waiter, there is too much pepper in my coffeekash.

If we were having coffee, I’d talk to you about NaBloPoMo.  Ask anyone’s whose had coffee with me this month, it’s true.  It’s on my mind.

NaBloPoMo is internet-speak for National Blog Posting Month, which happens every year in November.  It’s a designated time for bloggers to stretch a little bit, by posting every single day through the month of November.

Every.
Single.
Day.

Now, if you’re not a blogger, you’re probably thinking– what’s the big deal? That’s just 30 posts with no restrictions as to type or content at all.  For people who’ve written hundreds of pages of books, grocery lists, Christmas letters, Instagram captions, Facebook status, tweets, and articles– it should be super easy.

To you, I say– You’re totally right.  It’s easy.  I think you should start a blog.

Taz4

To everyone else, I want to tell you about why you should participate.

But first, let me refill your coffee and lay down the disclaimer:

I started a little group a couple years ago called NanoPoblano (because, really, NaBloPoMo is just too hard to say.)  We were our own little bandit team, supporting each other through the 30 days of NaNoBloPoMo’ing.  Some of us are fiction writers, some poets, some doodlers, and well, actually. I don’t think there were two similar bloggers in the whole group.  But we were bloggers and committed to 30 days, so we were a team.  NanoPoblano gets shorted to Little Peppers, and used interchangeably, everywhere.

To be clear, there’s no benefit in organizing the group.  As Mark, our fearless Captain Poblano, who leads us through the dailies of the month can attest– it’s actually just a lot of work.  A labor of love, but a labor nonetheless.  It is a labor that doesn’t really bring anything to our door except the right (and duty) to read tons and tons of great blog posts.

So yes, when I say “Be a Pepper!”, I am recruiting to my team… but no, it isn’t for any nefarious or even interesting purposes.

I just like big teams, and I like it when people get what they want.

Which brings me to the short answer to the most common question, “Why should I participate?”

Well, it is one path to the things you want.

If you blog publicly, then you are seeking a good audience.  You might be seeking one just for companionship and understanding, like me.  Or, you might be a writer, hoping to pitch your audience with your book.  You might be a blogger, hoping to sell your words to a site that can afford some of what they are worth– or a maker of things, hoping to engage a chunk of your target demographic. You might be looking to expand your audience, or awaken them, or strengthen them, or find a balance between what you want to write and what they want to hear.

Blogging is about stretching and growing towards your community.
And so is NaBloPoMo.

It works.  I can’t guarantee page hits, or page views, or follows, or even that you’ll make it.  A lot of people don’t.  But I can say, just by trying, in the course of 30 desperately-undertaken days, you will accomplish a few frightfully wondrous things:

You will try something new.

It might not happen right away but, at some point, you’re going to get tired.  The 11th hour is going to click by, and your cat is going to be hungry-meowling, and the trees outside are going to be judging you, and your child is going to tell her teacher that you packed two sandwiches for her lunch accidentally because you think you’re a little pepper and you’re busy working with the big invisible dinosaur who loves you.  At that point, you will post something out of character.  It might be a gif post, or a poem, or words without pictures, or real pictures of you– and you know what?  It’ll be okay.  We’ll get to know you more in that hiccup than we did in the previous hundred posts.  It might not win you a Pulitzer, but it will be okay.

You will meet someone new.

The thing about the Poblanos is that it adds a family dimension to the entire project.  You will be constantly looking at a list of people who are going through the same struggle as you.  Some will be better writers.  Some will be funnier.  Some will have bigger audiences.

It won’t matter, though, because we’ll all be feeling the burn.

After walking through the fire together, it’s hard not to love each other.  We’re a team.  My Poblanos are my first point of contact for any activity I undertake– because I know they are committed to what they want, and to what they do.  No matter what they want, or why they do.

These are people I am proud to blog alongside.

You will read something new.

At least one of your team members, or one of our CheerPeppers, will catch your attention.  Oh, I don’t read blogs about cats that wear hats, you think.  What do I have in common with a expat blogger who makes bento platters? you think.  Give it time.  You’d be surprised what blogs touch your heart.

I mean, you’re here.  Did you ever think you’d be reading the words of a widowed ex-con who thinks she’s basically a dinosaur?

You will understand more.

As the expression goes, practice doesn’t make perfect.  Practice makes practiced.  And 30 days of straight, no-days-off, blogging will sharpen you and your style.  You’ll learn what floats and what sinks, what scents and what stinks.

You’ll pick up tricks from other bloggers– sites that help them do what they do, methods that help them stay organized.   You will find prompts that guarantee an audience year-round.  You’ll realize your own preferences about your own production of creativity.

You will learn.  It’s impossible not to.

trex

How are we doing on coffee? Need a refill.  Here you go.

