For about 4 days I was actively participating in NaBloPoMo. If you aren’t familiar, it is a huge blogger-thing. Sponsored and monitored by BlogHer, NaBloPoMo is short for “National Blog Posting Month.” The goal is the for 1 month you post daily. BlogHer and WordPress provide daily prompts that you can use to guide your writing or you can post whatever you want.
This blog-heaven is organized every month but for whatever reason November is the BIG month. Thousands of bloggers sign up and pledge to bludgeon the blogging world with millions of posts.
The idea is that you push your limits, you write more, you test waters on your blog you might not otherwise ripple, you become more diverse, you polish yourself.
There is a certain amount of networking involved with NaBloPoMo and us bloggers are always desperate to know that people are reading the words we take a lot of time and passion to craft. So we LOVE networking. But, honestly, the campaign is so huge that the connections with other bloggers are hard because, well, it’s a vast, vast sea and I am about the size of plankton. One piece of plankton, not the whole mess that could feed the world.
I catastrophically failed at NaBloPoMo. Which I don’t usually fail. When I commit to something I make it happen. Self-motivation and drive has never been my problem.
So what were my issues? Why couldn’t I finish NaBloPoMo? What did I learn about the challenge to blog daily?
Because here’s the thing: I could write every day. I am always writing in my head, in my notebook, on scrap pieces of paper. I have yet to run out of topics or things I want to share. I have oodles of drafts in my WordPress account waiting to be cleaned up and Published. Many days I find I am “thinking” in blog posts. (If you blog you know how it goes: “Ooo, this would make a GREAT blog post!” or “I can totally spin this in to a blog post!”)
The issue was that you folks don’t want to read me every day. That’s alright, I get it. I am not offended. I am not sure I put out enough GOOD content to merit being read every day.
But, like I said, it is a huge sea of content out there. When you as a reader have already been reading 5 blogs for 2+ years that you are violently committed to it is hard for a little guy like me to demand too much of your time. I get it. My numbers tanked when I tried to post more. Too much talking translates in to looking like you don’t have anything meaningful to say. It all becomes noise.
I also learned NOT to try to post daily when there is a lot of personal transition going on. Duh.
I thought that writing daily would be a great way to work out the transitional stress. And while writing is a great way to share – and the phenomenal support and outreach I have received has saved my sanity, thank you, friends! – I found that I didn’t want to take the time to write when I felt like I needed to be spending time cuddling my kids. Priorities.
Plus, I don’t plan ahead. Maybe that hurts my NaBloPoMo ability. I write about the Here. Now! When I try to plan too far ahead I get burned. For example: I created a very long post about my second pregnancy and my whiny feelings, set to run the following week. Planning ahead, yay! But within that week I learned that one of my dear friends was having problems with fertility. And she reads my blog. I would have felt like a jackass if I had run that post.
So yes, I failed NaBloPoMo. November is not done but I am calling it already. I am taking the badge off my sidebar widget.
But I am not sorry I did it. I tried an experiment. In the process, I learned. And isn’t that, in the end, what NaBloPoMo is really about?