I do have a reason for not blogging for the last few days per my NaBloPoMo commitment. It just isn’t a very good one.
See, I’ve been a bit under the weather, and also dealing with a flare up of this stupid neck/shoulder/arm pain thing I have. Being sick and in pain depleted my focus, energy, and willpower. On top of that, the pain thing is often aggravated by working on the computer.
All of those things would be really fantastic reasons for not writing here… except that those things didn’t stop me from getting plenty of other stuff done–including other stuff that aggravated my exhaustion/pain. I had volunteering commitments at 826LA that I managed to still go to. I had a skype interview that I am fairly certain I still did well on despite being sick. And the list goes on.
I can’t even say I’ve avoided computer tasks all that much–I’ve still read blogs and mucked about in the Friends of Captain Awkward Forums. When the pain was at its worst, much of my typing was done one-handed/on an iPad, but still… if I can write epic forum posts with far-less-than-ideal text input methods, then I could just as easily write blog posts the same way.
What it comes down to is this: yes, I have had less energy/spoons to spare for these last few days than I would have liked. But I didn’t have so little that I couldn’t post here if I made it a priority. But I just… didn’t.
As I said in one of my previous posts, I took on NaBloPoMo on a whim this year, hoping it would jumpstart a return to the blog.
This wasn’t a totally crazy idea–the camaraderie surrounding all of the monthly writing projects that happen in November definitely helps to motivate a lot of people.
But as it turns out, that extra spurt of motivation is not enough to shift blogging to a high enough priority to either find the several hours a day I need to post the sorts of things I want to be writing right now or find the energy/creativity/motivation I need to drastically change my writing habits.
And so I think it’s time to call it quits. I’m not posting daily, so having that NaBloPoMo badge over in the sidebar is just jerkbrain fuel at this point.
Though I’m a bit embarrassed to have publicly “failed” at this, and my jerkbrain would totally like to beat me up for it, I’m trying not to see my NaBloPoMo adventures as a failure. I have posted more in the past two weeks than I had for quite some time. I also have built up a number of drafts/post ideas that will still get used.
And most importantly? I’ve forced myself to recognize a few things about my writing habits:
1) My posts here take a lot more time than I’d like to admit. Even the relatively stream-of-consciousness ones still usually take me a good hour and a half. Anything that I’ve been thinking about for awhile and made some attempt to structure nicely/edit/polish… is going to be a 3-4 hour job, maybe more.
2) As much as I tell myself I’d like to post here a few times a week, doing that would require me to sacrifice, or at least de-prioritize, other fun and/or necessary activities that I’m not willing/able to give up at the moment.
3) I would like to write posts faster or write less time-consuming types of posts, but my inability to do so is not simply a result of laziness or lack of motivation. I really don’t know how to do those things, at least not well. I’m sure I can learn, but it’s going to take a better plan than just throwing myself into NaBloPoMo.
4) I really like pushing myself to WRITE on a daily basis (though even just that is harder than I’d like to admit), but forcing myself to POST daily makes me resentful and grouchy about the work, and makes me want to quit entirely.
I think all of those lessons alone are enough to make NaBloPoMo a “success” for me. Going forward, I still want to work towards writing and posting more, but I’m going to be a bit gentler about it: for now, my main goal will be to write more, whether it gets posted or not. The way I have structured my word count goals means I will probably end up posting roughly weekly, but we’ll see how that goes.