As November wanes, we’re nearing the end of the 13th National Blog Posting Month, better known as NaBloPoMo. Every single day, participants are firing up their blogs and writing on every topic under the sun in a marathon of self-expression. Are you one of them? If you are looking for more background or inspiration, this is the post for you.
Across WordPress.com this month, NaBloPoMo bloggers have been writing about . . .
The importance of hanging on
As with every creative challenge, the key to a successful NaBloPoMo is stamina, determination, and a cool head. If you are looking for an apt analogy, try rock-climbing, courtesy of ”A Good Day” from A Month of Mindful Blogging:
Power, technique and fitness all play their part but reigning supreme over them all is the climber’s head. Fact: your technique goes to pot if your head is not calm and focused. Fact: your power disappears in an instant when lactic acid surges through your forearms because you’ve been clinging on too hard because you’re scared. Fact: fitness doesn’t matter a jot if you don’t believe you can get up a climb.
The power of an apology
For some, this has been a month of finding the courage to say the difficult, painful things that need saying — including the words “I’m sorry.” Prompted by this post, “Unspoken Apologies” from Hayley of Going The Distance lists the regrets she’s never been able to articulate in person, before noting:
An actual, genuine apology should never be delivered over a blog post.
Sometimes blogging is only the first step toward expressing how you feel.
Saying “no more”
If you’re committing yourself to a writing challenge, and if you can choose what you write about, why not make those lifestyle changes you’ve always longed for and document the process as you go? Take the post “Giving Up Diet Soda or: How I Am Learning To Stop The Fizz And Love Water,” in which sorta ginger decides to . . . well, you guessed it:
Over the years, I have tried to quit this habit. The cost alone of these drinks is phenomenal. I would alternate brands to match what was on the best sale that week. I would switch to store brands to try to wean off the taste and save a few bucks. But none of this really worked. It is my caffeine source, helping me wake up since I have never liked coffee or tea, and my replacement for sweets when I have a sugar craving.
An unexpected longing for Twinkies
Unsurprisingly, the sad news that Hostess Brands has gone into liquidation has hit Twinkie-lovers hard this month. What has surprised some bloggers is how attractive it’s made this spongy snack. In ”Death Of A Sponge,” the author of The Smug Cloud writes:
I can’t remember the last time I ate a Twinkie or a Hostess cupcake, but you would not believe how much I have been craving one, knowing that they are virtually unattainable.
With all the talk of Twinkies this week, I now have a ridiculous craving for one… and I don’t think I’ve actually had a Twinkie in at least fifteen years.
A passion for unique food
It’s a month in which a lot of love has been expressed for a lot of food. Take Char Kuey Teow, staple dish of Malaysia. Inspired by this prompt, Sakthi of Time flies when you’re having fun explains why this meal is a different experience for everyone:
In most places one can ask for ingredients like prawns, egg, or cockles to be added or omitted, and also specify whether more or less chilli is preferred. And the brilliant thing is, the kuey teow vendor will remember every version that each customer has ordered, while still cooking a previous order in their giant wok. That in itself is a wonder to be experienced.
Learning to trust their instincts
It’s one thing to know that your instincts are often the source of your future happiness — and another thing to find the confidence to trust them. In “Instincts,” melbatoastjones outlines the danger of ignoring your deepest feelings:
…if you constantly dim your brightness to accommodate others, if you repeatedly allow your ideas to be watered down or replaced with someone else’s, then you never even get to see the impact that your voice has. You never get to see if your idea really was a good one. You’re so busy trying to please others that it becomes washed out, a pale ghost of the idea it should have or could have been. Even if your idea ultimately sucks, it’s better to learn that for real rather than regret the never having seen it come to life in the first place.
Appreciating their lives
Some NaBloPoMo writers chose to reflect on their progress through life, examining their goals, hopes, and fears, while considering how differently things might have turned out. In “NaBloPoMo: Rewrite Time,” Lady Joyful remembers her years as an English university student, and recounts a panic attack that led to a protracted stay in Finland. If she had caught her plane home as originally planned, she may never have found the source of her current happiness:
If that had happened, I would probably have muddled through my first year of university and come out the other side somewhat more settled. I would, this summer just gone, have finished my degree and graduated with the friends I made there. I may not have moved to Finland. Going by statistics, our relationship would have floundered as many long distance relationships do. I would not be engaged. I would not have my three lovely cats or the flat with my much-loved fiancé.
Feeling inspired to take part?
With a few days still left on the clock, it’s not too late to join in. Take a look at Michelle’s overview of resources to help you get started, including our daily writing prompts and weekly writing and photo challenges over at The Daily Post. If you want to know a little more of the thinking behind NaBloPoMo, have a look at WiseGeek’s overview, or rummage through the resources on offer at BlogHer’s official home of NaBloPoMo.
The 365-day challenge
If you’re nearly a month into your daily blogging routine and wishing that NaBloPoMo lasted longer, why not take things further?
We’re thinking of the impressive commitment of the yearly bloggers, setting themselves challenges that span twelve months. We’re thinking of Ann of A year of reading the world, who has made it her mission to read a novel from as many of the world’s 196 independent countries as she can by 2012′s end. We’re thinking of Chuck Cottrell’s Sketches from Memory, in which the author has been posting a sketch a day for nearly a full year.
As the year draws to a close, we’ll highlight some more motivated bloggers who’ve participated in challenges through 2012. Stay tuned over at The Daily Post!