Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Declaration of intention

I have blogs in my head. Some seeds of ideas, some partially written out in my mind. Most bloggers have this, I'm sure. I need motivation to get these ideas from my cerebellum through the keyboard and into the universe.

The idea that somebody out there might enjoy the writing doesn't motivate me. Probably because there are too few people who read my blog and too many people whose writing far surpasses mine in abilities to entertain and engage. It's discouraging.

I'm not motivated by the personal satisfaction that I do often gain after completing a decent blog post, since I know self-criticism and doubt will be more immediate.

What does motivate me is deadlines and purpose. I am a task-oriented individual, and so when faced with opportunities to choose the next activity to fill the moments in my day, I always go straight to my to-do list. I find it quite difficult to sit on the couch and read--even if I am engrossed in a great story--when necessary responsibilities are hanging over my head. I use the personally fulfilling activities like reading, and even some of my more enjoyable work tasks, as "rewards" for accomplishing the less-appealing "have-to-do's." And making the representative check mark next to a task on my list fills me with joy.

Because I don't always feel a genuine or significant benefit from writing on my blog, it is not usually the activity of choice when I do find free time.

But by giving my blog deadlines and purpose, I am more motivated and find the writing more enjoyable as well. The more I write, the more people read, which feeds the entertainment value, which is all it's about, really. I did glean a "lousy sense of accomplishment" (see sidebar) after completing NaBloPoMo last November, and even kept up with frequent posting for quite a while after that. Challenging myself to blog every day really did motivate me, and the positive feedback from my enthusiastic reader kept the excitement alive (okay, there might be enough to make it plural).

So, as I learned last year that National Blog Posting Month does not occur during any one month in particular, I've chosen to take my 2009 NaBloPoMo Challenge in October. It wouldn't be as much fun to blog daily in the same month each year; a new month provides new topics. Plus I'll be out of town during November. Here is my October NaBloPoMo badge, but don't expect too much related to the suggested theme for this month:

To my blogging friends and family, I issue an invitation to join the endeavor: 31 posts in 31 days! Come on, don't let me go it alone. And keep the comments coming, or I just might pout myself out of contention.


Bridget said...

I'm going to do it in November. I swear it really is NaBloPoMo, at least if you take NaNoWriMo into account. NaNoWriMo is always in November, so I consider it legitimate (enough).

I can't wait for October's post-a-rama!

Amber said...

Reading your post feels like reading my own thoughts! You mentioned all the same barriers I have to blogging regularly. I'm still trying to decide if I'm ready to take the plunge starting tomorrow, or if I should mentally prepare myself for the month of November...Either way, I think this is the only way that I will get into the habit of blogging often. Good luck with your endeavor!


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