After 30 posts in 30 days, I am please to say I have successfully completed NaBloPoMo 2014.

My goals were to develop a more structured writing discipline and grow my blog. Check and check.

A daily writing session has been slotted neatly into my schedule and I plan to keep it there. Going forward this time allotment will be divided between UnPickled posts and other projects – a possible book series, two new blogs (TBA), and ongoing script development for The Bubble Hour. (In case “slotted neatly” gives you images of professional perfection, let me say I often write wearing pajamas before my morning shower, and my morning shower can easily be delayed until 1 pm if necessary.) This month of writing has been therapeutic, easing my transition from workaholic to semi-retired business owner. Participating in NaBloPoMo has helped me to look forward into the uncertain future and see exciting possibilities.

As for the goal of growing UnPickled’s reach, the daily stats have doubled and so have the numbers of subscribers. (Welcome all!) It appears that many of the new subscribers are educators, researchers, or industry professionals and it is exciting to think that our conversations about recovery are beginning to resonate further.  I do not benefit financially from this blog (oh, how I loathe “donation buttons” on personal blogs, no matter how apologetic or demure) but writing UnPickled supports my recovery through interaction with others, exposure to new ideas, and the challenge of creating meaningful posts.

Two “musts” for me during this project were to retain my point of view (recovery advocacy supporting various pathways) and to produce relevant content – no cat pictures or breakfast recaps (unless supportive of a sobriety-related message).  I like to think an idea through before writing it, and many days this month I sat down to the keyboard with nothing particular in mind but thankfully produced a good post nevertheless.

A few surprises came of this project, too.  The Nov 4th post “Are You a Recovery Hero” was featured by WordPress on  “Freshly Pressed”  – an honour some call “the holy grail of blogging”. That post was reblogged 22 times by other sites and the graphic has gone a little crazy on my Facebook page.  This is not my Sally-Field-You-really-like-me moment but a reflection of pure gratitude to have shared an old theory with a new twist in a way that is helping others understand recovery differently. I’m staying in gratitude, not ego. (Imagine how dreadful it would be if I posted a half-assed musing with detrimental mixed messages and THAT became widespread! Yikes.)

The survey experiment was fun and the results were powerful. Thank you to all who participated. Watch for more anonymous surveys in the future because clearly we all find it helpful to know more about our similarities and differences.

The best outcome of this month of blogging has been to hear from readers who have found my daily posts useful. I am humbled, honoured, and blessed to share this conversation with you. I am not an expert, but I am good at telling my story in a way that shows our shared truths. I learn so much from your feedback, and this is the beauty of blogging. A post merely presents a story or thought, and then the real magic happens as readers engage and explore further thoughts and possibilities. The comments are the best part of this blog.

Thank you for joining me on this 25,000 word adventure.

I’ll be back soon, although maybe not tomorrow.