For a long time after being in labor and having a baby, you think you can do anything. You think anything anyone asks you to do will be effortless by comparison. You could be asked to lay a thousand bricks using concrete you stir in a mixing bowl and think it’s so easy. So ridiculously easy. While you’re laying the bricks, you might smoke a cigarette or talk on the phone because laying a thousand bricks will not require your full attention or anywhere near your complete effort.
110 percent? You did that already. You remember what that was like. This, whatever this is, is nothing like that was. So bring it. You think, hey, whatever they’ve got for me, just bring it. Put it in line for what’s next. You’re fine with that. You are unfazed by dares conjured by anyone.
How about this? The dare is to write a decent blog post every day in November. It’s part of a national thing sponsored by BlogHer called NaBloPoMo which is blogger speak for ‘Be cool like the big kids.’ So anyway, thousands of bloggers participate. It’s a big deal and I’ve decided to sign up.
Oh, I’m no stranger to daily blogging. I’ve done two 100 in 100 challenges on my own. These two runs at 100 in 100 were really, really difficult. Out of the first 100 in 100, I had a couple of good essays that I am really proud of. One of them was a finalist for the TypeAParent We Still Blog Awards in September. A couple of others were read pretty widely including an ode to my older daughter who had recently become the mother of twin boys. But 100 days is a really long time and it is very difficult to turn out decent essays or blog posts every day. Still, the discipline of it has extraordinary positive benefits. Here’s what I think they are:
1. If you write every day, you will absolutely become a better writer. The old saw about practice makes perfect is no joke. If you want to be a writer, then write. A lot.
2. Putting yourself out there every day frees you from caring what people think. And that makes you a better writer. Fear of being perceived as an idiot keeps people from exposing their writing to the world. That thinking stunts a writer’s growth.
3. Daily writing means you can’t keep writing the same story. I quit all the one trick ponies I used to follow in the blogosphere. Too boring. So you have a challenging kid or ax to grind with authority, what else do you do? Do you ever reflect on a tree or why all the people on your street rake their leaves every day while you wait for yours to pile up? I don’t mind your tears, I just don’t want to wade in the same puddle every day.
4. You will absolutely get more followers if you write every day. There are people in my WordPress feed that show up so infrequently I forgot I even subscribe to them. Like ‘who are you?’ My reaction is juvenile. I decide I can’t be bothered reading someone who doesn’t even try to stay in touch. Invariably, these little ephemeral bloggers preface their posts with something like ‘I know I’ve been remiss in not posting.’ Whatever. Like I’ve been waiting.
5. You will learn how to make a list of five things about any topic. Have college writing classes started having Three Ways, Five Reasons, Ten Clues chapters? Is everything a list? Yes, dear readers, everything is a list. And if you have to write a blog post every day for the entire month of November, you, too, will discover the incredible comfort of the LIST.
You heard it here. You think you can do anything because you once slayed a dragon? Or had a baby? Or changed a flat tire on a dark road all by yourself?
Pales in comparison, sugar. You think you’re hot stuff?
Write this. NaPloPoMo.