NaBloPoMo and the Pressure of Posting Daily

Confession time: I’m terrible at keeping up with any kind of daily challenge.

For example:

As much as I love photography and Instagram, I have yet to complete a full month of FatMumSlim‘s Photo-a-day challenges. At best, I will remember to take eight or nine photos for the challenge. Total. (And I love the idea of the prompts for photos – it’s just remembering to find a good shot.)

Trying to get in 10,000 steps a day? The Fitbit on my wrist serves more to remind me at the end of the day that I’ve been lazy. I’m overjoyed when the darn thing gives my wrist a little goose of excitement when I hit my daily goal.

Heck, I had trouble remembering to log my points daily when I was doing Weight Watchers. (Please don’t ask me if I remember to eat breakfast every day, either.)

When I wrote about selfies  and the #365FeministSelfie challenge earlier this week, I knew in my head I’d have more luck taking  one really good self-portrait each week. 52 is a much more manageable number than 365, isn’t it?

In 2013, my writing suffered along with – or in face of – all the stresses and challenges we’ve faced since we returned to the US at the start of the year. A step on the scale and my emerging muffin top will attest to the amount of stress eating that took place.

The NaBloPoMo challenge of posting daily was an attempt to get myself back on track.

Did it work?

Mostly. At the end of the month, I had posted 20 out of 30 days. Yes, I kind of failed the challenge but I’m proud of myself for getting back into the writing mode.

Posting daily was tough. Trying to post using the prompts was a lot harder, and I found that when I tried to use the prompts, the writing was really forced. And not my thing. I am too much a Type-A personality to be writing about pressure every day!

For me, though, it was all about the accountability. I’ll be honest: I work out more consistently if I’m in a group class than if I’m meandering around the weights at the gym. I did much better with Weight Watchers when I had to step on that scale in front of a real person (oh, the shame and guilt when I didn’t post a loss…) than when I tried to go it on my own, online. Peer pressure can be a fabulous thing, y’all.

So this month I read voraciously, I typed feverishly, I deleted more yet. I also wrote in my journal much more frequently than I ever have (which is still not up to daily, woe is me). And I found that the more I wrote – whether it ended up a post or deleted – the more energized I felt, the more easily the ideas flowed.

What I did NOT do is fold more laundry, dust or vacuum as much as I might typically. Cleaning toilets fell WAY to the bottom of the list of priorities. We may have eaten a few more dinners that originated in the freezer than the fresh foods section of my local market.

If I do it again, I have to find a better way to balance all my responsibilities.

Would I do it again?

Sure.  Just as soon as I teach my 9-year-old how to handle a toilet brush.

Comments

  1. I’m with you on the pressure to blog regularly. I’ve limited myself to 3 set days a week, and if I miss one of those days through illness or circumstance, I am wracked with guilt. I don’t know why. I’m convinced it’s only my mother and a handful of friends who even read my blog, but that doesn’t alleviate the pressure to keep writing!

    May the force be with you re: the toilet brush.

    • well, I think you are hilarious, but if a post doesn’t go up, its not like I’m hunting you down or anything…I obviously overcame my guilt because 2013 has the least annual posts, ever. I had no realization – so it’s no surprise I’m not gaining the readership I want.

      I’m thinking that picking set days is the way to go, so the posts are written and I’m not hitting “publish” at 11pm.
      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thom Higgins says:

    Posting 20 of 30 days is a feat. Especially the quality ones you’ve given us. Daily life can feed inspiration but, for me anyway, at the same time those inspirational moments wins the fight for time.

    • Thanks so much for saying that!
      I have had my journal at close hand, so when inspiration strikes I can scribble down sentences running through my head, and notes if I can come up with more.
      I realized that, too often, I have a really well composed thought in my head but by the time I get to writing it down, it’s scrambled and has lost its luster….if I get it down asap, I have half a chance of getting it into a post at some point.
      And, my house is really messy at the moment, and I’ve gotten over it.

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