Some - like alienbody - have already written their posts for tomorrow and have set it to auto-publish...you know, just in case the "zambie" apocalypse happens and they're too busy running for their lives (or eating whipped cream and pie) to login and click "Publish". I love how she's covering all her bases.
The point is she did it.
Many of you did it. Some of you for the very first time. Some of you for the 6th time - like Masked Mom.
And always there is that sigh of relief and a major sense of accomplishment. You've proven to yourself that - even with jobs, spouses, partners, kids, colds, major holidays, travel, lack of inspiration, attention to personal hygiene, sleep, and everything else you had to do this month - you can and did publish something every single day.
Some of you are distressed or feel guilty about the quality of your content - like Word Nerd Speaks. Some of you - like Livvy - felt as though you were failing (but did not) mid-month. Some, like Home Reared Chef, cheered us all on from the sidelines - even after she, herself, had to take a break from blogging for a number of personal reasons.
The point is you did it and well - even if you felt like your content was crap (it wasn't).
Many of you blog because you want to be read. Many of you blog because there is a dream of becoming one of the "Big Kids" of blogging. You know, the ones who blog for fun as well as for profit? Well...every single one of the Big Kids will tell you blogging isn't always fun or easy or fast.
It's hard work.
Today, I read a blog post from Om Malik - one of the Big Kids - about having blogged daily for 10 years. TEN YEARS, People!
He started blogging professionally (and personally...but his stats don't include his personal entries) 10 years ago. He's averaged THREE posts per day since he began...even with a family and a full time job. That's a lotta posting.
In the entry marking his 10th Anniversary of Blogging, he listed 10 lessons learned about blogging.
Here are the first four:
- Blogging is communal: In 2008, I wrote that “blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.” That is the single biggest lesson learned of these past 10 years. Every connection has lead to a new idea, new thought and a new opportunity.
- Being authentic in your thoughts and voice is the only way to survive the test of time.
- Being wrong is as important as being right. What’s more important — when wrong, admit that you are wrong and listen to those who are/were right.
- Be regular. And show up to blog every day. After all you are as fresh as your last blog post.
Interestingly, he goes on to state in lesson #6: "...blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time."
This seemed to me, given Word Nerd Speaks' post, a particular conundrum. How are we supposed to be regular if we don't always have something to say?
The answer is...we don't. But we try to come up with interesting and relevant content - every single day.
Be honest. During the month of November, did you not dream about content, wake up thinking about content, and, on the days you were totally blocked from writing, wrack your brain for content? Did not, each and every one of us who finished NaBloPoMo, come up with content every single day?
It was Livvy who said, "...On these days I wake already writing in my head...By the time I get back to the house I have taught myself (it's taken a year) to ignore the beds, the washing-up, the washing and simply make a coffee on the stove, turn on the computer and... start."
You've already started. Haven't you?
So...again, I ask you, now what?
What do you want from the NaBloPoMo experience? It's perfectly acceptable to say all you wanted was the knowledge that you'd successfully posted every day. But...what if there is more to it?
If you're looking for more and more readers, if you're looking to "build your brand", if you're looking to write beyond your blog and make enough money to sustain you and your family on, you're going to have to continue what you started.
Otherwise? You're just...smelly.
You've already started. Only you are keeping yourself from success.
1: OK 2 if you haven't knocked out today's post yet. In which case, why are you reading me? Go! Now! Go! Get ye to your own blog :).