Thirty days ago I took up the BlogHer challenge to write a blog post a day for a month. Today marks the last of it. As much as I’ve relished the challenge, sometimes even looking forward to it, I’ve also been waiting for this day to come. I’ve rarely ever published on either of my blogs on consecutive days. It just isn’t in me to come up with something new to write every 24 hours.
I admit, too, that after this I probably won’t write every day. I know I won’t. But I will write more often, and about things that aren’t necessarily earth-shaking. Much of what I wrote this past month are the kinds of every day, non-essential things I wrote about years ago when I was writing weekly columns for a series of suburban newspapers. But that was weekly, not daily. Huge difference.
Along the way, I thought I had outgrown the need to write in first person about just things, but this month changed that. I’ll try hard to keep from writing just to be writing, but when something interesting strikes me, I won’t hold back, as I once might have, simply because I’m afraid nobody else will be interested. It’s my job to keep them interested.
I rather surprised myself when I realized I even wanted to take on the NaBloPoMo challenge. I did it for two reasons: I wanted to see if I really could produce anything of value by writing every day (Note: some of it was okay, some of it wasn’t) but mainly I wanted to see if writing more often would draw traffic to my lonely little blog, Constant Commoner. And it did. I’ve had more visitors this past month than I’ve had throughout its entire life.
The challenge is called NaBloPoMo, short for National Blog Posting Month, and it looks like BlogHer has been doing this for a while now. The first I really knew of it was in late October, when another blogger mentioned it.
I knew about blogHer and had gone there a few times before, but with this challenge each of our posts had to be listed on their page the day it was published. So since I was there anyway, I tended to wander around.
There is some amazing writing going on on those pages!
I’ve been so immersed in my political blog, online since January, 2009, I had forgotten how refreshing it is to read someone’s well-written personal page. At BlogHer I found everything from food and decorating to wacky methods for raising kids to raunchy humor and wrenching personal stories. But what struck me most was how relaxed everyone seemed. It’s like being among a group of friends in someone’s living room, where conversations are going on in every corner.
We’re writers there and even when we seem to be just talking, it’s never just off the top of our heads. We challenged each other and it was all good. So even after this month is over, I’ll take up that challenge and try to keep my pieces sharp, to the point, and interesting. And if I fail, it’ll be okay. I wrote a piece during the challenge about the downside of perfectionism and whenever I’m flagellating myself over a mediocre attempt that somehow managed to get out there in public, I’ll try to remember to go back there and read what I wrote.
Now that the challenge is over, I’ll work at challenging myself. I’ll write what I want to write when I want to write it.
And it’ll be fun.