#BlogElul and the August Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost: I’m a week late, but I’m participating.

What are these things, you ask?

First, #BlogElul, because this week marks the start of that.

#BlogElul is a thing that’s been going on since 2010, when blogs were much more popular. It covers the 30 days from the beginning of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, until the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. The beginning of Elul marks the beginning of the 40 days to Yom Kippur, (the Day of Atonement), and is similar to Ramadan or Lent in that this is a time of repentance and stocktaking of the previous year, our relationships with each other, and how we might move forward as better people from a spiritual and/or personal growth standpoint. Elul and the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are different from Ramadan and Lent in that there isn’t any fasting, although there are additional prayers.

Each day of this blogging challenge has an associated prompt, but the rules are less strict than other blog challenges because some people who participate do not blog on Shabbat, (the Sabbath), some people write two posts before Shabbat and some people write two posts after. Plus, you can completely ignore the prompts if you want. There’s also an art component that takes place on Instagram with the #elulgram hashtag.

Now to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

This began on August 1, and will continue till August 30. I have 8 posts to catch up on, but wanted to start when Elul started since there’s a little more than a week between the two month beginnings. I’m participating in the UBC because, while I have a really nice workflow for reacting to media on my site, which means I can pretty much consume social media if I want to but don’t have to necessarily participate in the engagement part, I haven’t actually been saying much of late. The UBC gives me a way to add the saying-more component with some structure. And I need to get back in the swing of actually writing things.

I’m thoroughly enjoying reading everyone’s posts so far, and I’m linking to some of them in the media reactions section. I’ll probably engage with those on social media but otherwise retain my practice of reacting to most stuff without the engagement part, or at least the engagement on social media part. I’m rather enjoying the react workflow as well as the finely controlled syndication flow I now have, which lets me post on my own site, and then syndicate elsewhere when I choose.

So, on with the challenges. Hopefully I will have at least 30 posts for these months, if not more. I’m still working out how long I want these to be, or if that even matters.