Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Fiftieth Post

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Total Black: $111.42
Total Red: $230,649.18

Not sure how total red jumped $2,305.97 in one day.  That’s a bit odd and disturbing if accurate.  Not even Bank of America could come up with that many fees.  I hope that’s some error in Bank of America’s My Portfolio software.

As I was walking home from the temp job this evening, I started thinking that perhaps I could use upcoming milestone posts as marker points where I take the temperature of my progress with this project.  I figured that every fifty or so posts would work.  Then I sat down to write today’s entry I noticed that it’s already my fiftieth.  So it is.  Regular readers of the blog know that on the tenth of each month I give my financial report; Day of Assessment and Second Day of Assessment chronicled that progress already.  So I figure that instead I’ll use these quinquagenary markers to gauge my personal feelings about the blog.

One thing I can say about this experience is that I appreciate knowing that people are watching.  I mentioned in a reply to a comment that I could have just written this all down in a journal and not made it public.  But there’s something captivating about having an audience and knowing that people are watching to see if you keep your word.  It’s working.  Not once in the past forty-nine days have I gone to bed without posting an entry.  I will be honest and say that in a few instances I’ve employed creative license with time to adjust it so that the post occurs on the same “day” that I’m still on.  But before you check the blog in the morning a new post is waiting.

That schedule, however, has started to get to me.  I’m starting to feel this blog become more like a chore than something to look forward to.  Starting to.  I’m not there yet.  It’s going to be more difficult now to readjust that schedule with my temp hours cutting in.  To get to the job by 8am would mean I’m blogging by 6am.  I’m just not there yet.  But perhaps soon.

Despite my audience, another thing that’s surprised me about the blog is the amount of traffic it’s received.  Prior to starting this project I wasn’t really someone who read blogs.  In fact, I don’t think I’d ever seen a blog before I sat down to start my own.  So, I can’t say whether roughly 1,200 hits in fifty days shows great progress.  But it’s definitely something I look forward to throughout the day: seeing those numbers climb.  And more readers should mean more comments.  See, I’ve always been a glutton for attention.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a Gemini.  We’re said to be one of the more social signs of the zodiac.  At any rate, comments mean a lot because they remind me that people are, in fact, out there . . . you’re not just a “wrong hit” on my blog.  Plus it lets me know that what I’m writing resonate with someone else.  The second comment I received was from a person I didn’t know, but it helped just knowing that someone else wrestles with these same debt demons.  The media pretty much shows only success stories: people who’ve made it out of debt.  And the stories seem to come all tied up in a pretty bow.  As if all that was required was hard work.  Maybe yes.  Maybe no.  Not always the same for everyone.  I emailed CNN to share my story and suggest that they follow a few people (like me) for a number of months—perhaps a year—just as Dr. Sanjay Gupta did with his Fit Nation series.  No response yet.

One reason for the significant amount of traffic comes from daily posts.  I’d like to get to the point where readers know that by 6am every day a new post will go up.  Or maybe 7am.  Not there yet.  At first I was nervous that I wouldn’t have anything to say.  So far my post Not Much to Say is the only one I regret.  I just didn’t care that day.  But that’s good that I had that moment because now I know to just let it pass and eventually the muses will start whispering again.  So, I’ve stopped worrying about that.

Overall, I’m happy I’ve undertaken this project—come what may of it.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

September 27, 2009 at 22:15

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