Now, here are the things that I hear all the time about NaBloPoMo that I think are just– well, untrue.  I could be wrong, but here are my thoughts.

Myth: NaBloPoMo will make you a more disciplined writer.

In the same way that running from zombies makes you a more disciplined runner, yes.  This is about the mission, not about the structure.  If you forge a discipline from it, I am proud of you, and if you don’t– well, don’t let it get you down.

You proved that when you need to run, you can.
And you won’t even have to deal with zombies.

Probably.

Myth: NaBloPoMo link ups will bring you more readers.

In the same way that writing your number on people’s bumper stickers will get you more phone calls, yes.  This is a project that reaches across the globe and across every blogging platform.  More people will find their way to you.  If they are the sort you want, or what you need, well– that’s a whole ‘nother story, but don’t let it get you down.

This vastly increases the chance of finding your way to one excellent reader who loves you.

Believe me in this, one is worth millions.

Myth: NaBloPoMo is really serious.

It’s not.  Well, maybe it is, but being a part of NanoPoblano isn’t.  We have Cheer Peppers, but no Poblano Police.  The first year, we had people who missed a day in the first week.  We even had someone make it all month through and then just forget to post on the last day, not calling anyone out by name but she loves foxes, she’s awesome, and sometimes she runs through labyrinths with me.   All the Poblanos still loved her to pieces.  To pieces, I tell you.

Sometimes, I just posted a sentence or two.  It counts. It all counts.  In fact, my short NanoPoblano posts are what introduced me to the idea of occasionally posting 100 word posts that I now call the “Rarasaur 100”.  To offset 1500 word posts like this one. You know what they say– NanoPoblano is the mother of invention.

It’s about the commitment, and the want, and the why– not about the word count.

We have fun between the chaos, I promise, and — we get badges.
I want you to be part of it.
I know sharing the glory of this badge with you will be as fun as sharing this gallon of coffee with you has been.

nano poblano, nablopomo, little pepper, blog every day november

Speaking of which… are we all coffee’d out?
__________________________

Have you ever Pepper’d or participated in NaBloPoMo?  Share your fears, or your successes– let people know.  I know people wrote posts about their experiences.  If you have one, link it up.

Here’s one from me, not about my experiences, per se, but the post that makes me want to do this again: https://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/a-peppered-bbq/

Let’s talk. Arbitrary bonus points if you can make a NaBloPoMo or Pepper joke/pun.

Weekend Coffee Share via Part Time Monster.

103 Comments

  1. This is such a HOT idea I think I’m going to pepper out with you people. Plus I turn 35 on November 5, so I think this is an excellent way to celebrate… and as you know I’m trying to do a lot more of that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I fear I’ve been de-seeded, scraped back to the fleshy green. Where oh where is my spice? Sure, I’m still feisty, but I’ve lost my heat and passion for writing. I spend my days stretching out syntax before high school kids who frolic through comma splices like chili peppers frolic through salsa. I need my chutzpah back (a Yiddish Poblano?). I will try.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoot, since I’m doing the Guest Posting event I won’t be writing at all in November. I’m a Little pooper instead of a little pepper! But I’ll keep up with the reading side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slap a Poblano badge on each of them… the rule is the blog churns out a post a day, not a specific blogger. 🙂 Or, if you can squeeze a “Yay, go Peppers” post in, and commit to commenting on a couple posts regularly, you can be an official Cheer Pepper. Not that I’m nagging … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Poblano time!! Time to get jalapeño business! I’m on board. I want to write a series of articles on designing and building houses for large families. I think this milk get me started!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m still kicking myself for missing that last day! But I think I’ve decided to give it another go. 🙂 for realsies.

    And there’s no such thing as coffee’d out. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayyyyy! And yeah, there’s definitely no such thing as coffee’d out. As to that last day, it wasn’t even that important of a day. I just wanted to use an example of someone I love forever who is clearly a fab blogger who didn’t live or die by the pepper. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Who gets coffee’d out?? I’m in…I think. I’m writing a book next month after I publish this one I’m working on right now (which comes out on Oct. 30th!!) But, I have an idea how I can be a pepper too. I did it last year too and it was great fun and I got my first book out of it! So yay me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right. Coffee’d out is nonsense! 😀 I’m excited for your new book, and … “I got my first book out of it” is the best testimonial for NanoPoblano ever. So yay you, and yay us because we have you on our team! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Rara? I want a copy of the Nano Poblano badge to add to my blog to celebrate, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get it. Images are not my friends on the computer. Little help?

