rising to the challenge with the best of ’em

There’s a new challenge going around the blog circles I announced casually to Hubby this morning while we sitting in our respective chairs at our mac and pc, checking for new email (he worked all day long managing the local polling station yesterday so he was email deprived). What d’you mean? he said typing an email amazingly fast with his two-finger typing method.

It’s NaBloPoMo; means bloggers are challenged to write one post a day. The only response I heard was a grunt and the sounds of a keyboard clicking. Well? Should I try it?

Now we both know that I tried posting every week day as some blogger I read thought it was the reliable way to build a readership. I don’t remember how long I tried, but I can tell you it didn’t take me long to suffer major burnout. My idea about blogging, you see–at least in the beginning–was that it would challenge me to write daily and that I would become a better writer which I’ve always hoped to be. Initially I planned to make each post an essay. I spent hours at the keyboard. By the time I got one I was happy with–at least happy for long enough to publish it–it was necessary to begin thinking about what I would write about next for tomorrow. It was keeping me up nights!

One day I woke up figuratively if not literally since I wasn’t sleeping well. I realized I was working harder at blogging than almost anything I’d ever worked at (except tobacco and farm work when I was growing up). I hadn’t even worked that hard when I was writing for my classes at Ohio State. WORSE THAN THAT, I WASN’T GETTING PAID! Enough of that crap I decided and eventually I settled into a comfortable routine doing a post when the mood hit–which was usually about twice, sometimes thrice, per week unless I went for easy and put up a YouTube video. That left more time for domestics pursuits plus an electronic card game (or 2 or 3) fitted in as a reward now and then.

By this time he (Hubby) had moved on to his blogroll. I decided to try one more time. Well!!!? Do you think I should try it?

After little hesitation came back this retort. Nah! You can’t hack it.

Yeah, you’re probably right. So I turned off the computer without even checking the number of hits from yesterday and looked about to see what I should cross off first in my brain list of stuff to do! Dusting tends to be boring, however, so while I was dusting, I couldn’t help but continue the conversation I’d been having with Hubby inside my head.

Hubby’s last comment:Β  . . . can’t hack it.”
Me: Nut uh! I could so do it . . . if’n I really wanted to.

Hubby: You’d get too spazzed out.
Me: Would not!
Hubby: Would!
Me: Would not! Would not! Would not!
Hubby: Would! Would! Would!

Then the right and left sides of my brain decided to join in this evermore spirited conversation.

LS: ❓ So what would you write about if you tried to write a post every day?
RS: πŸ’‘ I could write about what I’m doing every day . . .
LS: Oh that oughta be interesting alright! πŸ™„
RS: πŸ˜₯ Oh but lots of people do it . . . and do it very well. In fact I love reading what Mage in Postcards is up to every day, whether she manages to get all her exercises in, what’s the estate sale she’s gone to and what new cookbook find she’s made at one of those sales! and how she sneaks in those fudge brownies and key lime pie in spite of her vow to eat more healthy this year! Plus, I remember reading something about refinding your blogging voice in Studio Ruthe. Maybe posting daily will help me find my blogger voice!
LS: :D: Yeah? Well, dream on!

So! The upshot of these conversations no one hears except me, resulted in me making an executive decision. To try and rise to the occasion. If I can’t do it, I’ll try to do it most days. If I can’t do it that much, I’ll keep trying and post some days. It’ll be pretty hard to be anything less than a winner that way, right!?

So, luckily I already posted Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. (Oops! In case you didn’t trust me and counted backwards . . . shhhhh! We’ll just pretend it was Saturday, Sunday and Monday even though it was really Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday. I’m still up to 27 more. I think.) Here goes the rest, I’m officially started for real, on this the 3rd day of this week. This is what I did today:

After I dusted the living room I unwrapped the long vines of the ivy in the living room that were hanging over the half wall and down the stairwell and gave the plant a haircut. And I put all the cuttings into a big vase in the kitchen to get new starts for lots of new ivy plants–there should be one for every room plus whoever in the neighborhood who wants to adopt one. After that I decided to bottle the basil from Frank’s garden that I hung in the kitchen during the last few weeks to dry. It made the most pungent dried basil you can imagine–three or four times the aroma of the commercial one I already had. It should really flavor up this winter’s soups!

