In Good Company

11 Nov

I wasn’t going to do NaBloPoMo this year. I did my own antisocial rogue version with Speaker7 last year, and remember thinking that I’d rather have my arm sawed off by a butter knife than do it again. When it rolled around this year, Speaker7 sent me a very threatening “do NaBloPoMo or you’re dead” e-mail. That, coupled with Rarasaur’s crazed enthusiasm over literate chili peppers, convinced me to give it another go.

I’m pretty sure this is the slippery slope that leads to people finding themselves in cults. I’ve somehow managed to narrowly escape that fate all of these years. The only cult I belong to is the one which worships Jack in the Box tacos.


Writing a post every day is hard, especially for someone like me who was averaging one post a month. I’d like to say that I was off saving Wall Street bankers from the hard lives they lead, but in reality I was spending that time eating Totino’s Pizza Rolls, and watching reruns of Frasier.

Despite my difficulty in coming up with Nobel Prize-winning lines like, “There was a moment when we both had to acknowledge that my labia was just chillin’ like a villain,” I’ve actually enjoyed it more this year. This is because I decided to stop being such a hermit, and actually get involved in a few NaBloPoMo communities.

Not a Nobel Prize, but at least my abs look good

Not a Nobel Prize, but at least my abs look good

When I joined the good people at Yeah Write, BlogHer and Team Poblano, I didn’t think I’d really get much out of it. I thought it would be nice to know who was suffering alongside me, but I didn’t see that it would:

  • Increase my traffic
  • Increase my follower count
  • Force me to write readable things regularly
  • Allow me the opportunity to meet a lot of really great people
  • Put blogs on my radar that I wish I had been reading all along
  • Get me Freshly Pressed for the second time in my blogging career

All of this because I decided to go out and get involved.

You don’t have to wait until NaBloPoMo rolls around next year, there are plenty of communities to join all year long. You’ll be surprised at how putting yourself in good company raises the bar on your writing.

I’ve already vowed to never do NaBloPoMo again mostly because I’m not sure my readers want to be inundated with what I write. But as the season for it rolls around, I know I’ll agree to doing it again. My reruns can wait, but the opportunity to grow as a writer can’t.

74 Responses to “In Good Company”

  1. The Hook 11/12/2013 at 2:41 pm #

    The world is yours, Jen.
    Please be a benevolent ruler, okay?

  2. Aiming for Simplicity 11/12/2013 at 4:10 am #

    I found you via NaBloPoMo…and think you are pretty funny….it’s nice to know I’m not the only slightly mad person out there!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 5:02 pm #

      NO! There are more of us out there. If you hang around this blog enough you’ll see all of my readers are crazy.

  3. elinwaldal 11/11/2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Your blog is one if the gifts in all this insanity. Agree with your thoughts on the experience-I seem to vacillate between wanting to never blog again and thinking I could never miss a day again. The past few days my community involvement part has been MIA, need to dive back in. Anyway, glad you decided to do it.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Likewise! I have the exact same thoughts. I’m on a high, but some nights I want to pull my hair out. The people I’ve met (like you!) keep me going.

  4. Robbie 11/11/2013 at 9:48 pm #

    I’m so glad you joined the hordes as I would never have found you if it weren’t for Yeah Write, Also I LOVE me some Frasier.

  5. Elyse 11/11/2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Oh, I’m wishing I had stupidly signed up for this instead of NaNoWriMo. Because failure is easier when you can write blog posts about it.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:58 pm #

      HA! Yes it is. Of course, you’ll have a full length novel if you finish.

  6. rachelocal 11/11/2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Such good thoughts. If only America’s Next Top Model wasn’t so intriguing…

  7. shalilah2002 11/11/2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I’ve been away because I’ve been dabbling in writing for another site. It’s sort of like growing and taking a risk. It may never be published.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:55 pm #

      That’s excellent. I don’t think we need to do NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriNo to be legitimate. As long as you push yourself!

  8. shreejacob 11/11/2013 at 3:46 pm #

    I’m glad you did take part! I really enjoy reading your posts and thank you too for dropping by my blog and reading the posts there too!
    Congratulations on being FP 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Absolutely! I’ve gotten to read so much great, new material which is really the best part.

