For many of you, November was a blur: a crazy, beautiful, writing-filled blur. We encouraged WordPress.com users to participate in BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and post something every day in November.
Participants had a lot of fun this month: we discovered great posts in the NaBloPoMo tag page and enjoyed pieces like A Sign of Life‘s “A Rose By Any Other Label,” in which E. talks about labels and being an INFJ, as well as posts on Stuphblog, like “The Trauma Doesn’t End When the Abuse Does,” which was honest and emotional.
We also loved the variety of content — any type of post qualified as a post, from single photos to inspirational quotes to longform essays. The blogger at How Anxious penned a month’s worth of poetry, while Gwen at Little Growing Pains published a mix of poignant writing with nicely crafted scenes, like “Two Heartbeats.”
Finding support in others
The Daily Post is a community space for blogging tips and resources; there, we host weekly challenges and daily prompts year-round to get your creative juices flowing. In November, we were thrilled to see our users go further during this month-long challenge: banding together in creative, supportive ways.
Rara at Rarasaur rounded up a crew of bloggers called Team NanoPoblano. Creating a blogging collective is a fun, engaging way to build your network and readership, and offers support during a long-term challenge. (Check out Rara’s own list of prompts, for example — bookmark it for inspiration for any month.)
The challenges of posting daily
But NaBloPoMo wasn’t for everyone. Julia at A Perfect Day for J muses on how she couldn’t do it:
So I silenced the voice that whispered, Quitter. Failure. Disappointment. And embraced the voice that said, Writing is supposed to be fun, a relief, an outlet — not a stressor. And I let the hours of the day tick away without opening my blog. And that was the end of my NaBloPoMo run for this year.
A new blogger at Rockin’ M Ranch summarizes the experience nicely — discipline is a good thing, and writing, above all, is about practice:
The muse won’t show up if we are not receptive and poised. That being said, the muse might or might not show up every time we sit down to write. . . . While we wait, we can practice . . . writing something that is good to get off our chests but not necessarily something that needs to be made public. Like talking, not every thought one thinks is worth sharing. It just isn’t.
Sift through the NaBloPoMo tag page, and you’ll discover more posts from bloggers reflecting on the entire experience — and offering insights and advice on the writing process.
So, we’re several days into December — what now? Are you exhausted from posting each day? Or have you caught a magical, mysterious second wind and want to keep your momentum? Here’s a quick list of takeaways and tips to keep going:
Subscribe to The Daily Post. If you adjust your settings to receive instant post emails, you’ll get a writing prompt in your inbox each day and learn about writing and photo challenges each week. We serve up writing, photography, traffic, and branding tips, too.
Keep a well of ideas. Compile a list of possible posts you can write: an ideas queue you can pull from. Keep them in a notebook or your digital note organizer. Or if you’re feeling confident, go ahead and create post drafts in your dashboard, give them tentative titles, and let ‘em ripen until you’re ready to tackle one.
Create an editorial calendar. Set reasonable deadlines: schedule a weekly writing session to start, and establish a publish date at the same time each week. If you’re not up for spontaneous and varied daily prompts, brainstorm a content plan. Tie your posts to current events, holidays, or themes. Consider a long-term project, like Daniel Nester’s quirky “Notes on” Series, in which he wrote numbered lists of notes about a hodgepodge of topics, from his first AIDS test to grief to words that sound dirty but aren’t.
Mix text with images and other media. We like how Liz at Cats and Chocolate suggests to shake things up with quotes and photos. Luckily, you’ve got the tools you need to upload images, embed audio, and insert media like tweets and YouTube videos.
Tag-team with others. Poke around The Daily Post and meet others in the Community Pool on Sundays. Meet and chat with others in the Ideas Forum. Look for guest bloggers to contribute to your site. These are just a few ways to interact with WordPressers and find people with similar interests — and possibly new blogging buddies.
In January, we’ll share more ideas for 2014 and cover blogging essentials, especially for users who’ve just joined us. For those of you who participated in NaBloPoMo, how was your experience? Let us know in the comments.
