There’s a lot of buzz each November around NaNoWriMo — you may notice some of your favorite blogs dedicating themselves to churning out 50,000 words this month.
If 50,000 words seem like 49,000 too many or you’re more interested in blogging than writing a book, NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month — might be your speed: a challenge to post once every day for the entire month of November. No theme, no word count, no rules; just you, your blog, and 30 new posts.
NaBloPoMo started in 2006 in response to NaNoWriMo; not every blogger has the time or inclination to write a book, but the idea of a challenge that forces participants to stretch themselves, grow as bloggers, and be part of a supportive community is undeniably appealing. As founder Eden Kennedy, the power blogger behind fussy.org, put it:
If there’s one thing creative people agree on it’s that the more you do something, the better you get at it. If you want to be a better writer, you have to write; if you want to be a better blogger, you have to post. And one way to break down the barriers between thinking about writing and actually doing it is by posting every day for a month.
As Eden’s readers jumped on board, the event spawned an online community that swelled to the tens of thousands and was acquired by BlogHer, which committed to providing a space to nurture and grow the event year-round. Now, BlogHer hosts NaBloPoMo 12 months a year, with each month organized around a theme — except November. In keeping with the original NaBloPoMo, November remains a free-for-all month (and the month with the most robust participation).
You don’t need to register with BlogHer to participate — although there are great reasons to, like the readership increase that comes with being part of a large community or the prizes. (And anyone, male or female, is welcome.) Just publish a post on November 1st, keep on going until the 30th, and bask in the glow of a challenge conquered.
Still on the fence? Don’t take our word for how rewarding it is — take a participant’s:
NaBloPoMo has not been as trying or as dramatic as a marathon, but I feel marvelous about it. I proved I can set and accomplish goals. I proved I’m a writer, because you know what writers do? They write, you guys.
I pushed my chair away from the table minutes ago to answer a text, and the motion of leaving my half-written thoughts on the screen felt real. Official. Important. Writing is a thing I do.
I’m creating my future.
Since there are no posting guidelines other than posting something, NaBloPoMo is a great time to write that post you’ve been mulling on for a few weeks, or to branch out to new post formats, topics, and mediums. Play! Experiment! Flex your blogging muscles. Elisa Camahort Page, one of the co-founders and COO of BlogHer, offers this advice:
Let go of the idea of perfection. You don’t have to publish a perfect post. You don’t have to have every day’s contribution be a finely-crafted 500-word essay. Maybe some days you post a photograph that expresses that day’s prompt. Maybe some days you report on a snippet of overheard conversation *without* adding voluminous commentary to it.
Exercise your writing muscle. Some days can be high weight, low repetition. Some days can be low weight, high repetition. Some days can be stretching… the key is to do it and free yourself from rigid expectations!
Have the motivation, but not the inspiration?
Posting every single day, even when you get to decide what you post and when, is challenging; in some ways, it’s tougher to come up with an original idea each day than to respond to a theme.
Luckily, there are lots of resources to get you to the “Publish” button daily:
- Prompts and challenges: The Daily Post offers a daily blog prompt for writers, photographers, artists, and poets, as well as weekly writing and photo challenges; BlogHer makes your life even easier by posting the month’s worth of prompts in advance. When you’re stuck for a topic, try a prompt. If the day’s doesn’t speak to you, look back at the archives to find one that does.
- Inspirational resources and advice: We’ve gathered our favorite resources from WordPress.com, BlogHer, and around the web in a new Blog Event Survival Guide. Along with even more post ideas, you can hone your humor-writing chops, learn to create an editorial calendar to keep you on track, see how bloggers with kids find time to write, and lots more.
- Each other. Never underestimate the support of fellow bloggers! Be sure to register with BlogHer by November 5th to be added to the official blogroll, and tag your posts with “NaBloPoMo” so other WordPress.com bloggers can find you in the Reader (we’ve also added a NaBloPoMo category to our Recommended Blogs). Encouragement and engagement are the best motivation, so be sure to check out one another’s blogs — and leave a comment when you do!
Ready now? We thought so. Happy NaBloPoMo!
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