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some rules for NaBloPoMo, then. supposedly postfactum

[ETA] This post was written at the start of October, scheduled to be published on the last day, to check in with myself on whether I have succeeded or failed in NaBloPoMo – that is, blogging every day for one month. Spoiler alert: I failed, so I made the post private. But I still found some use in looking back at this post and commenting on it. Publicly. That doesn’t mean, though, that this post has any merit for anyone who’s not my therapist, psychiatrist, or ‘cAReER mENtor’. I wouldn’t even suggest my bestie reads it. The reason I’m making this public is because I personally find such self-analyses and challenge accounts of others fascinating. So maybe you’re like me, in which case do indulge. If not, here’s a very condensed version: I kept up for about half a month, then I blanked out, because my mind was spinning around the thought of getting to sleep instead. And I let myself fail. Not that it helped me get a healthy sleep pattern back. In other words, insomnia is a bitch.

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I sat down to write, but it seems like today is the day when I can only type out an increasingly self-aware yet still compulsively whiny journal entry. I did type that out, but I have zero intentions of sharing it with anybody. In all of my running list of “ideas” – I use this term loosely, thus quote marks – nothing spoke out to me, except rules for the October blogging challenge. But I didn’t want to post them before the challenge is complete. I don’t even know if I would complete the challenge.

I suppose if I don’t then we can ridicule me collectively. I will write this now, but schedule it to be posted at the end of October. That’s why everything will be in future/ present tense. I’m not manifesting, I’m laying down some rules.

Maybe if I’m feeling it, I’ll post an analysis of success right after this post. [ETA: I chose to edit this post instead.]

So. I am writing this in September. But you will see it at the end of NaBloPoMo. I’ve scheduled it for 23:59 on October 31st.

A blog post should be 500 words, It can be a bit less – like 480 – and it can be longer. But can’t be significantly shorter.

Comment: In all the posts and drafts I did in October, I stuck to this rule. I still think it’s a good rule, but I won’t force myself to do this outside of the challenge.

It can be any subject. It can even be an excerpt from my actual diary.

I can write more than one post a day and schedule it for the following day.

I can’t skip writing days, though. Every day I must sit down and write. Diary counts. Morning pages don’t. It needs to be at least five sentences. They can be simple.

Comment: I kept at daily writing for about half a month. Then came a dry spell of several days, where I got tired of staring at the blank page. Eventually it angered me, and I scraped the challenge altogether.

Unless I significantly rework them, I can’t use old nearly complete drafts for articles and posts. Only if I improve them notably, or add new content of at least 2/3 of the 500 word limit, can they be counted towards this challenge.

Comment: I stuck to this. I have reworked some older drafts – still unpublished – into new posts.

I can use quotations from articles to reference what I’m talking about, but I will not count them towards the word limit.

Apart from that revision of drafts mentioned above, all posts should be written and scheduled in October. I can’t use anything I write and schedule in September towards checking off October challenge days. Including this post. It will publish on the last day of October, but it will not count towards the challenge.

Comment: Technically that’s what I did. Everything I published in October, I wrote in October.

If by some circumstance I will miss posting on some day, but I will have had a post written by then, I will not consider it a loss. It will be a point off, so to say, but I will not see it as a challenge lost. But backtracking will be. If I miss a day of posting due to lack of content to post, I will not stop and continue trying to keep up, but I will see it as a challenge lost.

Comment: Well, as I said above, I missed a few days due to me blanking out in front of a page, and then dropped the challenge altogether. So I lost points, and then I just failed.

I think this is it for the rules. If you didn’t care to read the whole thing, here’s a short version: 500 words a post, I can pre-write and pre-publish but I can’t backtrack, I can significantly rework and add new content to older drafts, I can’t skip writing days. Should I miss a day, I will not stop posting afterwards, but I will consider it a failed challenge.

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Ah, see, writing is a habit and a muscle. Now I really want to write about a recent book haul, and also some notes from my work days, but I must stop myself and head to bed. Today was supposed to be an all-nighter, because I completely fucked up my sleeping schedule, and it doesn’t help to stabilise me one single bit. But if I don’t go to bed, the migraine will progress. So I can just hope that I will wake up to the three hundred alarms I’m about to set.

Comment: And this paragraph sums up some of the reason behind my failing this challenge. I ruined my sleeping schedule in October. Rrrrrruined. It’s November now, and it’s still destroyed. Last weekend I slept for what feels like 30 hours total, and today is the third day in a row when I can’t sleep until 10 am, and then keep missing my 1 pm appointment.

But how does that pertain to a ruined writing challenge? It was responsible for me blanking out in front of a page, because I would keep thinking how I should be trying to get to sleep instead. This pattern of thinking I should be trying to sleep never gets me – or anyone dealing with insomnia – anywhere. It’s just an anxious response. What I should have done instead is just go on with my tasks as usual.

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