Friday, September 24, 2010

On NaBloWriMo

I know, I know. You think I've used that title before. You may be right. You may be wrong. It doesn't really matter.

NaBloWriMo is not a misspelling of NaNoWriMo. NaBloWriMo is NaNoWriMo's slightly less famous but much more cute baby brother. It's a WriMo that takes place in October - but instead of being all about writing a novel, it's all about writing a blog. Every day, one blog post.

Last year I nailed it. I was the super-blogger that managed to stay on track despite travelling across the American continent (and later the Atlantic ocean), being sick, being homesick, being happy (which can also be an obstacle, mind you) and other such big or small events that could have taken focus away from blogging.

This year, however, I meant to ignore the whole thing. October is the last month of active writing on my thesis. Come November and all I'll be doing in order to keep to my schedule is fixing footnotes and checking comma rules. Thus October will go a little something like this for my part: UÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆ!

To spare me from cracking completely, I have tried to cut down on my responsibilities. I have notified my fellow Burrowers that I will not be blogging over there for a while. I am hardly participating in our October drabble project. I have not seen my friends for weeks, and I don't expect to be doing so for another two months (official thesis deadline: November 19th. Then there is just the "small" matter of the oral exam after that). I don't clean my house, I don't cook dinner, I buy new clothes instead of washing the old ones. I'm only exaggerating a bit.

So, why in the world did I let the lovely Heather (of I'm Not Hannah - you'll be sorry for a decade if you don't read her blog as it is awesome) talk me into participating in an event that requires blogging every day for the month of October?

I don't have a clue. I do have a parrot that sings show-tunes. But that is besides the point.

If I am to guess, I'd say there are three reasons why I am participating in NaBloWriMo this year:

1) I am crazy.

2) I am crazy.

3) I had a lot of fun last year, I found a lot of great new blogs, and it gave me an incentive to keep blogging in a formative phase of my giraffability. I am in another one of those formative phases now. I fully expect that at some point this fall I will all apart and declare that I just can't keep blogging right now. Last time I did that, I went for over a month without posting a thing. I don't really want to go there again. My twice a week schedule has been good to lean on these past few weeks when I've been in disarray over chapter five that just. Wouldn't. Work. Blogging have distracted me when I needed to, but I haven't posted often enough to get distracted when I didn't need it. With NaBloWriMo I have to be a little bit distracted every day, but there is no limit as to how long I must stay distracted. Thus I probably will post the occasional "this is not a post but I just needed to write one sentence to stay on track" this October*. The quality of each post is likely to suffer. But I will stay in touch with my blog. And in the end, if I don't, then I'll just be another NaBloWriMo drop-out. It's not the end of the world.
Plus I'm crazy.

So. I'm trying this. It's a great experience (particularly if you're not in the finishing stages of a master's thesis), and I would encourage all of you to join in, or at the very least check out some of the participants over at

* In fact, I am already cheating. I have scheduled one-sentence posts for about half of October, all of them set to post at 8 AM (my time). Some of these posts I will make sure to edit - either by expanding so that the one-sentence post eventually turns into a multiple-sentence post - or by removing the sentence altogether. Occasionally, however, I won't have time to edit the posts, and if you stop by my blog at 8 AM (again, my time) in the morning, all the post will say is "I am alive". For instance. Because that is a sentence.

If the "edit if I can, skip edit if I can't"-scheme is working out, I will probably continue doing this all through October. If I don't I will probably fall off the blog wagon for a while. Either way it will only be for a limited time, and the second I am off the thesis-wagon, I am getting back in blogging shape. I can't wait to share stuff about Christmas shopping mania at work and gingerbread houses at home... (December - I miss you!)


Jennifer Hillier said...

Go for it! I'll be rooting for you!

M.J. Nicholls said...

What you really need is MaTheWriMo. Get that thesis done in a month. And academics never check footnotes. Fact. (I used to include fake references to fake books in my academic essays and my marks were high. Hahahahaha! I am a subersive! Hahaaha!)

Good luck!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You go for it and good luck


Cruella Collett said...

Jennifer - yay! Good to have someone back me up :)

Mark - YES! That is what I need! Though in earnest, most of it IS written by now. I'm just... fixing things.
And history professors DO read footnotes. In fact, my supervisor EDITS every single one if she thinks it should say "p." instead of "page"...

Yvonne - thank you :)

Jen said...

You can do it! I'll be here watching the whole time. I've never heard of this, I did just sign up for Nano this year, and for blogging I blog M-F, but if you're talking about weekends as well, that's dedication, I don't think I could keep up!

Good luck!

The Golden Eagle said...

You can do it! I know you can!

Jules said...

Well at least you have a valid for reason for not cleaning your house, buying new clothes and not seeing friends. :)

You go girl, we are behind you :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Go for it, Mari. I know you can do it. If all else fails, you can post a giraffe a day, can't you?

Hannah Kincade said...

Oh wow, good luck!! I will be posting close to every day in October for my Horror at Hannah's 2010. But I will also be focusing on preparing for NaNoWriMo. I mean to win this year!! I do!!

I will try to keep up on all of your posts. EEk that's a lot of writing. I hope one day you just post "I posted." :D

Cruella Collett said...

