NaBloPoMo 2022 wrapped

National Blog Posting Month - affectionately known as NaBloPoMo - is a challenge in which participants write a blog post every day throughout November.

The idea is to help bloggers develop a consistent writing habit, and break away from perfectionist ideals that might otherwise prevent them from sharing their work.

I've just taken part for the second year running - here's a quick summary of what I wrote, and some reflections.

The blog posts

Like last year, I gave myself weekends off writing, and set myself a goal of writing every weekday.

I'm pleased to say that I hit my target, and am rounding off the month having written and published 22 new blog posts, including this one.

  1. National Blog Posting Month: day 1
  2. Should consistency be a goal of design systems?
  3. Why we need to test our content with marginalised users
  4. Tension: Relfections from leading Design Conference 2022
  5. It's OK
  6. Your Figma library is not a design system. So what?
  7. Cultivating design systems by bringing intention
  8. The case for jargon
  9. A complete list of the times when it's OK to use lorem ipsum instead of real content in your design work
  10. Inclusion doesn't come for free with open source software
  11. Building conscious design systems
  12. Making space for multiple truths: Reflections from FF Conf 2022
  13. I'm a design systems consultant and I'm fine with duplication of effort
  14. Dear male ego
  15. Notes on coffee
  16. Single source of whatever: reflections from this month's design systems open space
  17. Down with dogma
  18. Should design systems include problematic components and patterns?
  19. So, are you thinking of having kids?
  20. We document our design systems - why don't we systematise our documentation?
  21. A new barrier to communicating about design systems
  22. The one you're reading :)

The winners

Based on the amount of feedback, likes, shares and (whispers) clicks each post got, the one that people liked best by some margin was So, are you thinking of having kids?. I'm happy about this, since it was probably the scariest and most vulnerable piece of writing I've ever shared.

People also seemed to especially like Dear male ego, A complete list of the times when it's OK to use lorem ipsum instead of real content in your design work and We document our design systems - why don't we systematise our documentation?.

Lessons learned

  • Preparation is key. I did some work to get ahead last year with a list of topic ideas and drafts, and boy oh boy does it make a difference. Coming up with a new idea and starting from scratch every day is not for the faint-hearted.
  • I'm still a raging perfectionist. My perfectionist brain is very all or nothing, so I knew if I missed a day I would just give up altogether. I also didn't cut myself much slack in terms of quality. I put a lot of effort into most of the posts I wrote which leaves me happy with my output, but very, very tired.
  • It's been good to reboot my writing practice. Once again, I really enjoyed NaBloPoMo and I’ll do it again next year. (I’m also really glad it’s over for this year!) Doing the challenge has reaffirmed for me that I can and should write more in general. I often wait until I’ve got a really solid idea, and spend ages on it, and there’s something nice about just saying “I’m going to publish something today” and going for it.
  • No writer is an island. Writing (nearly) every day for a whole month is quite an undertaking, and I'm not sure I could do it without the support and encouragement of others. So a huge thank you to everyone who's taken the time to feedback on and share my posts - it really has made all the difference. Also a big thank you to Steve Messer for setting up a Slack support group for some of us taking part. Having a little accountability / cheerleading group really helped.

That's a wrap

I've loved writing every day, and I'm ready for a little pause now to let some new ideas bubble up and marinate.

This challenge is, for me, a brilliant reminder of the importance of balance.

It's wonderful to prove to myself that I can write consistently, when I put my mind to it. And I'm just as grateful for the opportunity now to slow down and invest time in some posts that need a bit more consideration.

Until next year, I bid my daily writing practice adieu.

I hope you've enjoyed reading along.