Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMoClo: National Blog Posting Month Close

So we made it. One post a day for thirty days in a row. When we started the challenge, I didn’t know how exactly it would go. I was committed to giving it a shot, but also fairly skeptical about our ability to keep it going for an entire month. And even if we managed to do it, how would it feel? Liberating or limiting? Like motivation or suffocation? Thirty days later I’ve found the answer to those questions is yes on all counts...

At times it was...
challenging, annoying, pointless, tiring, taxing, inconvenient, and overwhelming.
There were nights when I didn’t have anything to say. Or even if I had the words, I didn’t have the time to record them. It could sometimes be a burden to have one more thing to get done in a day. And I couldn’t always find the time or the motivation to write as long or as well as I wanted to. I would get frustrated when I sat down to write a few quick thoughts, and it took three times as long as expected. I couldn’t always find the right words and I sometimes struggled to craft a concept I felt proud of. I felt like a failure when I had to post just to have something for the day- like getting a checkmark for completion, but a zero for style. I wanted to have A+ entries everyday, but sometimes I had to settle for good enough.

And though I know I’m my own worst critic, I occasionally got insecure, struggling to find the purpose in my daily dribble. Why even bother? Was anyone even reading? Are my silly stories worth the time it takes to type them? And why should I publish my thoughts when there are already a million bloggers out there who are smarter, funnier, and more creative than I am?

But as I reflect back on the negatives and doubts, I’m reminded that there were far more times when it was...
inspiring, fun, rewarding, memorable, motivating, thought provoking, relational, and growth-inducing.

It was a discipline to write every day, and the public accountability forced me to honor my commitment. I think it’s a stretch to say that I’m a better writer than I was a month ago, but I’ve certainly gotten a bit more practice. Getting the words out of my head and onto the page isn’t always easy for me, and I’ve learned that I can be slow and overly meticulous at times. But the daily commitment required that I press on, and loosen up the perfectionist tendencies a bit. If that means all people get is a photo of my nail polish for a day, then so be it.

I recently watched a TV interview featuring author Malcolm Gladwell, and he had an interesting thought; He said that as writers, we have to resist the human urge to edit. We have to force ourselves to find everything interesting, and I feel like this was especially true for me this month. Everyday sights became more intriguing to me as I was constantly scanning for things to share and comment on. Little things that I might otherwise have missed or forgotten became more important, and maybe even worth a paragraph or two of rambling. I started taking more photos because I was consciously focused not only on recording memories, but actually making them. Of course I wanted the photos as a souvenir of our lives, but more important than that, I’ve realized I want to live a life worthy of taking photos. Publicly detailing your life is great motivation to actually have a life. It’s easy to get on auto-pilot sometimes, so I loved how blogging has encouraged me to be more aware, active, and interested in the world around me.

But in spite of this new detail oriented, memory-making outlook, I was also learned a little about keeping in real. I had to face the fact that sometimes life is boring. There aren’t always going to be funny stories, cute pictures or impressive projects to share. As much as I want to present a pretty picture of our exciting life as a young married couple, sometimes it’s just me and my husband watching some TV while we fold laundry. Or there are times when it’s worse than boring, and downright crappy. I’m still working on my goal of writing (and living) authentically and transparently, but this month made it harder to hide behind a smile in a photoshopped picture.

So as we bring our month to a close, we want to give a special shout-out to everyone who has joined us this past month (especially those brave souls who have ventured to comment). Dustin and I are so blessed to have supportive friends and readers that for whatever reason are (relatively) interested in our musings. Writing the blog is a team effort, but the site is bigger than the two of us. Thanks for being a part of our journey and our lives.

See you tomorrow?


  1. Be here tomorrow? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY. I honestly couldn't have written what you did the way you did today ... and yet, it summed up everything I tried to say in my two short paragraphs of drivel.

    The biggest thing for me as you said is "I wanted to have A+ entries everyday, but sometimes I had to settle for good enough." That's been my problem with my blog for the past 8 months when people would ask me where the latest entry is. Writing is so personal that you don't want people judging the good enough entries, you want them seeing the A+ you, even though I should be able to separate me from my writing, you know?

    But I'm hoping, again, as you said that the activities I take part in with Megan and the things she does, are things that showcase a life worth taking pictures of. I'm with you though fellow blog sister ... and brother. I look forward to seeing your hijinks, both the A+ material and the good enough, in the future.

  2. I'm with you guys all the way. I thoroughly enjoy Bowdenisms. Heck, you even make the food/recipe stuff readable (and you know I'd normally much rather eat it than read about it!). And it's a blessing for a father to have this additional method to know his child even better.
    Blog on!