You might, if you’re worryingly observant, have noticed that the little word counters at the bottom of each post don’t seem to be going up in chronological order. That’s because some posts get scheduled and others I publish straight away, and I pop the word count on a post as soon as I’ve finished writing it. What happens to a post depends solely on the feverish whims of my Barry’s Gold Blend-addled mind.
I noticed this morning that I’ve started to rate all of my ideas by how worthy they are for public consumption. Normally I’d post some things, journal others, and not see any hierarchy between the two. Now, though? I’ve got words to get through and journaling that can’t get posted just plain won’t cut it. I’m curious as to whether this will ease off after a few days or weeks.
WordPress is cruel. Here I am, writing away, and my eye is inevitably drawn to the list of possible Related Articles down the bottom of the screen. I may be poised to hit ‘Publish’ until I click on one or three or six of them. And then I’ve no choice but to read ’em all and pick my favourites for you lot. If it weren’t for drafting all of these articles over at 750 Words, I’d get nothing done.
How do people remember to do anything else? In my experience, there are two ways a person can feel when they’re writing. There’s the not-good one, where you’re staring at a sheet and wondering what the hell to put on it with a deadline or a word count looming over you. And then there’s the other one. The one that’s the reason why we do this thing. Where you’re made of nothing but ideas and words, and where you can’t so much as pop out for a glass of water without another one showing up. It’s a wonderful way to be, but it sure does mess with your ability to do anything else. You get swept away in what you’re doing and little things like the time of day escape you completely. On a similar note..
I think this WriMo business may be enabling my inclination to spend all day sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a laptop. How on earth does a person do this thing and not end up welded to the couch by the end of it? Will I end up forgetting to dress and wash myself entirely and by the end of the month be sitting caked in my own filth in a pile of teacups? Maybe I should get one of those walking desks. You know. These ones:
Yesterday evening, after a long day’s writing and posting, I noticed something down the bottom of my Dashboard. It was WordPress telling me that NaBloPoMo is here, and offering all sorts of inspirations. It turns out that, entirely unsurprisingly, I’m not the only blogger to jump on the WriMo bandwagon. Huzzah! Nothing like a great big source of moral support and procrastination to make my day.
By the way also- if you fancy doing a blog WriMo and my ideas about 50k and whatnot seem intimidating, there are totally loads of people who’re taking the month as a time when they’ll write a post a day. There’s no need to worry about word counts if you’re not as mentally masochistic as the likes of me. And yeah yeah, it’s the 2nd today, but shure just throw a couple of posts up today and I promise I won’t kick you off the bandwagon. As bandwagons go it’s lovely and comfy, and there’s plenty tea and coffee ’round the back. While I’m happy to hop on the NaBloPoMo wagon, though, I’m still going to call what I’m doing BloggyWriMo.
Your friendly blogger is just a teensy, weensy bit miffed.
So here we are on the internet. It’s a lovely place, mostly. I mean, there’s a fair bit of it that’s dodgy, there’s definitely areas where you’ll need a bit of eye bleach, and yes, some of the denizens are pretty damn unpleasant. But nobody’s making you go to the Land Of Things That Cannot Be Unseen and I do my best to make this little corner as pleasant as I can.
I’m here on the internet on my sofa in a quiet Dublin suburb. Next week I’ll be WriMo-ing from Glasgow, where I’ll be visiting my ridiculously fantastic girlfriend. Week after I’ll be off in Cork giving a few workshops for Pink Training. I’m not sure where you are, of course, but according to my stats page I get readers from all over.
And here’s where I get smooshy.
That’s one of my favourite things about the internet. I know it’s tacky. But I think that having intercontinental conversations on a daily basis is one of those fantastic things that reminds me that I’m really-really living in a future full of mars robots, cats on roombas and a vaguely decipherable Google Translate. The internet is why I get to sit down in front of my free videophone with a cup of tea and a pile of knitting and catch up with a friend a couple of time zones away.
So why on earth are we describing our worldwide Internet-culture phenomena as national? I hate to have to remind people of this, but the internet doesn’t just stretch from one end of the US to the other. Even this little English-speaking corner is made up of an absolute shedload of different countries and cultures all over the planet. Just because USians are a lot less likely than the rest of us to travel overseas is no excuse for forgetting that the rest of us are here. Right here. Gettin’ all up in your WriMo.
