It’s the end of NaBloPoMo ’13 and I feel a little bit like an injured race horse, one that just might have to be “put down”. I, too, stumbled a bit. I missed two days of posting because I fell into the same trap that I often fall into, the one where I tell myself that “I’ll do it later” and then “later” passes me by. I’ve learned, though. Yes, I have. I’ve learned that if I’m crazy enough to do this next year that I MUST write my Saturday posts in advance — Saturday posts are the enemy of this blogger.
When I began this 30-day exercise in madness, I promised myself three things: that I would do my level best to post every day (I did my best!), that I would not recycle old pieces (I had to do it once and, of course, it was a Saturday!), and that I wouldn’t do any photo posts (I didn’t!). All in all, I’m happy that I was almost able to keep most of my promises. (Now, there’s a rationalization if I’ve ever heard one!)
I was worried, at the beginning of this challenge, that I would sacrifice quality for quantity. I went back and read some of my posts from the past month and I have to tell you that in all honesty, I think that I did. I went back to review what I’d written over the course of NaBloPoMo and, frankly, I wasn’t that impressed. Out of the twenty-seven pieces I published, I like only two or three of them. The one I like the least out of the ones I like at all was, of course, the most popular. Isn’t that always the way? The one I liked the best? That one had almost NO traffic at all.
I decided to use the (almost) thirty days of posts to take a long, hard look not just at what I liked, but at what others seemed most interested in — to get a sense of what folks liked vs. what they didn’t. Like anyone who blogs, I like to get traffic and am always seeking ways to create more pathways to my blog. Not that I’ll only write what others like to read, but it’s not a bad thing to keep one’s audience in mind when you’re looking for ideas.
People really seemed to like the post in which I described my professional makeover. The one where I proclaimed to my husband — and to the world — that I am not, indeed, a sociopath? Not so much. The days that I participated in the mixed tape blog hop over at My Skewed View increased my readership and it did so not only for that piece. It seems folks came over and read some of my other stuff, too. So, that was nice. The post that I liked best, the one that got, at least to my way of thinking, the most heartfelt comments, was the one in which I discussed the shooter at our local mall. That one didn’t do so well, which was disappointing.
Even if I wanted to, I can’t pull another professional makeover out of my ass. I can (and will) continue to take part in Twisted MixTape Tuesdays, but not for the blog traffic. I will continue doing that because I love it! Hopefully I won’t have occasion to write too often about mall shooters. Not because there won’t be more violence in public spaces, but because his was a unique case — one that engendered not anger, but a profound sense of sadness in me.
November’s a tough month in the blogosphere. Many of us participate in NaBloPoMo, which, inevitably, creates even more competition for the blog-reading community. Others, people who might be doing a fair bit of reading at any other time of the year, may be participating in that other insanity — NaNoWriMo. Anyone who has committed to writing 2,000 words a day with the hope of turning out a novel in a month? There’s a good bet that they’re not READING anything while they’re doing THAT.
I know that I’ve read less and less this month — or turned my attention to reading NaBloPoMo blogs, rather than the blogs that I usually read. There is just so much time in a day. If you’re spending two hours of it constructing a daily post (and I do), it stands to reason that you won’t be reading posts with anything resembling your usual regularity. I also found myself perusing, skimming, rather than reading with the focus and ease that I usually bring to this activity.
So, was this experiment successful for me? Yes. I’d have to say that it was. Even though I feel that, at times, I wrote more about less, I learned to be more disciplined about the act of writing. I kept to a schedule as best I could. I think that this is something that I really needed to focus on doing. It was something I kept telling myself I was going to do. NaBloPoMo gave me a reason to do it — to get into as daily a regimen as my schedule allows.
Would I do it again? I don’t know. Ask me next October. Because right now this whole thing seems like the end of a pregnancy — when people start talking to you about having your next child — when you look at them like they’re crazy to make such an idiotic suggestion. Of course, most folks do choose to push aside the memories of the discomfort and the pain associated with child-bearing and they go on to have that second child. For the record, I’m not one of them.