I’ve been blogging for (hard to believe) almost five years, as a way to chronicle, and sometimes just make sense of, life in general. A few years ago, I learned through the blogosphere about NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. Participants in this event commit, every November, to writing a blog post every day.
Every. Single. Day.
In even wackier news, November is also NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which people commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Or, in case you’re wondering, 1667 words each day.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Luckily, nobody commits to posting deep thoughts or producing great writing every day. Quality, for the month of November, is not near as important as quantity. You just dump it all out there and pretty it up later on. Some days, you cheat. The last year I participated was 2010, and there were plenty of days that I just posted a picture with a caption on my blog and then wrote 1667 words about how much I hated writing novels. Those weren’t my best days, but it worked.
I’m going to try both again this year, and I hope you’ll join me. Go to the websites linked above and sign up. . .you’ll find an entire online community, complete with funky badges, ready and waiting for you. Look me up on the NaNoWriMo site (farmerclaire) and be my virtual “writing buddy”. . .we can encourage each other. And if you’re someone who prefers real life face to face interaction, check the webpage for local kick-off parties and write-ins. It’s like a big month long party for geeky wannabe writer types. You are my people.
If you’re still wondering why in the world anyone would volunteer to do this, I can only offer my own reasons, which are:
1. Writing helps me think more clearly. I can certainly use help with that.
2. I think it would be nice, someday, to write professionally. It’s my dream profession, actually. Maybe it won’t ever happen, but writing as much and as often as possible is certainly the first step.
Sometimes, though, when there’s pressure to write so much in November and it’s just not working out, I get frustrated. And in the midst of my frustration, a couple of years ago, an old friend of mine left this comment on my blog:
“I saw this quote from author Lee Smith years ago, and cut it out. It sits on my desk, and goes a long way to explaining the piles of laundry and dirt in my house: ‘My advice for young women writers is just do it. Don’t wait for some ideal point in your life when you will finally have “time to write.” No sane person ever has time to write. Don’t clean the bathroom, don’t paint the hall. Write. Claim your time. And remember that a writer is a person who is writing, not a person who is publishing.'”
This, the support and love and encouragement from people who are trying too, is why you should join me if you have any inclination at all.