Thursday, November 30, 2006

The End of NaBloPoMo

Today marks the end of National Blog Posting Month. So, I sit in my office eating my warm and cozy Italian seasoned coucous with chickpeas, TVP, and zuccini, preparing to write my final post of the month-long marathon.

There’s a theory that exists in field of behavioral psychology that says “it takes about three weeks to develop a habit”. Similarly it takes about three weeks to break one. So, I wonder how many of us, who have participated by writing every day, have developed the habit?

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed so far about this past month, is that I got to read Kern’s, Kristin’s, and Gina’s blogs before writing my own post. At first I found it daunting but I got over it really quickly. I had a lot of trouble sticking with my original post idea, though. Many days I really wanted to comment on something that one of them had said already in their post. I decided that was kind of cheating, so I didn’t do it until yesterday. And of course, now I’m going to do it today. I’d like to comment about what the others had to say about NaBloPoMo.

Gina said that she feels like we’ve been on a trip together. I totally agree. There were times where it felt like we were all in the same room having a conversation. Which is funny because none of us were talking about the same things and all of us live in separate countries. But sharing our experiences with each other did feel a bit like a shared experience.

Kristin commented on the ease in generating ideas for the blog posts but the difficulty in getting them posted. I had the same experience. I often had more than one idea of what I’d want to write about in any given day. I really enjoyed mentally composing my posts on my commute into work or commute home from work. I usually forced myself to select just one topic and flesh it out a bit in order to get something coherent. Of course, on quite a few days it wasn’t so coherent. Those were usually the days when time was extremely limited. Just like Kristin says, when there’s a time crunch the blog posting kind of goes to hell. Luckily, I was often able to find an hour to do it. Until that mess from a couple of days ago .. but lets not talk about that again. Yikes!

Kern says that this past month has been an interesting experience that he’s glad to see the end of. Not sure that I agree exactly. I have quite enjoyed the writing experience. Some nights, of course, it was a bit more a chore than others but even then, I enjoyed the idea of ‘making myself write’ with the idea in mind of habit forming. I didn’t ever feel a loss of free will. I mean, it’s just blogging, no one would care if I didn’t post. But the truth is, as much as I like to rise to a challenge (Thanks, Kristin), I chose to do it for myself and for developing myself as a better writer. It’s easy to 'coerce myself' do a chore when somewhere deep down I know that the final outcome will be satisfying.

So – overall, I’m really glad that I did it. I’m really glad that my friends joined in so that I could hear their voices a bit more than usual. But I’m not really convinced that I’ve formed a new habit. Time will tell!

Now, I need to go and write a 200 word abstract submission for a conference. Those 200 words will likely take me 3 times as long to compose as these 630 did! Blog posting has not, in any way whatsoever, helped me get better at technical writing! Oh well, no system is perfect.

(We’ll now return you to your regularly scheduled program)

Talk to you soon,



kristin said...

hi bex, you summed it up really well. more than once i wanted to make an entry based on the most recent posts of yours or gina's or kern's. i decided that doing it too often would be cheating too.

Kern said...

NaBloPoMo group hug! :)

Thanks everybody, there were days when I didn't really want to post, but the fact that we were all doing it made it a whole lot more fun. Even on the days when I dreaded updating my own Blog, I looked forward to reading all of yours.