What I’ve Learned from NaBloPoMo

by Kathy on November 30, 2011 · 9 comments

in Inspiration, Milestones, NaBloPoMo, Top Ten Lists, Writing

I did it! Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo and with this post I have completed my goal of posting once a day, everyday, for the month of November!

I’ve written more posts this month than I wrote in all of last year!

I found through participating in NaBloPoMo, though I have also noticed this in the past, that just as “sleep begets sleep,” that “writing begets writing.” The more often I write the more inspired I am and the easier I find it to be motivated and have something to say.

When I signed up for NaBloPoMo I originally plotted out the entire month including ideas/writing prompts for myself for each day. I did this as a sort of security blanket, knowing that if nothing else, I would have my “plan” to fall back on. However, early on I found myself “bumping” some of my original ideas for given days as I came up with other, more timely, things that I chose to write about.

Participating in NaBloPoMo has been such a fascinating experience! It allowed me to experiment with different ways of writing posts. In the past I would often treat my blog entries more like letters to an old friend. I would feel compelled to begin my posts with a greeting and say “thank you for reading” at the end of my posts. During this month of daily blogging I tried writing posts where I just jumped right into the topic without any greetings or salutations. I also tried whenever possible to include questions at the end of my blog entries, related to what I wrote, in effort to engage readers more, encourage them to comment and share their thoughts and perspectives.

In the spirit of Mel’s helpful post on BlogHer called What Bloggers Can Learn from Marathon Runners, I found that sometimes when trying to blog daily you can hit a wall and you have to work through it. That happened a little past the halfway point for me. It was bizarre, because had I not been participating in this writing exercise, I would have just taken a few days (or more) off from writing/posting on my blog, no big deal. But since I was determined to finish what I started, I made myself push through my writers block.

I took one of Mel’s pieces of advice in her marathon analogy post, “give yourself a few down days where you schedule in a wordless picture post. Even writers need time away from words” and did a few blog entries this month in which I used one or more pictures with minimal writing/short captions. I also wrote post about experiencing lulls and funks and really appreciated the comments I got from others who have been there.

Going further with that marathon analogy, I don’t know if I will be a “one and done” NaBloPoMoer or if I will try again someday. If do, I might like to give it go during a month other than November, when less people participate (I had no idea that over 2,000 bloggers would be participating in this writing exercise) and there is a theme with related writing prompts. I am definitely going to blog as I feel moved to for the month of December, but probably not every day. Being in the habit of writing more often this past month though may inspire me to write more often than I usually have in the past.

Because I like my Top Ten Lists and am proud of a lot of the writing that came out of my experience doing NaBloPoMo this month, I decided to put together one for my favorite blog entries that I wrote over the past thirty days.

My Top Ten Posts from NaBloPoMo 2011:

10. An Open Apology (Day 7)

9.  Storm Home (Day 26)

8.  An Ode to Black Friday (Day 25)

7.  Perfect Moment Monday: On Having Enemies (Day 28)

6.  Where is God? (Day 27)

5.  Time Warp Tuesday: Attention (Day 15)

4.  We aren’t the only ones… (Day 23)

3.  Thanksgiving is… (Day 24)

2.  Otherness (Day 9)

1.  On Being a Writer (Day 12)

Thank you to all those who read any or all of my posts over the past month and for supporting me with your encouragement and especially your comment love!

If you participated in NaBloPoMo this month or have done so in the past, what did you learn from your experience? Do you think you will do it again in December or another time the future

If you have not tried NaBloPoMo, what is holding you back?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HereWeGoAJen November 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

When I first did NaBloPoMo, it taught me that I need to blog every day or I don't blog enough to keep me going. So I joined Blog365 right after and that was four years ago now. That's right, I am currently on Blog1460. 😉

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2 booker November 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

hey the way I see it the more practice I get writing the better I'll be!

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3 Kathy November 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Jen – WOW! Seriously?! You haven't missed a day in 4 years?! WOW! I think you may have told me that before, but I must not totally have grasped what you were saying. That is really awesome! After doing NaBloPoMo I appreciate even more just how incredible that is! I already knew that you rocked, but now I know just how much YOU ROCK! 🙂

booker – That;s a great way to see it and certainly makes sense to me! 🙂

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4 Jenn and Casey November 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Congrats on finishing up NaBloPoMo!!!! I will certainly do it again (just not in December!!!!)

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5 Esperanza November 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm

That is awesome Kathy! I'm so glad it was a good experience. You obviously learned a lot and life is about learning.

I actually specifically stayed away from NaBloPoMo this year because I'm trying to temper from my blogging a bit. When I hit my two year anniversary this year I also published my 500th post. That's an average of a post every 1.5 days. I've had months when I've put up 35 posts! If anything I've always posted a bit too much; most of my posts are 1000+ words (something I'm working on – they need to be shorter) and the time commitment is hard to keep up with. With work and copy editing for this mothers group magazine and my flailing relationship, scaling back my blogging is something I've consciously been attempting for a little while now. But maybe some day posting once a day will be a good goal for me.

Really I should try NaBloPoMo on my other blog. That one is sorely neglected and I need to pick it up. Maybe early next year I'll try it out.

Congrats on posting once a day this month! That is awesome.

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6 Jewels November 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I've loved this month, because it has pushed me. Yesterday, my husband said, 'Aren't you glad it's almost over?' and I thought, 'Is it?' Bring on December!!

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7 Kristin November 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I totally agree with you that writing begets more writing. I really try to do NaBloPoMo at least once a year.

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8 Jjiraffe December 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I am totally impressed and proud of you! I tried to post everyday this year, and failed (I average a post instead about every two days) and I know how incredibly difficult this it. Congrats on this milestone achievement 🙂

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