The first week of NaComLeavMo has ended and I have to confess it's been harder than I anticipated. I think the following doodle best expresses my current feelings:
214 bloggers answered Stirrup Queens' call and signed on to submit 5 comments a day as well as return one comment a day during their regular blogging program. I, in all my nerdyness, created an excel document to track my progress. At the end of Week 1 I'm barely holding my own. If you miss a day you are allowed to "catch up" the next day by doubling your comments. I did miss a day last week because I was getting overwhelmed with reading and commenting. However if 6 comments can overwhelm me you can imagine what happened when I had to face 12 the next day.
Don't get me wrong I'm enjoying the event. I've found new blogger friends; read some fascinating (and heart breaking) posts, and have really and truly enjoyed the comments people have been kind enough to place here. I think my problem stems from my natural conversational style. As I mentioned here and here, I'm not good at small talk. I can do it, in a pinch, if I really have to, but I don't usually enjoy it and I can't shake the feeling that I'm a little off. Relatedly I'm not much of a flirt either.
There are some topics I can chit-chat about more than others. Motherhood being one of them, followed by work and martial arts. After that I'm pretty much left with the weather. Even with motherhood, however, I find it harder and harder to go back to the baby/young children small talk now that Boy is really a man.
Stirrup Queen started this event because, as she aptly put it
Comment leaving is an integral part of blogging. Without comments, blog posts are as flat as...Flat Stanley. Blogging is a conversation.
I agree whole-heartedly and I started blogging because I wanted to get into the conversation. However to meet my numbers I find myself struggling with "small talk" comments. I also feel rude if I don't return all the comments left here and I have not been able to keep up with that either.
FSP has a interesting post reflecting on her two years of blogging. She mentions that she doesn't and has never done memes, tags or other internet "reindeer games." I respect her decision and love her posts but it does seem to me that these games, as well as inter-blog links and all comments (from chit-chat to debate to supportive hugs) serve a purpose beyond just conversation--that of building community. And community is about sharing--good news, sad stories, and daily life.
So I'll continue to muddle through, trying for my 6-a-day, and I hope you'll excuse my sometimes awkward comments.