Contemplating the end of NaBloPoMo…

It has come down to this: the last day of NaBloPoMo. (That’s National Blog Posting Month, if you’re reading for the first time; a challenge I accepted to blog daily for the month of November. Previously on Sound Off, my blog, I posted once a week or whenever the fancy struck.)

The final prompt came yesterday, and though I’ve ignored all but one, I thought I would address today’s in light of NaBloPoMo.

The prompt: You’re almost done! Tell us how you feel about endings.

First, I find this prompt amusing because I just finished grading a stack of essays in which the prompt was to discuss a significant beginning. My juniors and seniors wrote about accepting Christ or starting a new school, sports, music or dramatic and culinary arts, for the most part. Blogging — actually, taking on the NaBloPoMo challenge — has been a significant beginning but remains a questionable ending for me. I feel so relieved to be on this final day of the challenge — and yet I’m not sure I’m done with it.

A screenshot of my monthly  stats taken this morning. Clearly, November has been a banner month.
A screenshot of my monthly stats taken this morning. Clearly, November has been a banner month.

The upside to NaBloPoMo

  • More traffic
  • More likes (which do make me feel good)
  • More comments (I love interacting with my readers!)
  • More followers (33% of my followers began following me since NaBloPoMo began November 1)
  • My highest day of recorded views (249), which does not include views on BlogHer.com, which has cross-posted my blog, or views by my followers. The fact that it was the day I recorded my family’s love story, “A mere nineteen years ago…” made it even sweeter.
  • I was “discovered” by BlogHer, which featured my post “Granny squares and gratefulness…” on its site. (Well, I thought it was a big deal.)
This screenshot shows my stat summaries for monthly averages, top, and my weekly averages, bottom. Clearly, NaBloPoMo has been good for my blog.
This screenshot shows my stat summaries for monthly averages, top, and my weekly averages, bottom. Clearly, NaBloPoMo has been good for my blog.

The downside to NaBloPoMo

  • Lack of sleep (blogging daily this week has been easier because I haven’t had to go to work due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but, typically, in order to blog daily I have awakened well before my 4:30 alarm to do so)
  • Lack of focus on other tasks (schoolwork, housework, etc.)… blogging is much more fun!
  • Lack of focus on my husband (every time he turned around I was on the computer; I’m fairly certain he thinks I’m in love with this thing)
  • The felt need to perpetually check my stats — and the emotional dependence (and frustration) involved in it

What I’ve learned through NaBloPoMo

  • I’ve learned readers aren’t as committed to reading as I am to writing.
  • I’ve learned that social media does take a break when real social occasions (like holidays) occur.
  • I’ve learned to write about numerous topics quickly; I’ve injected more humor, more memories, less reflection, perhaps less ponderousness, and, overall, I’ve liked what I’ve written. It still reflects who I am and what I am thinking. My mother always told me I was rather eclectic; my writing demonstrates that.
  • I’ve learned that hitting a “like” button is more difficult than I imagined and commenting is somewhat complicated if you are not a WordPress blogger. (Thank you for all the “likes” and “comments” this month! I’ve loved the encouragement and the interaction.)

What I haven’t learned through NaBloPoMo

  • I still haven’t figured out what makes a post attractive. Is it the title? The photo? The length? The tags? Content such as humor or memories?
  • I haven’t figured out how to balance blogging with life. I find it addictive, rewarding, defeating, and wonderful.
  • And I haven’t figured out how to read my readers’ minds.
  • And so I end this month feeling uncertain about this ending. I believe I have more questions than answers and the essential question of “What now?”
  • Maybe you could help me answer that one by filling out the poll below? I’d love to know how often you’d like to read my blog posts. Thanks in advance, and, as always, thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Contemplating the end of NaBloPoMo…

  1. I find your post quite interesting having just completed NaBloPoMo myself. I started the month with no expectations of actually managing to post every day, halfway through the going got quite tough and I nearly went under, but I rose to the challenge and came through to the end. Like you, I have become a bit obsessed with my stats, and have been heartened by a definite increase in regular traffic. Now that I have finished the challenge I feel relieved that I don’t have to post every day, but I don’t want to see my readership drop off. Also, I have now got into a sort of rhythm for my daily posts, and actually think that I should continue ( I have a nice ‘cushion’ of drafts to fall back on if I’m too busy too write a post from scratch). I suppose I shall just take each day as it comes and see how it goes.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! I figured I wasn’t alone, but it is nice to know I am not the only one finding NaBloPoMo an actual challenge in more ways than one. Like you, I think I will be taking one day at a time. It has gotten easier, I have gotten to be somewhat less of a stickler, and I find myself thinking in blog form a lot…. might as well keep writing! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

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