mind. It's the lowest possible time that he might find acceptable. If he falls below this minimum threshold, his legs must be severely broken or falling off or else he will be very, very disappointed.
For me, this 3-tiered goal system is somewhat relevant to blogging. (It is not at all relevant to my running; I'm much more of a "just get across the finish line" mentality.) And truthfully, I guess I really have 2 goals. I don't have the ultimate goal. I think that would probably be something insanely consistent, like writing 5 days per week for 52 weeks a year. I said good-bye to that type of goal a long time ago. Instead, my high goal is to post at least 3 times a week, every week, which would amount to at least 12 posts a month. My minimum goal is to post at least 10 times a month on average, so I get to 120 posts by the end of the year.
You may have noticed that I've been a blogging machine for August and September. Instead of the bare minimum 10 posts, I had 15 August posts and 17 September posts. I just want to warn you, particularly new readers: don't get used to it!
I started the blog in November 2005. From 2006 through 2010, the only year I did not have at least 120 posts was 2008, when Eleanor was born. She was born at the end of July. That August, I had one sad, token post on the very last day of the month so I didn't miss out a month completely. Every month after that had fewer than 10 posts, and I didn't even make it to 100 for the entire year.
This time around, my goal was to pad my post count in the months before the baby arrives, so I can be a sleep-deprived slacker for October through November and still get to 120 posts for 2011. At this point, I can write 5-6 posts for those last 3 months and still be in the clear. Looking good so far!
Of course, the question is: why does it matter? Does anyone count posts other than me? I seriously doubt it.
But it's important to me that I'm at least somewhat reliable in my posting. I don't expect all of my readers to be constantly refreshing the home page, awaiting my latest musings with bated breath. But I do like to keep the readers I have, and I think that part of that is being around. I do think that it helps; the image above is a screen capture of my Site Meter stats. You can definitely tell that I started posting links to blog entries on Facebook in January (first tall column). There was a crazy busy month in April when I got a ton of random hits, but otherwise the traffic has been consistent.
So I guess I want to warn you in advance. I probably won't be posting as much in October/November. But I haven't forgotten about my readers or the blog! I'll probably be composing many, many posts in my head as I'm feeding the baby, changing diapers, chasing after Eleanor, and all of the other endless tasks of a Mother of Two. Maybe a small percentage of those will actually make it onto the blog, but I'll do my best to make it to 120 posts for the year.