Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#591: I MADE IT THROUGH NaBloPoMo 2006

NaBloPoMo 2006 - I did it!I managed to write every day* during (Inter)National Blog Posting Month 2006, and this was no small feat for me. If you've been here before and stuck around for any length of time, you know that I have a habit of writing entries easily exceeding one thousand words. I have not yet mastered the art of brevity, and so writing daily meant forgoing nights out of the house on more than a few occasions. I could have gone the easy route and posted YouTube videos or written about the trials of NaBloPoMo on days when the words were hard to come by, but I set out a few rules for myself at the beginning of November and was determined to follow them. The masochist in me demanded it.

The rules that I set out for myself were simple but difficult to follow when all I really wanted to do was lend a few brain cells to CSI episodes on television:

  1. Re-posting content from other sites would not count as a post for the day. Content had to be original.
  2. There was to be no discussion of NaBloPoMo. Spending time writing about why I was spending time writing was too low a target for subject matter.

I broke the second rule on the first day, but I felt it was justified, as I needed to introduce my entry into NaBloPoMo. After that, though, I managed to stick to the rules, even when I injured my finger, or didn't feel all that cheery, or contracted the flu. Believe me, I wanted to complain about this contest that I and I alone had chosen to commit myself to for nothing more than to be able to say I did it! when it was finally all over. I wanted to complain about giving up socializing during my lunch hours and writing after work rather than drinking beer. I wanted to bitch about the challenge of writing wholly original material every day, which I mostly was, while trying to keep up the quality of writing, which I really wasn't. I wanted to commiserate with other NaBloPoMo-ers. I wanted an easy topic.

In the end, I made it through, and I have to say, I impressed myself with my ability to talk about more than what I had for lunch, even if I did have to resort to crawling around on the floor with my camera, documenting trips to and from the drug store and brunch, sicking my poetry on you, and begging for votes. In the end, the body of writing I had created didn't tank, and that was more than I had expected when I struggled with that first difficult post on November 1st.

Thank you, Fussy, for dedicating the month of November to daily blog posting. Those of us who relish the challenge of unnecessary goals (me) with little or no physical payback (except for that kink in my neck) that leave us writing weblog entries even in our dreams (they were so brilliant and so lost upon waking) had a revealing experience, whether the revelation came in the form of spilling far too much information under the sometimes harsh labour of NaBloPoMo or in the form of new confidence at the discovery that, yes, writing can happen every day, even when there are board meetings and Christmas parties and book awards shows and destructive cats and a phantom rotten-fruit smell that demands some kind of divination to locate. I have learned that writing really can happen, it can be conjured and moulded into shape, in the face of the most irritating distractions** and external obligations (although, being evacuated from your house is an acceptable excuse for not conjuring and moulding), and my creativity levels have risen during this past month's output rather than run to a trickle.

So, I am already tendering my entry for (Inter)National Blog Posting Month 2007. It's fun in that why-am-I-doing-this kind of way. The masochist in me can't wait for late night cups of coffee and scribbling notes down on the bus in hopes of having something to write later after work when my brain has ceased its higher functioning.

* see this website's entries spanning the entire thirty days of NaBloPoMo 2006

** see the Palinode

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Those who have promoted the Schmutzie vote for Best Blog in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards are more than fabulous, and in alphabetical order, they are: The Cheeseblog, Citizen of the Month, Fracas, Harper Valley, Lala Land, No Show Mo, Palinode's Palace, Sweetney, T.K.O., and Whaling Season.