“How do you have time to write?” – NaBloPoMo 2014

Tis the season for National Blog Posting Month, where I attempt to post every day for a month.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

After last year’s series of 30 posts, I wasn’t planning on doing NaBloPoMo again, considering how much my sleep and grades suffered. Here’s my personal reflection from day 30 last year.

I want to say that I’m feeling really proud of myself right now, but I’d be lying if I did. NaBloPoMo has noticeably hurt my grades and my health,  (I’ve lost at least 70 hours of sleep as a conservative estimate) and I’m pretty sure I’ve written at least one thing that I’ll regret later on. And what exactly do I get out of it? “Self-fulfillment?” (whatever that is.) A higher post count? A bunch of incomplete ramblings posted for the world to read? Nothing that’ll look good on college applications for sure.

However, I have a bunch of ideas that I want to write about, and I doubt they’ll come out without the motivation of NaBloPoMo. Recently, in the name of making “more complicated and longer posts,” I’ve been trying to tie together too many ideas that are only tangentially related, resulting in a loose clump of ideas that I don’t feel comfortable publishing. Hopefully, the pressure of a post a day will solve that problem.

People generally ask me how I find the time to write. Answer: I don’t.

I never have days where I think to myself, “Oh, looks like there’s nothing for me to do. Time to write a blog post.” There’s always something more urgent –homework, socializing, preparing for a math competition (ugh), or simply sleeping–than writing a blog post, but I know I won’t write unless I sacrifice something. It’s always more fun writing when you should be doing homework.

Paul Graham talks about this idea in “Good and Bad Procrastination,” where he argues that procrastination is good if you procrastinate by doing something more important. Ignoring busywork and doing real work is “good procrastination,” while mindlessly putting stuff off is “bad procrastination” I doubt blogging ranks higher in importance than schoolwork, but for this month it will. (Most likely, my sleep schedule will compensate for this.)

Same disclaimers as last year:

  • The day isn’t over until I say so. Depending on the situation, the day may start from midnight (like today), or it may be defined by when I go to sleep. (Also don’t be surprised if I change the times on these posts so they’re within the hours of the day.)
  • Because I’m going to be writing about whatever comes to mind, some posts may be password protected. My main reason for doing this is to know who’s reading each post (sucks for all you silent lurkers out there). I’ll probably tell you the password if you ask.
  • Motivation comes to me sporadically. That means that even though I may have the drive to complete NaBloPoMo today, that state may not hold a few weeks from today. A little extrinsic motivation would be nice, ahem.

To anyone reading, happy November, and here we go.

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