Pep Talk

Writing a post a day is difficult.

Recently, Smallest Twine has claimed to “fail at NaBloPoMo”, and A BCPSS Parent has said: “I feel like I’m producing vast quantities of junk that is somewhat embarrassing.”

Each of the last few days, I’ve also felt like I’m not putting top-quality effort into my posts. On Friday I posted a picture of solar panels and gave a factual description of a trip we had gone on. Not much creative effort there. And here I am talking not about some interesting topic in Baltimore education, but about blogging. I thought about some of the other topics I had planned, but figured they would each take too much time, and here it is 10:00 already–I should be in bed so that I may wake up bright and early, ready for a new week!

Last year, going through NaBloPoMo for my first time, I’d say only about 1/3 of my posts were any good. Those are the ones that I hope stick in your memory, and that I’ve since highlighted or linked back to. But I also had posts where I just posted a photo, just posted someone else’s photo, just copied and pasted a twitter chat I had been involved in, where I just summed up the prior week’s posts, and where I talked about the word “quadrimular”, which I’ve used approximately once since then. Certainly some pretty pitiful posts!

But the point of NaBloPoMo is quantity over quality. Some days you won’t have a brilliant post in you. Other days you may be on fire and write two (scheduling one for a day later, of course). Out of quantity will come some quality, and the daily deadline will bring a renewed life to your blog which had been sitting dormant.

NaBloPoMo is modeled on NaNoWriMo, which likewise is all about quantity: completing a novel, or at least 50,000 words of one, within the thirty days of November. I found some inspiration there in a page of pep talks for those who might be feeling frustrated, down in the dumps, or otherwise antagonistic toward this month of writing:

You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.          – Neil Gaiman’s Pep Talk

So, to my fellow NaBloPoMo’ers, keep up the daily work! Keep writing, with the confidence that though we all hit a wall sometimes, our blogging is important nonetheless. Important to ourselves, as “thinking on paper”. Important to each other, as a Baltimore education community trying to re-start discussion. And, possibly, important to others out there in the world who may find one of our posts helpful or thought-provoking.

So keep blogging! Use the daily prompts from NaBloPoMo! Or use one another’s posts to inspire comments or a post of your own! Here are links to the other great folks participating in BmoreEd-NaBloPoMo:

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Pep Talk

  1. Thanks – Good post, and good timing. I was about to post something that needed more work, but you inspired me to start a new post from scratch. It’s a little more personal, and I feel better about it:
    http://survivingthesystem.blogspot.com/2011/11/self-advocacy.html

    Getting close to 25% through the month.

  2. Thanks for the motivation! I still have to post for today, but I’ll get something up there. I think the best part of blogging every day is that it’s keeping us actively checking our blogs daily. Maybe we don’t feel that every post we create has a lot of substance, but I think they all do have some meaning and value to them. I thought your article about vising the BGE site with solar panels was really cool. It’s refreshing that students are being given the opportunity to make real-life connections to what they are learning. I think even the college students I teach would benefit from venturing to places other than the classroom to apply the knowledge they are learning to real-life situations.

    • nyates314

      Thanks! I agree that everyone (your students, my students, adults too) could benefit from visiting a new place that connects to their job/area of study but in an unfamiliar way, or applies something they’ve been working on to a specific outcome or to the big picture.

      Yes, checking your blogs daily & responding to them has been fun, and has engaged me in thinking about things in new ways and from different perspectives. And writing out my thoughts and opinions on my own blog is also good for myself, something I had been missing when I stopped posting for awhile.

  3. Pingback: Another Long Day | Maryland Math Madness

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