And yes, I do feel proud - really glad I did it.
I didn't lose much (if any) weight - but then muscle weighs more, doesn't it? And I didn't skimp on any foodie treats that passed my way......
I have discovered that reading can positively affect my swimming (although probably not as much as if I'd also watched the videos at swimming.org).
And swimming - or rather blogging - has affected my reading. Researching swimming techniques, how to embed links & how to promote a blog have just been part of it. Gathering relevant material by scanning newspaper headlines & following leads heard on the radio also become important daily activities for the blogger.
You'll have noticed me teaching myself to blog over the past weeks. The dodgy formatting and the introduction of 'embedded' links later rather than sooner, in place of great screeds of copied and pasted web addresses bear some witness to how far I've come.
If anyone else is thinking of doing a blog to support a fundraising event in future, this would be my advice:
- you don't have to write something everyday. You may brim over with ideas, but they gradually tail off - so keep it manageable.
- make your header simple - mine was too pretentious. Describe the charity, the activity and how to pay. The most common complaint about mine was from busy people who just wanted to sponsor me rather than read the blog. They couldn't see how to do this easily enough.
- do try to promote it and your sponsored event everyday. When it's a new post, promote it via your Facebook contacts, if you have them. On other days, promote via your email contacts, a group at a time (family, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, social groups)
- be (relatively) shameless. Feeling embarrassed about asking is normal - but a good (not close) acquaintance of mine replied: 'I'll sponsor you for having the cheek - I know how hard it is from something I did last year'. You can't predict who will say 'yes', so you just have to try.
- make sure your event is truly personally challenging. If it's something you could actually do any day of the week I doubt people will sponsor you.
- make notes of possible material whenever and wherever you come across it. Sitting down to write with no inspiration is no fun! You won't use it all. Sometimes you'll sit down intending to write about one aspect and it'll morph into another and you'll have material left for another post.
- if you are on Facebook, search for people and try them. Even if they don't sponsor you, you might, as I did, find several old friends.
- put up posters in relevant places - you'll advertise your charity at the same time.
Other advice comes via my sister again: she blogged about me! But since she is a marketing professional, it is definitely worth another look.
Finally, do enjoy and do 'go for it'. It will be worth it!
Many thanks again