Today, November 1, marks the launch of the *real* NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. This group-blog idea was founded in 2006 as a little sibling to National Novel Writing Month. Now managed by BlogHer, NaBloPoMo has a simple aim – post something every day. They offer blogging prompts, a blogroll and the opportunity to crosspost onto their main site. They also significantly expand the scope of supporters, comrades and blogging siblings for support and encouragement.
BlogHer frames NaBloPoMo as a big blog party with blogging prompts for inspiration, Twitter chats and email lessons for refining skills and multiple tools to engage new readers and other bloggers.
I’ve participated in the past and find the challenge of daily posting to be a useful experiment, especially when I have writers (bloggers?) block. In 2012/2013, I blogged daily for over six months, but then I began to notice that the prompts were repetitive. I chalk that up to another block on my end, not the concept. Time seems to slow down when I have nothing to blog and move beyond the speed of light when I am trying to “whip out” a post!
So I’m back at it this month with a more refined focus – I want to explore the art and craft of blogging to build upon my experience with #ArtisticVisionPgh this past fall.
We generally consider writing to be an art form. When I joined the project this fall, I was sort of skeptical about the notion of blogging as an art form. Ledcat helped me refocus that idea with an analogy to journalism – which has often been considered a craft or a skilled profession. Since my style of blogging is journalistic (but I am NOT a journalist), I felt more comfortable with that approach. Blogging requires some skills – the ability to write, some technical skill and even the skills associated with managing a site.
But an art form? Over the past 9 years, have I created something unique and reflective of the human experience – something artistic? Is the blog in its entirety a work of art? It is certainly unique – there are only 2 LGBTQ blogs in Western PA.
I do write a lot about politics and my blog is often labeled a political blog which feels okay. But I write just as much about other things – the everyday realities of the lives of LGBTQ people in Western PA and beyond. I’m not attempting to create a historical record, but to use our everyday lives to demonstrate what it means to live openly queer lives.
Lots of open-ended questions. So my plan is to do something I do well – the Q&A – with people who might help me understand how my blog is a form of art. Or perhaps if that’s even the case. And perhaps along the way, I can get a better handle on why this particular question has gotten under my skin so much.
And with that, my friends, we kick-off NaBloPoMo