As long as I’m reviewing my year, may as well hit the other highlights. In case you missed it, Part Une was about the bikin’ and the hikin’ (ok, walks). Here’s the link to check out that post about my 5,143 Miles in 2018, As for the rest, well, let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the review.
Blog Blew Up Big Time
Tooting one’s own horn is, I suppose, is somewhat inevitable if I’m going to be truthful and perhaps inspire some folks. I’ll just say that writing for 30′ or 500 words, but usually double that or more *every single day*, is hard work. Publishing a blog three times a week (daily, at first), is also both hard work and gratifying. But I have a huge body of work now that, while not perfect or winning any Pulitzer Prizes (yet, that I know of, just kidding!), I can be proud of. (Or, if you do happen to be a Pulitzer committee reader, “Of which I can be proud!”)
Here are some of the 2018 writing stats in bullet format:
- Days I wrote in blog or book: 365
- Number of followers: 343 (started the year at around 20)
- Number more blog posts in 2018 compared to all of 2016-17: 180
This is always fun: What are the top 10 countries A Dude Abikes where readers live?
- United States
- United Kingdom
Top posts included the following:
Overall, I am happy with the writing experiment, even if I do tend to be too wordy, and readership has not increased as much as I’d like. In fact, the trend is fairly steady but a little bit downward. That’s quite likely a matter of being a very niche blog in a sea of billions of bloggers (OK, millions). Also, blogs overall are just not getting alot of interest anymore. I don’t promote it very well either.
My only regret or disappointment, really, is that I do not get to spend nearly enough time reading the blogs of followers. They’re really interesting and yet I didn’t know it was expected to spend hours a day engaging. I have to prioritize my own writing so if that means less followers, so be it. But for the faithful readers (or at least likers), thank you again, very, Very, VERY much!
A Dude Abikes – The Book: Still a Work in Progress
The book is well into chapter 17 of 24. I haven’t done much except write. I do four days every week, when I’m not blogging. I enjoy it, but it’s hard work, and I’m getting to the point where I need to hunker down and finish. At the same time, I need to start reaching out to the writing community for next steps like beta reading, revising and editing. I also need to do alot more reading myself, and also look into publishing or self-publishing. For now, I just write. Without publishing excerpts, there’s not alot more to mention at the moment. I just aim to keep plugging away and trust the process will work out at some point.
Food Is Yummy But Not All Good for the Tummy
I began the year with a vegan juice cleanse, then diet, which led me to have all kinds of symptoms, which were revealed to be caused by anemia. So I went back to being omnivorous, and those problems resolved. But I do have one major accomplishment in this department: I gave up virtually* ALL processed grains in 2018! That means I ate no:
- anything* with flour in it
- bread, muffins, bagels (not even whole-grain, naan, sprouted, etc.)
- white rice
- pasta of any kind
- tortillas or chips
- cookies, pastries, cakes (cup, pan, bundt, snack, etc.)
- etc. (my mind went blank at the word PIZZA!!!)
*I say virtually and everything, because I definitely had me some Beanitos, which are chips made from beans but they do have a little long grain brown rice flour. Occasionally I’d have a can of soup that had little bits of something wheat in it which I’d pick out, or some yogurt Chistmas cookies my sis-in-law makes that have a small amount of flour. I did have a fair bit of rolled oats, though I prefer whole oat groats or steel cut. But overall, I cut WAAAAYYYYY back on this stuff.
This was EXTREMELY HARD to do at first, but pretty soon I just locked down that part of my brain and didn’t really care. Although it meant daily vigilance and explaining to people, “No, I’m not gluten free” (though save some puffed kamut, I basically was, without examining the tiny other sources). Sure, smells tempted me, but nothing verboten crossed my lips. Three things helped that were whole grain: popcorn, rice cakes and puffed grain cereals.
Unfortunately, this did not affect my weight one whit, which was very disappointing, to say the least. I attribute this to my constitutional make-up and genetics for the most part. On the down side, I have developed a craving/addiction to sugar that has not afffected my weight or blood sugar levels. However, a lot of bike riders say you should eat simple carbs to prevent your muscles from burning up your glycogen stores. How true that is, I don’t know, but I need to work on this. I’ll be seeing a nutritionist soon. I’m pretty sure she’ll say “Sugar is bad, don’t eat it.”
Replacing candy with fruits and vegetables, along with things like herbal tea and more sleep, may work. Sugar may be more addicitive than heroin, but as long as I’m cycling, walking, and doing yoga daily, it’s alot better than, well, heroin. I barely drink alcohol and have never smoked (anything), and so yeah, I’m gonna live a little. So sue me. (Joking. Please don’t go get all litigious on my ass!)
Yoga Is on Autopilot but Still Going Strong
Not much to say about the yoga that I didn’t cover in 1,826 Days (5 Years) of Daily Yoga: A Demi-Decade of A Downward A Dude. I do it daily. I could dig into my online meditation app for an image for “proof,” but the cynical would doubt its veracity. But why would I make it up? No reason.
I do admit to some stagnancy in my nightly practice. But it serves the body/mind well enough, and keeps the biking legs working. On occasion I do watch hometown YouTube heroine Yoga with Adriene. She has a free 30-day program going on now called DEDICATE, so maybe I will jump onto that. And maybe I’ll get to some classes this year. Whatever shape it takes, I swear by yoga as my secret weapon. If you bike or do any activity but don’t do yoga, I suggest you try it!
2018 was a very big year. I was able, thanks to being laid off my job in late 2017 (yay!), to finally take the steps I needed to establish a daily writing habit. Unfortunately, monetary demands (rent, food, bills, bike stuff) require alot more focus on vocation instead of hobbies. If something has to be put on a back burner, it may be the blog, but let’s hope not. We’ll see what happens. Well, that’s all he wrote for this time. Come back Monday for more on A Dude Abikes!
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