Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What I learned from failure: NaBloPoMo

Okay, I don't really feel as though I failed, but technically, I didn't complete the assignment.

Wow. Looking at what I just wrote, I recognize it as the kind of excuse I used to get when I was teaching freshman English. Excuses like this I usually met with a firm look, a gentle scolding, and not infrequently, an extension. I was always a proponent of learning from mistakes and accepting writing as a process, and so....I'm giving myself the same benefit of the doubt.

The bottom line: I didn't post every day for a month for National Blog Posting Month. And I'm okay with it. I was going to just let it slide by and make no comment about it, but I wanted to articulate what I got out of it anyway. I love the idea of writing every day, and my writing-teacher self clucks motherhen-like and reminds me that it's really the right way to write.

I joined NaBloPoMo because I thought it would light a fire under my rear to get me writing more frequently. A public commitment is exigence in itself, a great motivator and shaper of writing. I also joined for the community, and also because I don't have the wherewithal to attempt the other public writing experiment that takes place in November: National Novel Writing Month.

Honestly, I don't think I took it that seriously. I wasn't going to beat myself up if I missed a day or two, and I didn't feel like posting just anything to meet the requirement. Because of the temporal nature of blogging, I like to post entries that are reflective of what's happening in the now in my mind and in our home. Some days in November this year were so full of NOW that I literally did not have time to write. I do think I succeeded at the exercise in one important way: I found that because I was thinking about blogging every day, I gave myself the space to think like a writer every day, to shape and swim through my morass of ideas, and that made a difference for me in how I experienced the month.

So, writing daily or not, thank you to NaBloPoMo for the opportunity to give writing a bigger space in my life, whether it's the writing I'm putting online, or the kind that's just happening in my journal and my mind. I'll be participating again soon. And maybe next time I won't be asking teacher for an extension...

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angela said...

Bravo, Kirie!

I really liked your comments on
NaBloPoMo. You know how I feel about your writing - I never cease being impressed! I am so glad you are taking the time to shape your thoughts and write.

Keep up the great work.

One of your fans.

angela said...

Hi Kirie

I forgot to mention the picture of the little Fisher-Price people - the school desk and the teacher. Where is the Green Board from?

And I noticed Mom's Santa - it looks so nice! She would be so happy you included it in your Blog.
You were really little when she made it.

Love, Mom

angela said...

Hi again,

I just learned something new - I clicked on the Santa and lo and behold there was the Advent Calendar and more. Had no idea you had set this up. Maybe I can help with some repairs when Daddy and I come next week. This is so cool - I love it.

Love, Mom

La Belette Rouge said...

I usually love things like NaBloPoMo. But, I do try, and let me underscore that, I try to blog without obligation. I do feel like more than 5 days a week makes it feel oppressive and suck the fun out of it. And, Carolyn See says that 5 days a week is perfect as then it feels like a job. That is much as I can do.

Irene Latham said...

Even if you fail, you have succeeded in trying. (something I tell the kids :)

Paula said...

I had heard about the Nov challenge. This is a wonderfully honest post and very well written. I enjoyed it very much and applaud you! What a wonderful way to put it- accomplishing "thinking like a writer" (I must add that to my to-do list) :)

Jen said...

Hi Kirie,

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading yours :)

The Storialist said...

Good for you!

Assignments are sounds like you got something more meaningful out of the concept.

So you go, girl!

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