What I Learned:
- Committing to a daily writing habit means it doesn’t matter how tired you are, how you feel, what else you’d rather be doing or whether you’ve been struck in the back of the head by inspiration. You just have to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and go.
- Sometimes you can force inspiration. Some of my favorite posts from the past 30 days are those I wrote on days when I swore I had nothing to write about.
- You learn more from writing what doesn’t work than from writing what does. I knew this already, but I’d forgotten. As I read back over a few of the posts from this past month, I cringe. As long as I can identify some of what caused the cringe factor and try to avoid it in the future, I learned something. I don’t really learn much from reading something I wrote and thinking “Hey, that’s not bad.”
What I Liked:
- The elimination of excuses for not writing. There’s often something easier to do than write. Instances where there’s something better to do are less frequent.
- Writing more means reading more. I was pretty consistently worried I wouldn’t have anything to write about the next day. I read more to help think about potential topics and have them in a mental queue. I clicked on more Twitter links, perused my bookshelf, picked up magazines. More reading = More writing
- The guaranteed break in the day. No matter how stressful a work day or chaotic the weather, I knew there would be at least a few minutes when I would stop and focus on something totally different.
What I Didn’t Like:
- On those days when no means of forced inspiration succeeded, I still had to post something. While the forced habit of writing daily is wonderful, sharing it with anyone who happens upon your link when it’s not really represenative of your writing is not. It also sometimes caused me to feel like I betrayed the spirit of my blog.
- We ate out far too often. We eat out a lot. That’s fair. Our higher than usual number of travel days contributed to this as well, but there were a few too many instances of justifying an extra meal out so I’d have something to write about. This wasn’t good for our budget or our waistlines. It’s time to get that under control again.
- Needing subject matter lends itself to negativity. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It’s more fair to say that when we had a negative experience, I still wrote about it because I needed the topic. Under regular circumstances, I probably would have just skipped it.
Overall, I’m glad I participated, but I’m unlikely to do it again. I’m happy to have proven that I could stick with it to the end and that’s enough for me.
Today marks another milestone in Thursday Night Bites. This is officially my fiftieth post. NaBloPoMo certainly accelerated my path to getting here, but I still can’t believe it. To mark the occasion, did I have a four star meal or visit a favorite restaurant? Nope. I was supposed go to a food tasting for my work Christmas party at the Columbia Tower, but there were a couple scheduling complications and we rescheduled for tomorrow night. In some ways, making a food tasting the focus of my fiftieth post would have been a tiny bit ironic. A food tasting, by definition, requires me to evaluate and critique the food. This is the very thing I set out not to do with Thursday Night Bites. Thursday Night Bites is all about the good food experience rather than being a pretend food critic. So, a bit more relief that this is not the food experience I’m telling you about tonight.
Instead, tonight I broke out the stovetop grill again. I think the gray outside is getting to me, but I just have no energy at all. Add my chronic insomnia to the mix and I’m left pretty zapped. I’d planned to attempt shrimp Po’ Boys tonight, but those will have to wait for another day when I’m feeling a little more up for it. I pretty much made a variation of the skewers from a couple weeks ago… minus the skewers.
I kept it super simple. We just ate them over rice. It was a near effortless dinner on this exhausted night.
And now… you won’t hear a word out of me until after Thursday night dinner!