NaBloPoMo stands for “National Blog Posting Month.” The goal is to write a blog post every day for the month of November. It’s a tall order for someone who hasn’t been writing, much less blogging, for several months this year. But, I’ve taken the challenge twice before and it has inspired me to write better, faster, stronger-to rebuild it.
The first year I attempted NaBloPoMo, two years ago, I found my biggest challenges to be flexing my rusty writing muscles and finding uninterrupted time to write. The rustiness worked itself out, of course, over the weeks of daily writing and the practice of writing something, anything, every day stuck with me for close to a year, even when I wasn’t blogging.
Last year, I found time to be my biggest pressure. With 5 little kids at home, I ended up writing most of my posts on back, bleary-eyed at 2am, typing into my eyephone, while cosleeping and tandem nursing twins. So, I learned to let go of my expectations for editing and proofreading, in favor of content. I knew my meaning would often be lost in grammar and spelling errors or in confusing language, without the benefit of me checking myself. But, I ended up finding it so freeing to let the words flow out, without knowing where they might take me, that I have never gone back to edit any of those old posts, no matter how much the idea of those errors sitting out their like my granny panties, for all the world to see make me want to squirm (and adjust my clothes.)
I share my experience of writing not to garner sympathy, but to show how deeply this project matters to me. I enjoy the idea that a few people may read my words and it may evoke something in them. I wouldn’t be writing publicly if the connection through words didn’t matter to me deeply.
At the same time, I’m writing for myself.
I had to get very clear on this because I’ve had a lot of frustrated non-writing time for this year’s NaBloPoMo. I’ve had the busy family with small children issues, along with my on-going 2014 projects to practice daily yoga and meditation (thumbs up!), read 114 books (104 so far), lose 56lbs (45 so far), and run a 5k race(only 15 days away.) In addition, I’ve had the garden variety issues with my computer and internet connections. So, even though I have posts written, I haven’t been able to upload them. But, the real kicker has been the button on my eyephone only works intermittently so my modus operandi for 2am writing has collapsed.
So, yes, I’ve figured out that I’m writing for myself and why. When I was in meditation class this week, the teacher asked us to visualize the place where we needed to be. Mine was new for me. There I was on a gorgeous beach with a big, floppy hat and the sound of the crashing waves playing counterpoint to the giggling of castle-building children. But, I was holding a pen and paper and that seemed the most important part of my image that I held onto for the meditation.
That pen and paper gave me a feeling of contentment. I wasn’t writing or reading the page. I was simply holding them as I participated in the life going on around me. Holding the pen and paper gave me the space to move with the people in my life with the equanimity I wanted.
When I am writing, I see, hear, and move through my life with greater joy because I have a buffer. I can hold onto allowing the full breadth of experiences come in because I know that at some point, I’ll process them through words. If I need to. Often, I don’t need to. But, the point is that I move away from reacting and into responding.
Better, stronger, faster mindfulness without attachment to outcome. The freedom to be a better writer, a better mother, a better partner, a better person comes from transferring ideas into words then releasing them (I almost left the typo relishing in place of releasing, there.)
So, thank you for your patience as I alternately disappear and flood this blog with my unfilered, unedited, granny-panty words.
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Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than proof-reading or editing. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)