Friday, December 01, 2006


In case you hadn't noticed (or missed the button in my sidebar), I participated in NaBloPoMo and managed to post every single day in November. On one day, I posted twice! And most of my posts had actual content, contrary to what I expected. It seemed as though the more I posted, the more I had to say. I even have a few topics left in these old fingers of mine to pull out at a later date.

So did I learn anything? I learned that I still work best with a deadline or rules or something telling me when and how I need to do something. Having that "Post or die!" slogan staring at me every time I looked at my blog was definitely motivational, and despite being stuck on a train for four days this month I managed to figure out a way to post every single day. The closest I came to not making it was when we got back from California on Sunday, and we got home at about 10 minutes to midnight. At that point I was so worried about missing a post! But why? Who was I trying to impress, to please, to appease? Or was it just that I didn't want to renege on a commitment once I'd made it?

The NaBloPoMo randomizer, courtesy Pink Elephants, made the experience more enjoyable as well - in addition to the blogs I normally read that participated, I got to read and find a lot more blogs that I would never otherwise have seen. I'm guessing that if people found my blog through the randomizer, they didn't stick around - I don't post enough pictures and I have one of the standard blogger templates. But this thing is for me, and for the people I know who read it, friends near and far - I've never and will never aspire to be one of the big dogs in the blogosphere. I have nothing to offer - I'm not particularly funny, I don't post many pictures, and I don't have agorgeous baby or any sort of theme to set me apart from all the other "personal" bloggers. But I did rediscover how much I enjoy writing on a regular basis, and since so much of my daily entertainment comes from reading other people's blogs, I figure it's only courteous to return the favor by posting more frequently in mine.

If you are reading this and you don't actually know me in person (or your blog isn't in my sidebar), will you please comment to let me know you read this thing? Most of the time I feel like I'm shouting into the ether, with about 5 people who might happen to hear. On most of the popular blogs I'm just another voice in the teeming masses, so I usually only comment on blogs where a) I know the person, or b) you don't have 349049572 people already telling you the same things I might have said.

Most of the time, I feel like there aren't many opportunities in my daily life to be creative. I think I used to be a good writer, sometime back in the 20th century, and I'm almost starting to feel like that ability is coming back to me, thanks to this enforced schedule I've been following. My day-to-day life isn't nearly as interesting as those of other people whose blogs I read, so when I write in here it tends to be a story about my past or something I'm thinking about, rather than a witty post about my adventures. They say that nobody cares what you had for lunch, and also, nobody cares what cute thing your cat did or that one guy who does that one thing was at the gym again. In order to keep myself (as well as my tiny readership) interested, I've started trying to look at the world a little differently, much as I do when I'm taking a picture of something. I can't pretend to be good at photography or writing, but I do try because I enjoy those things.

Someday, we will not only have our own internet access but also our own computer with photo uploading capabilities at home, and at that point I think this place will get a lot more interesting. (For those who don't know, I bring my work laptop home and we steal internets from other people, and my computer is state property and has all kinds of crazy firewalls on it, so no uploading of images or downloading of software in order to upload images). Hulk has all sorts of projects in mind for his blog, and I've had some ideas for mine, but for now, we're in a holding pattern.

Anyhow, I think the whole Blopping thing was a good idea for me, and good exercise of a different sort than the elliptical hamstering I do daily. I will always admire those who have the ability to delight their readers with good prose, witty repartee, and/or beautiful photos. For now, I'm content to switch this blog back to posting only on some weekdays, delighting my own tiny corner of the internets.


Anonymous said...

I like to think that having a blogging template or not posting a lot of pictures doesn't automatically mean that people won't stick around, but I think there might be a bias against them, unfortunately. I'm all about content over appearance, but I find that I am oppositely prejudiced: if I don't like the masthead, I have a hard time giving the blog a serious chance. I actually much prefer the blogger templates aesthetically, but that doesn't really matter.

I agree that the presence of the rules and the obligation made it easier for me to post, but also a little ridiculous. There wasn't anyone judging whether or not I posted every day, at least not unless I somehow won one of the prizes, but it became very important to me to finish the project. I think, for me, that it was the commitment. I've been trying to live up to a personal goal I set of sticking to promises and commitments that I make, no matter what. I'm very proud of myself for finishing NaBloPoMo!

I think a lot about the phenomenon of blogs, about their use, and about the role they're beginning to play in social relationships. I'm a new blogger, and some days I hate myself a little for how much I long for a readership, but I think I feel freer to write whatever I like without one. I haven't told my friends or family about my blog because I'm hoping to keep it more as a creative outlet than a means of communication.

Um, sorry, this comment makes no sense whatever. I started out planning to just tell you that I found you through the randomizer today and bookmarked you. You're not as boring as you make yourself out to be! I think I'll come back, but I'm shy and rarely comment unless I'm feeling uncharacteristically chatty.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I quite liked finding out things about you.

yournamehere said...

Regarding the last post: you stripped and danced naked for a group of people? Awesome.

MLE said...

Todd: I did it on 3 separate occasions! Oh, yeah.

(maybe someday I will blog about it)

Anonymous said...

*waves* Found you through the great big list of NaBloPoMo participants...

MLE said...

Hi, swultragirl!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your posts every day. And I think it takes a special person with a good mind and a head built for writing to keep me interested in a blog that doesn't have all the bells and whistles many do. Thanks for being so goddamn talented, not to mention a swell person in the flesh.