NaNoWriMo (and NaBloPoMo) are no more national than the rest of the internet. A quick scan through the NaNo page shows chapters in places as far apart as Brazil, Brisbane, Russia, Quebec, Iceland, Kenya and, yes, several right here in Ireland. This is one hell of a global phenomenon, and I wonder why we’re specifically not celebrating that in the name.
As for me, I’m gonna celebrate the hell out of being one of hundreds of thousands of people devoting a month to creating for the sheer hell of it. I think- and yes, I’m going to get a little mushy here- that the fact that people all over the world do this is a testimony to how this fantastic internet of ours isn’t just for trolls and dodgy porn. It’s also this amazing tool that we use to communicate some of the most universally wonderful things that we do. Like imagination, creativity and communication.
And that’s why, despite it being a far less sensible-sounding name than NaBloPoMo, I’m still going to call this thing I’m doing BloggyWriMo. It’s a month when I’m writing the hell out of this blog, and in turn reading the hell out of as many others as I find. This mushy idealist has no time for verbal borders. To hell with ‘national’.
What do you think? Am I being way too quibbly for my own good? Or are you with me?
Coming up to NaNoWriMo as we are, I’m very aware of the fact that I don’t NoWri. I’ve never been one for making up stories. It’s something I admire greatly, the way that someone who can’t hold a note loves listening to great singers. So every November I watch all of the people who are good at making up stories making up their stories, and I think about how that is one hell of an awesome thing to do.
But while I don’t NoWri, I do appear to do a fair bit of BlogWri-ing. So in the spirit of the month, I’ve been thinking that I’d like to see if I can crank out 50k words of bloggitude throughout next month. I started thinking about this a few days ago. Then I mentioned it on my Facebook. Then I kept thinking about it. And as with most things I can’t stop thinking about, I decided that it’d be unlikely to actually kill myself or anyone else, so I might as well give it a go. Shure how bad can it be, like*? I think it’d be fun!
30 days. 50,000 words. Public.
I came up with some rules:
The only words that count are the ones I post publically. I can journal as much as I like, but it doesn’t go toward my word count unless I post it in my blog. Everything I write must at least get linked to from the Tea Cosy.
I can start thinking of ideas before November, but I can’t actually put posts together. No drafts, nada.
The only words that count are those that I write after I wake up on the morning of November 1st. None of this midnight malarkey. As a bit of a night owl, November starts when I wake up on the 1st and ends when I go to bed on the 30th.
Words can be about anything, privacy of people who aren’t me notwithstanding. It’s published words. Vlogs count, as long as I transcribe them. This is because I’d like to get back into that, and it’d be a nice change from walls of text.
Only my words, though. I don’t get to quote great big paragraphs of text and have that count. All that counts is what I write myself.
I don’t have to post the same amount every day, but I really should post something daily.
Oh, and if by some delightful happenstance I manage to get myself an excellent job which starts before the end of November and takes up oodles of my time, I am not allowed to feel bad if I need to quit or to tone it down. Because this is an awesome thing that I really want to do, but I get to prioritise awesome things that pay the bills over those that don’t.
Oh god oh god HELLLLLPPPPP
What I have dubbed BloggyWriMo** is, by the way, one of the main reasons you haven’t seen any posts from me this week. Any ideas I’ve had for blog posts have been squirrelled away onto draft titles and idea scribbles in notebooks. Because- not that this actually happens much at all- there is little scarier than having no idea what to write about.
I’ll be looking to talk about everything and anything. And everything in between. If there’s a topic you’d like to see what I have to say on, this is the time to let me know! I’m up for having a go at pretty much anything I know the slightest bit about. If there’s things I used to write about that I’ve forgotten about, topics you wish I’d talk about more, tell me! If, on the other hand, you want me to talk about something less… you might want to look elsewhere until at least December. Fair warning.
Oh, and if any of you want to join me in this challenge, or have your own writing challenges you’d like to give yourself, do share ’em! Nothing like a bit of solidarity in these things.
I think that’s about it? I AM SO NERVOUS! See y’all on Thursday for Day 1 of Consider The Tea Cosy’s BloggyWriMo!
*as the person said right before they took on something that turned out to be far harder than they thought it’d be.
** Is this a Thing that people do? Is there a proper name for it?