  9. daniheart21 11/11/2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I am pretty excited and scared at the same time, but so glad I am doing this. I just got back from my trip and now it’s time to play catch up. I love all your posts Jen. xo

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Isn’t the challenge great? I can’t believe you managed to take a vacation in the middle of it!

      • daniheart21 11/12/2013 at 5:23 pm #

        Well I didn’t have a choice it had already been planned and paid for… I was really stressed over it. lol

  10. Erica M 11/11/2013 at 1:53 pm #

    So glad to hear you’re having fun with us over at yeah write. We love our new writers and readers and (challenge grid) voters, so please make yourself at home. Thanks for the shoutout!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:46 pm #

      I wish I hadn’t waited so long to join the Yeah Write community! Once NaBloPoMo is over, I will definitely be hanging out there more often. What you do is great.

  11. Psychobabble 11/11/2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I enjoy what you write, and so I keep coming back.
    I struggle to keep up with writing, and feeling in the mood to write.
    During a month like this, what things do you do to step it up?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 4:45 pm #

      Funny, I read this comment after I read your amazing post on sadness. You definitely have the chops, but I completely understand not wanting to do it at times.

      The secret is that I have to post something. The challenge of it keeps me motivated, and I finally start working on some things I wrote down months ago.

  12. mytwistedroad 11/11/2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Sounds like you have to stab Speaker7 with that butter knife. Sorry! I hate his guts already. You can’t rush creativity!

    Ohhh, I love “Jack in the Crack” tacos, too! 🙂

    • mytwistedroad 11/11/2013 at 12:38 pm #

      I thought most people wrote to express their thoughts and creative writing. Apparently, there’s a Blogger’s Mafia! Really?

      • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 12:37 am #

        Blog Mafia ain’t no joke. You’ll sleep with the fishes if you cross them.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 12:37 am #

      Who doesn’t love those tacos? They are a gift from heaven.

  13. Maggie O'C 11/11/2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Just look at you go! Nice FP, much-deserved on that post.

  14. philosophermouseofthehedge 11/11/2013 at 11:49 am #

    A post a day. Pretty impressive. Maybe someday…but I’d have to simplfy what I do, and keeping up with comments / reading other blogs might be a nightmare ( I try to read one day, write another). But very impressed you manage so well. Congrats on Fresh Pressed!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 12:36 am #

      The comments are really what takes a lot of time. I like to answer every single one, although I know some people don’t because they can’t. I say whatever works for you!

  15. cynkingfeeling 11/11/2013 at 11:07 am #

    I vowed never to do the Blogging A to Z Challenge again. I really hated it. I love NaBloPoMo, though. I think that the community seems less forced.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:36 am #

      A to Z sounds much tougher because of the restriction of the letter. It’s hard enough to come up with topics anyway. And yes, I love the “less forced” aspect of it as well. It’s why I don’t think I’d do well with the word quota for NaNoWriMo.

  16. Carrie Rubin 11/11/2013 at 10:07 am #

    I don’t think I could pull it off. Coming up with a blog post daily would be difficult. Plus, I don’t know how you’re managing to keep up with all these comments! Oops, just gave you another one… 😉

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:34 am #

      The comments are actually the hardest part of it. I’m so happy people come here and read my writing, and at this stage in my “blogging career” I am committed to answering everyone.

      Also, I totally think you could do it. You’re a really great writer, and I bet you could pump out more than you think you can.

      • Carrie Rubin 11/11/2013 at 12:04 pm #

        Just too lazy, I think. It’s remarkable how I can be so driven and yet so lazy at the same time… 😉

  17. rarasaur 11/11/2013 at 10:05 am #

    YAY! I love communities. We’re so much more awesome in hordes. Just like zombies. I’m so glad you went along for the NaNo ride with the rest of us peppers!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:33 am #

      It has been a GREAT experience this year, and I know it’s because of the communities. Sharing is caring!

  18. NotAPunkRocker 11/11/2013 at 9:40 am #

    Congrats on the FP! I had just started blogging last year when I did this, so I count this as my first real committed NaBloPoMo…not sure if it will also be my last. Ask me again in a few weeks.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:33 am #

      Wow, that’s brave to do NaBloPoMo right after you started blogging. I had been doing it a full year before I tried it last year.

