Thursday, November 30, 2006

30 Days & Done!

Hello December 1st! I am so glad you arrived. I was beginning to feel slightly manic – and was even contemplating quitting my job so I could devote myself to NaBloPoMo. Whew! That was a close call.

So, what did I learn from this exercise?

  • I NEED a proofreader! Even now when I go back and re-read some posts I notice typos. Everyone has been very kind – but it still bugs me none-the-less.

  • What to write? It did not appear to be a problem to find something to write about. Instead I noticed these things creeping in:

    • Sometimes in the morning I had a topic, but by the time the end of the day rolled around, it was hard to recapture the excitement of the subject. I had no idea my mood, daily events, and mental fatigue could effect my writing so much.

    • Some things I wanted to write about, I didn’t, because I needed more time to do the ideas justice. My life is pretty hectic right now, (ok always), and I just didn’t have time to spend 3 to 4 hours of time on consecutive days developing the article. I have written down these ideas and will get to them as time allows.

    • It’s a good thing I’m a list maker! It was handy to have “go to” list for the days I didn’t think anything interesting, funny or inspiring happened to me.

  • I was surprised at what a kick I got out of reading my own stories. Even though I knew how they turned out, some of them made me giggle, again and again. Others surprised me with how deeply they touched me after I’d written them.

  • Having to post everyday felt like “homework”.

  • I am pleased I was so disciplined in posting everyday.

  • The obligation of writing led me to admit to several people about this project, and ordinarially I wouldn’t have.

  • I learned how to write more quickly. Frequently I was composing the article in my head before I wrote it.

  • I received some constructive feedback that has cause me to feel more positive about my skills.

  • That feedback has emboldened me to be more serious about my writing.

  • Writing has cut down on my reading time

  • Writing has kept me up WAY past my bedtime!

  • I cannot write in the morning – not because I’m not awake enough, but because I am fatally tardy for work.

I had some goals for myself when I started this project. Here’s how I rate myself in achieving them.

  • I’m not so worried about the structure of my writing

  • We all have different descriptive styles. I want to work on mine now that I’m done with the 30 days. (Yes Wesley, I’ll get those 12 to you – hopefully sooner than later.)

  • I try to look at people (physical characteristics) and the world differently. I ask myself, “how would you describe this?” “What’s interesting about this?”, “What’s funny about this?”, “What’s meaningful about this?” and let my writing flow from those observations.

  • I wrote one piece from a point of view that isn’t mine. It worked, but it wasn’t easy. I struggled with “reporting” from that point of view instead of “feeling”. When I put myself in the role, like an actress would, I did much better.

  • I’m not going to worry about brevity or story arcs unless I’m suddenly getting paid for what I write. (This doesn’t mean I don’t think I could prune/refine some of what I write. I just didn’t have the time in this situation.)

  • In reviewing my stories I think I do well with the 3 main parts – Beginning, middle, end. I rarely had a problem bringing the writing to a close and summing it all up. I learned to not worry if I started with one title, then decided after the piece was written to change the title to more clearly reflect what I’d written.

  • I have an idea for a short story. I hope to have something fleshed out by Christmas – we’ll see how far/well I do.

A list of my favorites: (But not in any order … just as they pop into my mind)

What surprised me and I didn’t expect

  • All the encouragement I received from friends AND strangers

  • The new friends I made along the way

  • Someone pointed out that you’re considered a “writer” not because you’re paid to do it, but because you LOVE doing it. I’ve added “writer” to the list of adjectives I use to describe myself in the future.

  • How fun it is to see someone laugh out loud at what you’ve written.

  • I learned some basic HTML – and think I’d like to take a community college level intro class.

Over all, I’m glad I took the challenge and will look forward to November 2007 to see how I’ve grown in a year.

A final note. I am SOOO glad this ended tonight, as I’m getting on a plane in the morning for Nashville TN. I can’t imagine the stress of client entertaining, attending a conference AND trying to write each night. So hang in there – I’ll be back. My goal now is a minimum post of 4 days out of the week for December. We’ll see how it goes.


Joe said...

I know one thing about writers: Writers write. And you're writing, so there you have it. That was easy, wasn't it? ;)

Have a good trip.

peter said...

I too found that the more i blogged (and recorded) the more my reading (and listening) consumption declined. The danger i tend to find in that is that i get into a feedback loop of only wanting to read (and hear) myself, and then i get sick of myself and give up the creativity for consumption wholesale. It's hard to achieve balance!

Anyhow, thank you for the excellent, thought-provoking writing this month! I look forward to reading much more of it in the future.

lee said...

I am so proud of you

Woodstock said...

It's about balance, I think, with the writing vs. reading. Yes, you can get dangerously self-absorbed if you do nothing but blog but the key is to write. other. stuff. (fiction, even little bits of it, get you (or me anyway) outside yourself).

I'm glad you stumbled upon me during your NaBloPoMo readings as I have enjoyed reading your stories. I look forward to reading more of them even outside November.

JMom said...

hey, congratulations on completing NaBloPoMo!

I wouldn't call myself a writer, but I'm glad I did it and still managed to get in some reading.

My favorite out of your favorites was the ode to San Francisco. I think that was at the top of your posts when I first visited but it wouldn't take my comment for some reason, so I commented on my second fave post instead. The pot roast story.