[This is an Excerpt from Rarasaur.com ]
If we were having coffee, I’d talk to you about NaBloPoMo. Ask anyone’s whose had coffee with me this month, it’s true. It’s on my mind.
NaBloPoMo is internet-speak for National Blog Posting Month, which happens every year in November. It’s a designated time for bloggers to stretch a little bit, by posting every single day through the month of November.
Now, if you’re not a blogger, you’re probably thinking– what’s the big deal? That’s just 30 posts with no restrictions as to type or content at all. For people who’ve written hundreds of pages of books, grocery lists, Christmas letters, Instagram captions, Facebook status, tweets, and articles– it should be super easy.
To you, I say– You’re totally right. It’s easy. I think you should start a blog.
To everyone else, I want to tell you about why you should participate.
But first, let me refill your coffee and lay down the disclaimer:
I started a little group a couple years ago called NanoPoblano (because, really, NaBloPoMo is just too hard to say.) We were our own little bandit team, supporting each other through the 30 days of NaNoBloPoMo’ing. Some of us are fiction writers, some poets, some doodlers, and well, actually. I don’t think there were two similar bloggers in the whole group. But we were bloggers and committed to 30 days, so we were a team. NanoPoblano gets shorted to Little Peppers, and used interchangeably, everywhere.
To be clear, there’s no benefit in organizing the group. As Mark, our fearless Captain Poblano, who leads us through the dailies of the month can attest– it’s actually just a lot of work. A labor of love, but a labor nonetheless. It is a labor that doesn’t really bring anything to our door except the right (and duty) to read tons and tons of great blog posts.
So yes, when I say “Be a Pepper!”, I am recruiting to my team… but no, it isn’t for any nefarious or even interesting purposes.
I just like big teams, and I like it when people get what they want.
Which brings me to the short answer to the most common question, “Why should I participate?”
Well, it is one path to the things you want.
If you blog publicly, then you are seeking a good audience. You might be seeking one just for companionship and understanding, like me. Or, you might be a writer, hoping to pitch your audience with your book. You might be a blogger, hoping to sell your words to a site that can afford some of what they are worth– or a maker of things, hoping to engage a chunk of your target demographic. You might be looking to expand your audience, or awaken them, or strengthen them, or find a balance between what you want to write and what they want to hear.
Blogging is about stretching and growing towards your community.
And so is NaBloPoMo.
It works. I can’t guarantee page hits, or page views, or follows, or even that you’ll make it. A lot of people don’t. But I can say, just by trying, in the course of 30 desperately-undertaken days, you will accomplish a few frightfully wondrous things:
You will try something new.
It might not happen right away but, at some point, you’re going to get tired. The 11th hour is going to click by, and your cat is going to be hungry-meowling, and the trees outside are going to be judging you, and your child is going to tell her teacher that you packed two sandwiches for her lunch accidentally because you think you’re a little pepper and you’re busy working with the big invisible dinosaur who loves you. At that point, you will post something out of character. It might be a gif post, or a poem, or words without pictures, or real pictures of you– and you know what? It’ll be okay. We’ll get to know you more in that hiccup than we did in the previous hundred posts. It might not win you a Pulitzer, but it will be okay.
You will meet someone new.
The thing about the Poblanos is that it adds a family dimension to the entire project. You will be constantly looking at a list of people who are going through the same struggle as you. Some will be better writers. Some will be funnier. Some will have bigger audiences.
It won’t matter, though, because we’ll all be feeling the burn.
After walking through the fire together, it’s hard not to love each other. We’re a team. My Poblanos are my first point of contact for any activity I undertake– because I know they are committed to what they want, and to what they do. No matter what they want, or why they do.
These are people I am proud to blog alongside.
You will read something new.
At least one of your team members, or one of our CheerPeppers, will catch your attention. Oh, I don’t read blogs about cats that wear hats, you think. What do I have in common with a expat blogger who makes bento platters? you think. Give it time. You’d be surprised what blogs touch your heart.
I mean, you’re here. Did you ever think you’d be reading the words of a widowed ex-con who thinks she’s basically a dinosaur?
You will understand more.
As the expression goes, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes practiced. And 30 days of straight, no-days-off, blogging will sharpen you and your style. You’ll learn what floats and what sinks, what scents and what stinks.
You’ll pick up tricks from other bloggers– sites that help them do what they do, methods that help them stay organized. You will find prompts that guarantee an audience year-round. You’ll realize your own preferences about your own production of creativity.
You will learn. It’s impossible not to.