06 November 2007
NaBloPoMo? I mean... really?
Not only is November National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), it’s also National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Apparently.
Unsurprisingly, the person who started NaBloPoMo was inspired by Nanowrimo, and “thought there should be a blogging counterpoint,” according to wisegeek.com. Should there be? Should there really?
Insofar as there should be a 5K walk for every 10K run, perhaps. Just as there should be, for every kegstand, a dude standing in the corner sipping his Old Style.
But really? National Novel Writing Month has kicked my ass three years running. Even when I met the 50,000 word goal, Nano still kicked my ass, because it is hard. Writing 1,667 words a day to further some narrative – even if they’re stupid words, even if it’s a crappy narrative – is so hard. National Blog Posting Month says that all you have to do to “win” is post a blog entry every single day for a month. No length requirement. And while I’m sure you’d really have to push yourself to write a few sentences about your morning muffin and your fascinating yoga class (even on Sundays! they stress), the challenge just doesn’t compare, regardless of wisegeek.com’s claim that NaBloPoMo is actually *harder* than Nanowrimo, because you have to post something Every. Single. Day.
Ooooh, NaBloPoMo. A new picture of the kitty every single day? A new snarky post about the next NaSoAndSo every single day? That’s nearly impossible!
What’s fun about National Novel Writing Month is that it’s completely absurd. Write a 50,000 word novel in a month? Insanity! You go into Nano with the understanding that, even if you do manage to get 50,000 words in a month, it’s not going be a masterpiece. Quality isn’t the point. Nobody’s ever going to read your Nano novel. The point is to do it, to push yourself beyond your limits, beyond what feels comfortable, and achieve something you didn’t think you could do. Doing Nanowrimo is like running a marathon. You don’t have to run in perfect form, you don’t have to come in first or second or even in the top hundred. All you have to do is finish. The fun of Nanowrimo – like the fun of running a marathon (if there IS any; I certainly can’t imagine) – is looking to the people around you when you begin to lose heart, and knowing that there are 90,000 other people out there doing it with you, 90,000 other people putting on another pot of coffee, working their way through a tangled plot line, throwing in another ninja to spice things up. Part of the fun of Nano is complaining, and procrastinating in forums, and commiserating with other Wrimos about how hard it is.
NaBloPoMo? Not hard. So what’s the point? Why have a challenge that doesn’t challenge you? Why not sign up for National Brush Your Teeth Every Day month? National Get Dressed Every Day month? (“It might actually be harder than Nanowrimo, because you have to put clothes on your body Every. Single. Day!”)
There are people in this world who hate Nanowrimo with a deep, burning passion. These people believe that Nano “trivializes” writing and novels and writing novels. I don’t agree; I don’t think that Nanowrimo trivializes writing novels any more than kids playing T-ball trivializes the World Series. I don’t think that this NaBloPoMo hurts Nanowrimo any more than The Flying Spaghetti Monster hurts God. I mean, shit, you can make November whatever month you want it to be. I’ve attached at least three acronyms to it in the last week alone. Write 50,000 words, stop spending money at Starbucks, brush your teeth every single day. If you want to post pictures of the kitty every single day – even Sundays! – for the entire month, great! Do that! But for heaven’s sake, PoMoers, set the bar a little higher! Challenge yourself! Stretch! Set a goal you don’t know you can reach, and then work for it.
Or, you know, set yourself a lame goal. Feel free. Just don’t try to fancy it up with an acronym.