NaBloPoMo Final Thoughts

So I’ve completed the month of blogging daily.  I have to say, many of my friends snickered at the thought of me doing this.  Something about saying, “I wrote about that in my blog,” is an immediate turn-off for many.  I know, I know.  They probably know that I’ll write about something they disagree with. And their typical reaction would be to interrupt me or point out my flaws…and blogs don’t let a person do that. They make you wait your turn until I hand the microphone to you.  That’s what comment sections are for.  Most of my disagreeing types don’t bother to comment, heck, they probably didn’t even bother to read it!  But I’m not blogging for them.
I thought, at first, I was blogging because there were PRIZES! But I won one…a drawing on Sunday. And it was exciting to know you won out of thousands of blogs.  But remember, it was simply a random drawing. And you know what it was? A book called, Let’s Panic About Babies.  Um, no, I guess I don’t blog for the prizes either.I blogged for myself. I blogged to try to get a little focus on what’s going on in my life. And I blogged to get back in the habit of daily writing. I’ve done Julia Cameron’s Daily Pages, but I don’t have unlimited time to dedicate to writing. NaBloPoMo seemed a little better.

I never used the NaBloPoMo Writing Prompts that were offered each day, until today.  The prompt is
What did you learn from doing NaBloPoMo?
I learned a lot about myself and about blogging. Even though I obviously love long rambling posts, I also love lists.  So here’s mine.
  • I learned that blogging can really connect people. You can get a glimpse into people’s lives in a way that Facebook or email lists don’t often provide.
  • I learned that people can really hear what matters to you. Sometimes it’s something really important, and sometimes it’s a mundane daily life thing; but blogging gives you an opportunity to share from a deeper level.
  • I learned that Blogging allows you to really explore a topic or an idea. You don’t have to explain something in just enough characters to fit the box
  • The Blogging Everyday aspect turned out to be more important than I though. When you’re going to only do a blog here and there, you really want it to say something profound. But when you commit to daily, you don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. You just crank out something. At best, it WILL be great, at worst, it will be okay or so-so.  But you don’t immobilize yourself, frozen in fear that you might suck at this. You just keep writing and see what’s there.
  • I was reminded that typos can really make you look stupid. Even when you’re not. But when you’re trying to make a deadline and dogs are barking or someone is talking to you and you’re trying to finish a though, typos happen. Regrettably.  So I learned that my habit of moving pieces around in a blog post requires at least two passes of self-proofing.  And hopefully, I’ll make time for it!
  • I learned that I like telling stories that are from the Present but reach back into the past.
  • I learned that participating in NaBloPoMo more than tripled my page views (which does kind of embarrass me about the typos, but what’s a girl to do?).
  • I realized that in order to blog, you have to be okay with looking dumb or looking like you took the wrong position. You’re putting your ideas on paper…in writing. No fence-sitting. Unless that’s what you blog about – the ambivalence you feel about issues.  Maybe that’s why it’s easier to do at 50, you start to care less about those who differ with you, and more about those who can relate.
  • Another reminder: writing takes up a lot of time – if you’re trying to write articles or well-thought out ideas. But getting in the habit of writing daily has been great.  (Admittedly, Alyssa and Josh wanted me to watch a show with them and their only request was that I NOT bring the laptop into the room and I actually WATCH the show! Ok…)
  • I had never heard of Blogher.com before and I really like some aspects of their website. I don’t know if there are others blog networking sites out there like it, but I like reading in the different categories.
  •  Back everything up! I learned by watching my friend Carol’s blog arbitrarily disappear, for some Google reason I don’t know. She got it back, but it was a reminder that we are not really in control of our words at our blogs.
  •  I didn’t know this, but I’m really addicted to Comments. If someone writes a comment to my blog, first I’m elated! Then, I race over to see what they said. Comments offer some kind of validation, some way of saying, “I hear you.” I like that a lot.
  • Because of my personal addiction to Comments, I try hard to comment on my friends’ blogs now. I am probably just projecting and they are much less codependent than I am, but just in case we’re similar, I comment.
  • Lastly, I learned that I have a lot more to learn about blogs. And here are my questions. If you know the answer, please tell me!
o   I often announce my post on Facebook, just to let people know I wrote something. Then my friends read it and comment on my FB Wall.  And that scrolls away. Is there a way to transfer comments from Facebook to the blog?
o   Does blogger group posts by category or do you only have the label/tag bubble to use to find things. Besides the search box.
o   Some people have really cute fonts at their site, how do they get those and incorporate them.
o   Is there a way to expand the center section of my blog without changing the template?
o   Whenever I update my post, usually because I found another typo, does it notify my subscribers? (All 5 of them!)
o   Is there a way to see who looks at your blog?
o   Is there a way to see who is having email notifications sent to them if I post something on the blog?
o   If you post something at the Blogher website, how do you encourage people to go back to your blog instead of just reading it there?
So, I’m not going to do the next NaBloPoMo Challenge for December. I have a book that I really need to finish. I could still use some more survey comments from young adults or teens who were homeschooled during their teen years. Here’s a link to the website with the survey.
My goal is to have this book completed by Spring. So that’s what I want to focus my writing on.  Still, I have thoughts that cloud my brain, so I’m sure I’ll post blogs to clear them out of the way, so to speak.But thank you to Blogher.com for hosting NaBloPoMo! It was the jumpstart I needed. I will definitely continue to write daily. Whether it will end up on my blog remains to be seen. And thank you to everyone who came over to listen to me ramble on about my life. If you decide to blog, be sure to let me know! I’ll come over and comment!

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