When I created the first post of this blog in December, 2013, I never imagined that I would be still updating it periodically nearly eight years later. Though I check my site stats fairly often, it’s somewhat rare for me to check the number of articles, but when I did so a few months back I realized I was almost at 1,000 live articles (not counting a handful that I took down for some reason, or started writing and never actually finished). Just in the last two weeks I finally reached one thousand articles, and this is technically my 1,004th article.
I’ve already written a few retrospective-type articles for this blog (here is one), so I won’t go into too much depth on that kind of stuff in this post. However, I did want to talk on one topic related to both blogging and language learning.
Thinking back, I’ve managed to post at least once a week since this blog’s inception, with only a few spans when I got lazy and didn’t post anything. Of course, for the numbers to work out I must have written at least 2-3 articles a week over time on average.
What’s interesting is that while I do sometimes feel negative feelings about blogging (for example pressure to keep writing one article a week), overall it hasn’t been too bad, and the merits have far outweighed the drawbacks.
Besides posting one article a week, I don’t impose many other requirements on myself, and the flexibility in terms of content and timing helps keep things fun. But in order to prepare for extra busy periods, I do two things. The first is to write extra articles and save them for future weeks. The other is to try to keep to only one article a week in especially busy times, like when I am working on a translation or other book project.
I think this is a nice example of the power of forming good habits, since once you get yourself into a periodic (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) habit, it eventually becomes second-nature to follow. Even if the task is difficult, just knowing you have done it many times in the past makes it feel easier and gives motivation to keep going.
The power of habits applies equally to language learning, since once you set up a periodic study schedule it becomes much, much easier to maintain. Just make sure you think hard about how you are studying, since ideally you want to create habits for things that will be fun and productive in the long term (and not lead to language study burnout).
In my most recent self-authored book, Language Motivation, I go into a little more depth on this topic, and many others with the aim of improving your overall language learning experience.
To celebrate 1000 posts of STJ, for the next 5 days I will be discounting this book from $2.99 to $0.99. You can find the book here:
I’m also temporarily reducing the price of my paperback of stories by Hayashi Fumiko, an acclaimed Japanese woman author of the 20th century.
Thanks very much to all my readers, because without you I would have long given up and moved onto something else. Also thanks to all the people I’ve collaborated with in some form or another. I’m looking forward to reaching my 2,000th article (: