What I’ve Learned from NaBloPoMo

Well, folks, it’s the last day of November. I am proud to say I have DONE IT!

30 blog posts

One per day, posted before midnight (though on some days it was a VERY close call)

21,285 words written

An average of 710 words per day

(But if I’m honest, handfuls of those belonged to my students, the gang at Google, and those talented comment spammers)

Shortest post: Fun With Photo Booth (65 words) – lettin’ those images speak for themselves

Longest post: Dilovely’s Playlist: 25 Legendary Canadian Songs (x2!) (1,777 words) – on day ONE, of all things

Runners-up for longest post: the marathon Toddler Tracks – Recent Quotes and Conversations (1,663 words) and My Twilight Rant (1,503 words)

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My Personal FAQ:

Why am I doing this, again?

Because I am exceedingly stubborn with respect to my knee-jerk no-quit prove-I-can-do-it response. Same reason I wrote a 75-page research paper in French for my M.A.: “‘Cuz I said I was gonna.”

Aren’t my readers getting sick of me?

Yes, probably. I’m getting kinda sick of me.

Would I do this again next November?

Hmm. There would have to be a compelling reason – BESIDES “I said I was gonna.”

Isn’t posting a video or some photos when I’m short on time just… cheating?

I rather think it is, for the purpose of NaBloPoMo, since the point is to write every day… but the gals at BlogHer said I could!

Would it still be cheating next month, when the pressure’s off?

Strangely, no. Somehow I don’t think it’s cheating unless there’s desperation involved.

Should I be using the writing prompt?

BlogHer offered a “writing prompt” each day, for people who needed inspiration. Which is nice. As it turned out, yesterday was the first day I thought to look at it, and the prompt was “What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?” Um, WTF? Why would anybody want to read about me brushing my teeth, taking my earrings off, and giving treats to the cats? Unless it’s supposed to an exercise in imagination where I tell you how I have to check my spy-cams for terrorist activity in the palace, or fly my jet home from Wiki-Washoo, before going to bed. But clearly, imagination is not my strong point. Just as well I didn’t use the writing prompts, then.

Has this made me a better blogger?

Well, I had to resort to cheating, so… NO.

Has this made me a WORSE blogger?

Gosh. Not permanently, I hope.

Why I liked NaBloPoMo:

  • Once I get going, writing gives me energy. When I finish a blog post, I am UP. (When that’s early in the day, it’s great. When it’s bedtime… oops.)
  • It gave me an excuse to do the writing I love. Sometimes I have trouble justifying this “me” time, since nobody’s paying me for it so far. For one month, I relished this obligation – almost all the time. (I will admit to having fantasies about writing full-time. But I’m sorta hooked on my student moments, too.)
  • It was good to write – finally! – about some of the ideas in my backlog. I made a dent! But then I had more ideas… so my idea bank is right where I started. Can’t complain.
  • Writing every day without fail makes going to a 3-posts-per-week format look like a piece of cake.
  • It’s over! Suddenly it’s going to feel like I have so much flexibility with my “free time”.
  • Participating in NaBloPoMo Soup at BlogHer, I got to read lots of interesting posts by other women – in fact, I could easily have done nothing but that! There are some fascinating blogs out there.

Why I didn’t like NaBloPoMo:

  • Exercise pretty much fell by the wayside.
  • Bedtime often fell by the wayside.
  • Instead of starting out hard and getting easier, it was kind of the opposite.
  • Times when it was hard: a) on my more draining teaching days, b) when finishing a post jockeyed with bedtime for the umpteenth night.
  • Those darn videos almost derailed me more than once. They take for-freaking-ever to upload.
  • There were times when I felt inspired to tackle a big topic, but didn’t, because I knew I couldn’t do it in one day. That was frustrating.
  • I couldn’t shake the feeling of narcissism. Seriously, as FABULOUS as Dilovely may be, do readers truly want to hear from her every single day? Are the things my blogself has to say really that important? Well, I obviously can’t be the judge of this, but I’m gonna go with “not bloody likely.” If my own Hubbibi had email notifications piling up in his inbox sometimes, I can only assume he wasn’t alone. People are super-busy, on a perpetual basis. I feel privileged to get as much of your time as you give normally; I’d hate to abuse that. (MOTL.)

Once again, to each of my sweet readers, whether you be a loyal follower, or an occasional browser, or a random person who happened to stumble upon my blog whilst searching for a chihuahua in a costume: THANK YOU for reading, and for keeping me accountable. I most definitely would not have been up to this challenge without you.

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12 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned from NaBloPoMo

  1. Amanda says:

    I am not at all sick of you!!! Blog blog blog. When I see your post arrive in my inbox I go right to it…no matter where I am or what I am doing. I have read your blog at work, in bed, on the bus, in the car, at camp, on a hike and so on. Thanks for a fabulous November!!

  2. Amanda says:

    I should clarify that if I am in the car driving I get my passenger to read it to me 🙂 Reading while driving does not work all that well!

  3. Christina says:

    I am also NOT getting sick of you! I read each and every blog post you write. Sometimes they are exactly the pick me up I need, sometimes they make me cry, and almost always make me wish I could give you big squishy hugs <3

    • diblog says:

      Christina, thank you so much. I miss you and wish I could give you big squishy hugs too! But knowing you’re reading makes me feel like we’re not quite so far apart. <3

  4. berty says:

    Di!!! Awesome month!! I read it every chance I get, too. Probably more than I should; hmmm. But it’s irresistible! One of the things I love most is videos of E with subtitles so your audience can tell what all the words are. I like the rants, I like the links to click on, I like the school snippets, I like when you mention people I know, I like reading your writing from long ago, and I like reading your writing now just because it’s good. I hate to tell you, since it seems like pressure, which it totally isn’t, since sometimes other things ARE more important, but I’d love it if you did write every day! Well done, you. Hug hug hug hug hug.

  5. emerge says:

    Congradilations!!! (That’s supposed to be congratulations with a Di in it. But now it looks like “dilation” which does not have the same tone at all…)

    I am SO impressed that you actually did it. I know I have never accomplished such a feat. You inspire me!! Not that I am doing anything to show for it!

    But – hey, how about this? I know you’ve wanted me to do a guest blog post… so to give you a break after your Long Haul-o-vember, how bout I do your next one? I could do one of those videos that Beth was talking about. Assuming I can get imovie to work on my computer (there was some kind of glitch when I tried to use iphoto) and all that stuff… I think these folks could use a good ol’fashioned story! We’ll talk. Once you’re done putting E to bed maybe.

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