Whew! I’m already feeling the pressure! Whatever will I write tomorrow? ‘Cause it means I actually have to do something to write about besides playing forty-thieves on the pc, right?



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14 thoughts on “rising to the challenge with the best of ’em

  1. If you can’t think of something to write, then tell me more about the basil – did you really just dry it by tying it to a hook or is there some trick I should know? I love my herb garden but I have no idea how to dry herbs so that they’ll be nice and usable later!

    (Did you see? I didn’t tease at all that you posted the goal although I did grin :D)

  2. Thanks for the grin & support, Sylvia! You’re a gem. As for drying the basil,that’s exactly what I did. Nothing fancy, just gathered up several sprigs and secured them loosely enough with a rubber band at the bottom so that air could circulate around them. Here in the southwest the air is quite dry so it’s a snap to do and like I said–much nicer than the commercial stuff. Oh and one more thing: I hung them upside down because it makes me look like I know what I’m doing when you walk into my kitchen and see and smell them like that.

  3. Alice, You’re supposed to enjoy this. When it gets to be that much work, forget it. I often think of things to post as the day goes on. If only I had a direct connection from my brain. The trick is I get lazy about actually sitting down and writing. Eli says the connection will happen one of these days, but I hope not. I don’t think I want to be personally wired, even if it did help me blog.
    Have fun.

    • Thanks Granny! As for peeling potatoes, depends on how long I’ve had them. Do you really think my e-card playing habit leaves me time to peel potatoes?

  4. Too funny! I did number 4 today and like you, I’m not sure I can do the whole month but what the heck, it’ll be fun to try. I left my blog address as the “health” one on this reply as that’s where I’m working on this whole month thing.

  5. I have two blogs. In one I write long posts. Every ten to twelve days. In the other I write short posts. Almost daily. I just joined NaBloPoMo. It is just to meet new bloggers actually…

  6. HI there! I have your site on my IGoogle page so I can preview your titles and settle in for a good read when I grab a minute. When I spotted “rising to the challenge …” I KNEW your topic was about NaBloPoMo! I am trying to do this AND for the very reasons you stated. It’s DANG hard!!!! Especially because I still have a day job. (I also think of my posts in terms of essays, and I revise, review, edit, etc. EXHAUSTING!) Anyway, I’m going with an “attitude of gratitude” journaling theme – not for BIG blessings, but for the random little things that pop into my head. For example, last night’s post was about my husband’s CPAP mask. I have decided that I need to think of this venture in terms of QuickWrites – not essays or I’ll never last. But somehow, they keep evolving into those essays! Grrrr

  7. Hee. As daughter no. 1, and a research psychologist, you know i used to study this phenomenon of ‘imagined conversation’. I can’t IMAGINE why that topic would have occurred to me, eh?

    Also, don’t underestimate hubby’s perverse ways of motivating you to do stuff.

    and hey, in a day, you can write about the mathematician talk…..

  8. And that’s the real trick…..don’t feel pressure. Don’t think of writing here as something you have to do, think of it as something you like to do. Perhaps coffee and two sentences. Perhaps a photo and one sentence as one friend on Open Diary does.

    I was going to just write on journaling, but it grew. My journaling is so tied to my regaining my humanity, that I couldn’t leave the alcoholism or drug addiction out. So here I am posting a picture and a short entry entry every day an am letting the pressure fly away. πŸ™‚ If the entry get’s really short, so be it.

  9. Oh gosh! I’ve been traveling in places we couldn’t connect long enough for me to keep up on the blogs … kinda glad I didn’t hear about this one! Last time I got into NaNoWriMo! I am grateful for those two books, though … now I need one that you edit your book in a month! I have enjoyed catching up on you, though! We are in Bankersfield and have a good connection. We’ll be home by Saturday and I am planning to edit those books, by the way. I had a sad moment when I couldn’t sign up for another novel this November because I have a good idea … so I’ll just do it slower. My old hands don’t let me do those kinds of marathons anymore even if my brain wants to.

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