Dec 3rd at 10:33 pm
What made it hard for me is that this started on the 1st November and by the time I got the info here in Australia it was already the 2nd, so I had to rush a post and got it in on the 1st November California time (They’re 19 hours behind Sydney), anyway I got a post in everyday for the 30 days and I managed 2 once. I think I must have written in excess of 25000 words, I didn’t know you could just post pictures. Now I’m exhausted and I still have heaps more to write but I better hurry up; I’ve had my three score years and 10 + 9, so I’m way past my time
Dec 3rd at 11:15 pm
Oh I just loved it although I struggled initially and regretted making the commitment. My mission was to digitally archive craft /crochet projects I have done so far and Nablopomo was the perfect nudge to get me going…thanks to this blogathon, I have archived atleast ten per cent of my creations ! I am now totally enthused that I have signed up for Dec Nablopomo as well.
I have discovered many like minded friends and the site stats have improved manifold …both trophies and traffic !!! Thank you Nablopomo. Now writing a post is not a ‘MUST BLOG’ frustrating experience
apologies for making you read this loooooooong comment But you wanted to hear my experience I thought
Dec 4th at 12:06 am
Yes, I had done the NaBloPoMo. It shows me that I can write about Mathematics education in each day on the month. It’s such a great moment.
Dec 4th at 12:50 am
Thanks so much for introducing me to NaBloPoMo! It did wonders for my blogging. It kept me blogging during a month when I was moving and throwing not one but three large events. It broke me out of my blogging rut – in desperation on days when I barely had time to think, much less blog, I learned what I could do with a camera phone and a few words! This was GREAT – looking forward to December and January!
Dec 4th at 4:44 am
I think NaBloPoMo is great motivation for some, but it’s not for me…
Dec 4th at 7:42 am
Some great ideas for posting all month! I’ll have to look into some of those if I’m ever going to post for an entire month …. OY.
Dec 4th at 9:26 am
Wow! Sounds interesting. I’m a new blogger. Looking forward to lots of fun reading and writing!
Dec 4th at 10:38 am
I do this, but in December.
Dec 4th at 11:37 am
Too bad I never learnt about the challenge in time to participate. No doubt though, November was a swell month.
Dec 4th at 1:50 pm
I didn’t officially participate in NaBloMoMo (I didn’t tag my posts as such) but I blogged every day for an entire year: Dec 3, 2012 – Dec 3, 2013. I got rid of 10 things a day and posted about it. In the end I got rid of 7303 items in my house.
I missed a few days (around ten due to travel) in the entire year, but the overall effort was there. It was life changing. I posted the wrap-up yesterday.
I intend to keep blogging but with a little moderation. I have two kids and a busy life, it was a tremendous effort to keep that schedule going. But I learned so much. I look at my initial posts and how they’ve changed, how my content has become more robust as I read tips and guides on how to build a better post.
Beyond the writing bit, it changed my life. Writing can be transformative, having a community of readers and fellow bloggers made it possible.
Dec 4th at 6:22 pm
Will there be another one of these starting anytime soon? I would really love to partake in this activity.
Dec 5th at 1:17 am
Wow, I missed this, but I post something everyday anyway, but have currently stopped for Silent Sunday.
Dec 5th at 4:45 am
I did participate in NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, but I didn’t always have time to write/blog every day. Since 2013 is getting old, one of my resolutions for 2014 is to make better use of my time.
Dec 5th at 2:46 pm
November I participated in 30 Poems in 30 Days, a fundraiser for the Center for New Americans. We took pledges. Sort of like a Walk-a-Thon, but not. I posted some of the poems. What a great discipline! Maybe next year I’ll cheat and post my poems as a 30 Days, 30 Posts.
(We did raise about $20,000 for the center.)
Dec 6th at 10:32 pm
I only started blogging in October. I signed up for NaNoWriMo then found out about NaBloPoMo so I signed up for that too. I loved doing a post a day (most of the time) though there were a few days when I published at five to midnight. Talk about panic! It was fun so I will probably do it again next year. The only downside was that I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!
Dec 12th at 6:39 am
This inspired me to start my blog in November. I wasn’t able to get a post out daily, but I did do about half. It was quite fun, and now I am trying to get on a steady schedule, which probably won’t be daily. Of course, since I am learning as I go, i am just now realizing HOW i could have tagged my blog to say i was joining the effort!