        Like

  6. I wish the best of luck to you and everyone who dares to do that, but, as always, I am out, since even one post each week is a struggle for me. I am sure that there are many other new things I could try that don’t require 2-4 hour daily commitment for a month. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do those other new things come with badges designed by the Official Fish of the Poblanos? I think NOT. 🙂 One day, X, I’m gonna suck you into this madness. You’re lucky that I’m so new to this whole free world thing that I’m not at my fulling nagging potential. 🙂 ❤

      Like

      1. No, unfortunately those new things usually don’t come with specially-designed badges. But then, if I did commit to daily posting, I wouldn’t have the time to put it on my blog anyway. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I had planned on dong this, but I remembered I have a wedding and a bridal shower going on in November that I am very involved in. Then I got scared, and now I am on the fence. sighs… and feeling a little overwhelmed. Life has been way busier than usual this last month and now I have a job Monday through Friday. Eeeek. I wish all who end up participating well. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well worst case, you could post your daily flowers on the days you can’t post words. There are blogs dedicated to less effort and beauty than all that.

      But, I love you to pieces either way, and I’m excited to see the amazing things you put together through November, Pepper or Not. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m thinking of doing NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately it falls into the same time as NaPoBloMo. Right now I’m more into noveling than blogging – it seems like something I must write, since some stories don’t want to let you go. Unfortunately there arn’t enough hours in a day for a working mother to do both. But I’ll probably do the a to Z challenge in April. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand, NaNoWriMo is a time commitment. I did that my first year blogging plus NaBloPoMo, and poetry month. I might have slept, but I don’t remember when. 😉 Good luck on your pursuits!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. For the first time, I have managed to bring in a sort of regularity in my blogging schedule. Thanks to the weekly photo challenges ( I have only skipped 2 this whole year, I think ), the year seems to have flown by and I didn’t even realize that the Nano month is coming. Until now, I hadn’t given it a thought. Now I am considering. But my track record of sticking to such commitments is extremely poor. And yes, I am terrified of failure. Making promises to myself and not fulfilling them is one thing. Announcing to the world ( well, the four people who read my blog, really, and that makes them *my world* ) and falling short is a very scary thought. But I think I will try. And I think might cheat 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Possible participants probably peek at past Pepper Postings preparing posts for Nano Poblano.

    Or they should.

    I may participating. I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The good thing about being a human, is that you’re allowed days where sentences don’t make sense. 🙂 And it doesn’t disqualify you from Pepperdom at all. 😀

      Like

  11. Ok, so I have no hope of being able to pull this off with a full-time job, elderly parents to dote on, a demanding cat, and a life that blew up 3 months ago, but you convinced me to give it a go. I’m in. How do I become a pablano-ite?

    Fearfully challenged
    C

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is there anything in particular I need to do, like include a link on each post or some such? Or do I just post everyday? Sorry, I’m in need of help … a little out of the loop, Rara. And my life is insane. What a year to choose to do this – but I’m hoping for great things and know that it’s time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s okay, I’ll be putting out a post in the next few days that should explain all the nuances! 😀

          As to crazy years and good things– that’s how good things happen. We make ’em happen! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m gonna be toast. Burnt toast with butter and strawberry-poblano jelly (delicious, yeah), but burnt toast just the same. I used to mock people who did this. Now I’m gonna be mockable burnt toast with butter and strawberry-poblano jelly. Oh, and coffee. Here’s to Bloody Awful Poetry… and toast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, 1, that sounds delicious. 2, “oh and coffee” is pretty much how us peppers function at all, 3, welcome!! I’m thrilled to have successfully nagged you on board. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I missed this because I was sick last week and didn’t visit coffee posts. I want to be a Pepper Person!! I started the blog 2 years ago during NaBloPoMo and didn’t do it last year, but I think this year I need to do it and get myself back on track again.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh Ra! You make me want to do this again. Well, not exactly “again,” as I’d never even heard of NaBloPoMo when I started doing it. I just … started. And then didn’t stop. For nearly 4 years. And then one day I just couldn’t anymore. For the last 3 years I’ve been on and off, more off than on.

    I’ve been feeling like I need to, though, to blog more, be more myself and more expressive than I have in the past.

    So, count me in with your Poblanos, sweetie. I would like to be a pepper too, lol. As long as I don’t have to actually eat any peppers. Never could stomach spicy stuff. 😉

    But coffee, oh yes, definitely more coffee! There is no such thing as “coffee’d out,” young lady! 😀 C]_[ (sorry, that’s how we used to make pixel coffee mugs, in the olden days)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have a dinosaur on one shoulder trying to convince me to do this this year, and a lazy nappy cat on the other shoulder telling me it’s a terrible idea that will make me hate my life (or make him hate my life because I will have one more thing to distract me from playing with him). You should add me to your list before he wakes up and has a chance to object.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I well wasn’t joining anyone for coffee two weeks ago, so I missed out on your very long but intriguing post here. I joined NaNoWriMo but this seems so interesting too. I’d love to join the fun, what do I have to do?

    Like

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