Ah, the final post of NaBloPoMo 2011. If you also took on one of the November writing challenges, whether NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, the November PAD Chapbook Challenge, or any of the other challenges that have flourished over the years, you’re probably looking back over what you’ve accomplished this month. (Unless you’re still writing feverishly to meet your quota. Been there, understand totally.)
For me, November from a writing standpoint has been mostly favorable. With this post I’m completing the commitment to blog every day for a month, so that’s cool. I gave my writing muscles a workout, attracted some new readers, and had the highest traffic numbers of all months in 2011. Additional benefits: I finally got into Twitter and have learned some of the ways it works—and like it. I came up with more than 20 writing prompts, plus 16 “elbows,” those short, sharp writing nudges.
Unable to shake the NaNoWriMo obsession with word counts, I totaled my output for the entire month of November—yes, including this post. (I went back and adjusted the total when I was through.) It comes out to 16,414. Not up to the 50,000-word NaNoWriMo bar, but at least I do feel I wrote a bit. That’s not including all the product descriptions I wrote up for my Etsy shop, or the rough draft poems I wrote for the PAD Challenge.
Speaking of which, I’m not happy with my poetic output at all. I kept up with the first 15 days of the PAD Challenge, then the wheels came off. It wasn’t NaBloPoMo that knocked me off stride; it was all the time I had to spend on Etsy, including putting in and taking out coupon codes and other information in my listings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I’m copying all the PAD prompts into a single document, though, and I intend to finish those additional 15 challenges. However, doing them all within the month of November would have been more satisfying.
In the meantime, my other blog, Come to the NudgeryFaire, completely fell by the wayside. If I do NaBloPoMo next year, I may have to concentrate on needlework and crafts instead of the subjects of writing and nudgery. Or I may have other commitments and be working on something else. Time, and my plans, are malleable.
NUDGE: Instead of a writing prompt, I’m urging you to pause every so often and take stock in what you’ve accomplished in a given amount of time. It’s easy to drag yourself down with accusations that you’re accomplishing nothing; often you’ll find out it’s simply not true. I’m not talking strictly about the more professional considerations of word counts, pieces submitted, pieces published, e-book sales, readership, etc. Look for the less tangible ways you’re making strides. Have you taken big steps in developing your style? Is writing a little each day a challenge you’re working to meet? Have you stretched by doing writing exercises and experimenting with approaches or forms that were new to you? These all count and are extremely important. Never let yourself be obsessed solely with numbers. It’s the actual writing that matters most.