And with that, NaBloPoMo is over. Much to my surprise, I actually made it. I posted 30 times in 30 days, which is about twice the output this space has seen in the previous 11 months. It has cost me sleep and a bit of my sanity and I came within a few minutes of blowing the whole thing with just a few minutes left in Sunday.
And after a project such as this, it's natural to take a look back and see if anything has been learned and what it might mean for the future. And on both counts, the answers are a bit murky.
As for what I learned this month, I think I've learned I'm very close to being completely scheduled out. Increased responsibilities with the kids and increased demands from the podcast have greatly limited my time to do other things. Most of the time spent writing here came out of my sleep time, and that's had some seriously negative consequences. I've been sluggish and grumpy and shorter with my kids than I should be. The lack of sleep has also contributed to what were likely a few depressive episodes this month. That's no good, and it can't really continue.
I've also learned that I'm still finding my "voice" for this period of my life. It was pretty well developed when I was writing humor at BYU (fish-out-of-water, sexually frustrated), and at Cal State, Northridge (liberal smartass), and even while in Texarkana (fish-out-of-water, culturally frustrated). But here, it's a little harder to find. Perhaps I've found it, but I'm really too afraid to embrace it. That humorless and not terribly thoughtful rant against the holidays I posted yesterday was about the easiest thing I've written all month. I just opened up the tap and let the bile flow.
But I don't really like that piece and, quite frankly, if I didn't have the need to post something every day, it wouldn't have seen the light of day. I guess what I didn't like about it was that it was simply a list of grievances without any value added in terms of insight, humor or solutions. In short, it didn't justify it's own existence, which any piece of public writing needs to, in my opinion. But maybe unfiltered anger and dissatisfaction is what I've got to offer right now. If so, I don't think I'm all that interested in serving it up.
So then what does this mean for the future? Well, it certainly means I will NOT be able to keep up a daily posting schedule like I did this month, much as I would like to. But there needs to be more action here in the future and I need to devote more time to writing stuff that isn't email or descriptions of islands in the North Atlantic.
In short, watch this space. Hopefully it will still flicker to life several times each month. But now, a little rest.
Labels: navel gazing