      • NotAPunkRocker 11/11/2013 at 12:06 pm #

        Well, it wasn’t the full experience with Yeah Write or BlogHer. Just me writing and tagging posts but not linking back. This definitely has been an eye-opener, so I am glad I committed.

  19. E. 11/11/2013 at 9:31 am #

    When NaBloPoMo first kicked off, I had a huge spike in readers/followers, and then that dipped way back down. But aside from that, I’ve had approximately the same experience with this month so far.
    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed, by the way. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:32 am #

      Are you linked up through BlogHer, Yeah Write and/or Team Poblano? Have you tried meeting people outside of your grid? I did that, and I’ve met a lot of great people that way too.

      • E. 11/11/2013 at 11:35 am #

        Yep, I’m linked up to those three. Unfortunately, I get a little overwhelmed when it comes to the grid, so I think as I tinker around more I’ll figure it out.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:37 am #

          I definitely understand the overwhelming aspect of it. I’d say browse through a few of the blogs, see which ones you like, and form “friendships” that way.

  20. Jennie Saia 11/11/2013 at 9:27 am #

    You’ve got me thinking about doing it next year! Any idea why they do it in November? It’s always a hugely busy month for me, somehow.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:31 am #

      I read that some guy started it in July 1999 as somewhat of a joke. It was just him and his friends who participated that year. They moved it to November the next year to “take advantage of the miserable weather” and it just took off from there.

      November is also a sucky month for me. Some people prepare a few posts beforehand to give themselves a little wiggle room if they get busy. Those people are smarter than I am because I always just wing it.

      • Jennie Saia 11/11/2013 at 11:43 am #

        I never manage to do posts in advance, either. I have always been a “do it the night before the deadline” kind of girl. Major props to you for tackling this, then – perhaps even more so, since you really are writing every day, instead of just posting prepared things!

        • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:55 am #

          We have the same style of writing. I wait until a couple of hours before I’m supposed to go to bed, and then type something up. Who are these people who plan stuff in advance? (cough Le Clown cough)

          • Jennie Saia 11/11/2013 at 12:08 pm #

            cough *Can you believe that guy?!* cough

  21. speaker7 11/11/2013 at 9:26 am #

    I believe my threat was very loving. I did add “love, Speaker7” at the end of it. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:26 am #

      You did. Also, that picture of your left nipple helped.

  22. Twindaddy 11/11/2013 at 9:20 am #

    Idk…having to choose between pizza rolls and blogging is a tough decision. Luckily if you’re good, you can do both at once. Sadly, I haven’t quite mastered it yet.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:25 am #

      If this sauce on my keyboard is any indication, neither have I.

      • Twindaddy 11/11/2013 at 11:36 am #

        I’ll keep practicing. That’s the only way I’ll get it right.

  23. Edee Lemonier 11/11/2013 at 9:11 am #

    ps… when I saw the picture of the Jack-in-the-Box tacos I thought “What’s wrong with that?” Then I read. I am also a member of that cult. Oh wait. Are we allowed to talk about taco club openly? Did I just admit to being easily distracted by the pictures before actually reading? Oops!

  24. Edee Lemonier 11/11/2013 at 9:08 am #

    I was sort of talked into NaBloPoMo and I feel the same way. The best thing is that I’ve connected with some pretty fabulous people in the blogosphere. I know people who read blogs regularly and I always wonder how they found them. So this was a great way for me to find blogs that aren’t full of… okay, hang on. I was going to say “crazy people,” but that’s exactly what I love. But I think you know what I mean. There’s crazy people aka “My Peeps” and then there are total wackos.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/11/2013 at 11:24 am #

      When I first started WordPress, I somehow found myself in the depressing corner of it. There’s a distinct difference between venting and sharing, and wallowing in self-pity. I was reading the latter of the two. As time has gone, and especially with NaBloPoMo this year, I’ve found a plethora of articulate, funny, big hearted writers.

      • nobodysreadingme 11/12/2013 at 2:29 am #

        Some definite wackos out there, Jen, as Edee says. An awful lot of self pity. And a lot of genuinely talented and warm-hearted people.

  25. nobodysreadingme 11/11/2013 at 9:04 am #

    I didn’t commit to NaBloPoMo since with upwards of 700 posts in 15 months I’d have had to cut production. Anyway, I think people are suffering from shellshock on my blog.

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