Wrapping Up National Blog Posting Month 2023

Day 30 of National Blog Posting Month #NaBloPoMo

We made it! I tasked myself with writing 30 posts in 30 days for National Blog Posting Month, and somehow I just about managed it (well, including this post — yes, I cheated!). So, what have I learned?

Let yourself off the hook

Paradoxically, giving myself an off-ramp right at the beginning made me push myself harder. In the first post I had already set myself up with reasons (excuses) why I might not complete the task of posting every day for a month. I let myself feel comfortable with the idea that trying was the main thing, and that I wasn’t competing with anyone. Somehow that made me even more determined not to miss a day. I’m at my best when I’m only competing with myself.

Anything can spark an idea

That’s not to say it wasn’t hard at times. There were days when I definitely struggled to think of a topic worthy of posting about, or to put my ideas into words. But, as I wrote on day 23, a blog topic can be just about anything. I kept a list of interesting things I’d read or seen, and dipped into those on days when I wasn’t feeling very original.

I also gave myself permission to keep posts short and sweet, some of them more like journal entries with half-formed ideas. I created a new category for demos on my blog, which helps me feel more comfortable with the idea of posting a quick demo with minimal explanation. Previously I often felt the pressure to accompany those kind of code experiments with a full tutorial.

Writing helps with thinking

I’ve always got a lot out of the process of writing, but this is the first time I’ve really paid attention to how writing helps with the thinking process, sparking a chain of thoughts and ideas. Quite often I’d start a post thinking I would just write a few lines, but it ended up being much longer and the act of writing kicked off the thought process and helped clarify ideas.

No room for perfection

If I waited until all my posts were perfect before I published them, I’d never publish anything. It’s OK to make mistakes and go back and correct yourself later, or extend and add to posts. (It’s also fine to leave them well alone!) But publishing every day for a month meant I absolutely did not have time to let my perfectionist tendencies take over. Sometimes I had to grit my teeth and resign myself to publishing something that I knew wasn’t as polished as it could have been. This was one of the hardest parts.

Write for yourself

I love it when my writing benefits others, but first and foremost I write for myself. The process of writing helps embed coding tips and techniques and gives me a chance to explore new APIs and specifications outside of a work context, which gives me freedom to play and discover. And this blog provides me with a lasting trove of reference material from my past self that I can’t get any other way.

I haven’t been sharing many of these posts on social media, partly because I don’t want to spam people, and partly because many of them do feel like journal entries. I’m not sure if anyone would want to read them, and I’ve been mansplained a few too many times recently, which I don’t really have the energy to deal with. But writing without the pressure to share on social media and chase engagement has been quite freeing. It reminds me why I do it.

The discipline required to write every day for a month has helped me build a writing habit, and while I don’t plan to continue with it every day going forward, I do hope I’ll publish more regularly.

That’s a wrap

If you’ve been following along, then thank you! I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, and maybe learned a thing or two, or sparked a few ideas of your own.

Here are all the posts, in order:

  1. National Blog Posting Month
  2. Update on the COP28 Website
  3. Messing About with CSS Gradients
  4. Code Gardening
  5. Owning Your Web
  6. Leaving Twitter Behind
  7. (Don’t) Mind the Gap
  8. Handling Null, Undefined and Zero Values in JavaScript
  9. NaN or Not a Number?
  10. CSS Nesting is Here
  11. Stop Using AI-Generated Images
  12. Programming as a Craft
  13. Better Vue Application State Management with Vuex Modules
  14. Radial Gradients and CSS Trigonometric Functions
  15. The Joy of Lists
  16. Using Flow Diagrams to Manage State in Complex Applications
  17. Thoughts on UX Engineering
  18. Drawing Raindrops with CSS Gradients and Masks
  19. A Fun CSS Text Effect
  20. Reality Check: A Series for Building Real Layouts
  21. Scroll Timeline Parallax Effect
  22. Choosing a Green Web Host
  23. What to Blog About When You Don’t Know What to Blog About
  24. Why You Should Hold Onto Your Devices For Longer
  25. Preventing Scroll “Bounce” with CSS
  26. You Have Something to Say That’s Worth Hearing
  27. Kicking the Excessive JavaScript Habit
  28. Oh No, Overflow!
  29. Hide and Debug Empty Elements with CSS
  30. Wrapping Up National Blog Posting Month 2023

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  • @michelle I somehow missed it was National Blog Posting Month but next year for sure. Very impressive, well done!

    - Robb Knight
  • @robb Thank you! I’m not sure if I’ll do it again next year, ask me again in a year ????

    - Michelle Barker
  • @michelle Nice! On one side I think "I'd love to try this" but then I know the pressure of completing would not make it enjoyable for me ????

    - Ricard Torres
  • @michelle Well done!! That is so impressive!!

    - Ana Rodrigues