Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Wrap-Up

Well, it's the last day of my November blogging experiment. Didn't live up to the goal, of course... I only got 13 out of 30 posts finished. But I've always been of the mindset that even a failed writing challenge makes me into a better writer somehow. The question is how. What did I set out to do this month? Where did I fail, and where did I succeed?

First the more obvious ones, the tasks I tried and failed at:

I didn't post every day. This one was HARD. At least in NaNo you could make a frenzied last push and make up for what you'd missed out on. But there's no way to get back a lost day when each post is stamped with a date. Too many days this month where acedia took over, that grey listless feeling where being productive or creative seems totally out of reach.

I didn't find a good blogging time/rhythm, which makes me sad. I mostly ended up writing at the end of the day just before bed, which more often than not just makes for sleepy, sloppy writing.

I had trouble with the line between personal and public. I'm not sure this necessarily falls in the "failures" section, but I do know it's something I struggled with. Even this post feels a little odd, unpolished, confessional. My favorite blogs blend personal stories with commentary on the world. But it's so easy for blogs to turn into diaries, or self-absorbed rants that have little to no relevance outside the blogger's own head. Where's the line between personal essay (my form for a good blog post) and just personal chitchat? As I was trying to get things posted by any means necessary (and inspiration be damned!) I flirted with this line a lot.

OK, that's enough of what I tried to do. What about the things I actually accomplished?

I've posted a LOT. I've posted more this month than the rest of the year combined. By the time this post is finished, I'll have written over 5000 words... only a tenth of what my novelling buddies came up with, but still a significant chunk of original prose.

I wrote some good posts! Some faves include giving thanks last weekend, remembering the process and adventure of writing my novel and starting my new life, and grieving my dad's job loss. I also had fun with photo posts, including the image of CST fall and of course, Drew's trademark excitement over a pile of books.

I've come up with more ideas for posts. Song lyrics, movie reviews... I started to see story ideas and creative connections in everything, even mundane tasks at work. The trick, of course, is to find the angle or the act of creation in each of these everyday moments. Which is hard to do at 11pm at night. But having extra topics to talk about never hurts.

I stopped taking myself too seriously. Which is such a relief. Just being able to sit down and say, I'm just going to post a picture or a video, and then head to bed, without feeling like I had to write the Great American Blog Post every time, seriously made it easier. And I know well enough that just by showing up to the writing space, I'm doing something right.

I didn't give up. Sure I didn't make it to 30 days, or even 15 days. There were several long strings of days where I didn't write anything at all. But I could have let those gaps stretch out longer, figure I wasn't cut out for the blogging project, let my goals fade away. I didn't. I'm still here. And I plan to continue this regular blogging for a while to come.

Only first I need some sleep. Night, all!

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