1) Blogging every day is hard.
This one is perhaps a little obvious. And no, I didn't think it would be easy. But I'm aware that there are some bloggers out there who do this regularly. Not just for a month, but all the time. And all I have to say is, wow! Kudos to them!
2) Sometimes I just need to sit down and do it.
Before NaBloPoMo, I pretty much only sat down to write when I had an idea of something I wanted to say. This month, I often sat down with no idea in my head at all. Really. Nada. I learned that if I stared at the screen long enough, something would come out. It wasn't always brilliant or pretty, but it was something. And I like to think that there may even have been a few gems among the dross.
3) It's good to push beyond my comfort zone.
Blogging is a risky business. We put our raw selves out there. Sometimes I'd write something and think "I don't know if I can publish that." And if it wasn't for NaBloPoMo, maybe I wouldn't have. But the clock would be ticking and I'd be feeling the pressure to get something up, so I'd hit that "publish" button anyway. Some of those posts were the ones that readers most connected with.
4) It's not always about adoption, but often it is.
I started out with the goal of not just writing every day but of trying to tie each post to my focus on adoption issues and to the monthly theme of "return." I didn't quite accomplish that goal. Some days, I found I needed to widen my focus beyond adoption, and that's OK. In fact, it's something I may want to continue, though adoption will remain the dominant theme woven through most of my pieces. Also, even when my writing's not about adoption, it still kind of is.