Jen - weekends too, yes, but I'm sure no one would mind terribly if you signed up and skipped the weekends. Or did a one-sentence post every now and then. Basically, NaBlo is mostly about blogging consistently and finding new blog buddies (or so I interpret it), the same way NaNo just as well can be a way to get started on a novel even if the goal is to finish one. Good luck with that! :)

TGE - yay! That's the spirit I need :)

Jules - sure, a valid reason, but a little icky nonetheless. Currently I am parasiting on my parents... This house is clean, there is food in the fridge and I don't have people pestering me to hang out here. It's bliss!

Natasha - great point! I never thought about that, but I probably could feed a blog for a year if I only posted a giraffe per day.

Hannah - Horror at Hannah's? That's awesome! No rule saying you can't combine the two, though - perhaps signing up for NaBlo is as good a preparation for NaNo as it gets? It certainly helps putting you in a writing frame of mind.
And yes - you WILL win this year! I'll be joining again next year (I have realized that I have SOME limitations, at least...)

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

You are brave. I think if I tried to post a new poem every day on my blog for a month it would kill me, because even though my poems are short, they can be very hard work.

Good luck to you. I think it's great you're participating.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm doing it as well. Last time I particpated in something like this, the A-Z Challenge last April, my followers doubled and it got me into a good habit of creating quality posts.
I'm probably going to do NaNoWriMo as well. Yes, let the insanity unfold!

Cruella Collett said...

Angela - sometimes the lines between brave and stupid are quite blurry...
And I'm no poet, but I can imagine that they are a lot of work. I normally put down more time in my blog posts than I will for October too - I'm definitely going for quantity over quality right now... (Hopefully I'll be back to balancing the two come December)

Alex - so glad you are participating! These things are a lot of fun because they make great platforms for connecting with other bloggers. And good luck with NaNo - you have a lot on your plate this fall, haven't you? Book-launch and everything. Brave man! (though, again, those blurry lines.. :P)

Hart Johnson said...

YAY FOR LEMMINGS! erm... I mean giraffes! Seriously, I'm glad you are doing it--it was good last year.

And how on EARTH did you end up getting them to schedule the release of Deathly Hallows part on one the day you turn in your thesis? Have you been taking over the world when I wasn't looking?

*giggles at Mark* LOVE the idea of making stuff up. Then again, in English it is probably more acceptible than history... at least non-revisionist history.

And Horror at Hannah's DOES sound fabulous!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Best of luck! All WriMos are now NoNos for me. :)

Thanks for the follow.

Kelly said...

Good luck with this challenge!!

Since I'm fairly new to your blog, tell me...what is your concentration (or specialty) in History? My younger daughter just started working on her Masters in History. She did an Honors Thesis during undergrad and doesn't know for sure at this point if she'll take the Thesis track for her Masters. Sorry....I'm running on here.

Cold As Heaven said...

Good luck with the NaBloWriMo >:)

I don't have the time nor enough ideas to write every day.

Cold As Heaven

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - I've got my connections... Warner Bros promised to change the release date under the conditions that I participate in NaBlo... ;)

Caroline - I can understand that feeling. I'm not sure regular wrimos are my thing either, but this one is slightly different as it doesn't require an amount, just dedication.

Kelly - are you sure you want to get me started..? ;) I write my thesis about US foreign policy towards the Middle East, more specifically initiatives and attempts to solve the deadlocked Arab-Israeli conflict between 1956 and 1967.
As for the thesis - it wasn't really an option in my degree. My only advice to your daughter would be to consider what her future options are, and whether the experience of writing a longer thesis would be useful for that. Personally I think it's been a very rewarding experience, but MUCH harder than I expected. Also, she needs to be absolutely sure that she has a good supervisor/advisor. The subject is almost irrelevant as long as she's got good support (at least that is my experience).

CAH - that is definitely a problem. I sometimes have problems coming up with topics for the blog, so if I fail midway it might very well be a result of that, but usually my problem lies in execution, not the idea.

Carolyn Abiad said...

I'm going to try the WriMos this year and I don't have half as much on my plate! Of course, I don't have half as much experience blogging either... You'll be amazing, I'm sure!

Stephen Tremp said...

You have my support. And so what if you are crazy? Its the crazies of this world that make a difference.

Stephen Tremp

Clarissa Draper said...

It's cheating but I like it! Well, if I see "I am alive!" I'll know you're busy on your thesis. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your posts too!


Cruella Collett said...

Carolyn - good luck with the wrimos! :)

Stephen - thanks :) And yes, I guess I'm in good company with all the other crazies!

Clarissa - let's only hope I won't have to post any "I'm not alive" posts...

Mohamed Mughal said...

What's the title of your thesis? Ah, I remember those days. I wish I could say I remember them fondly, but I don't want to lie :)

Good luck, Cruella. You're a bright person with lots of spunk and energy, so I know that you'll do great!

Jen Daiker said...

Beacuse of YOU I've decided to join in on the fun as well! I'm going to participate in this October Challenge! Then in November I'll be taking on the Nano challenge... I already feel busy :)

K A B L O O E Y said...

Wow; you ARE crazy. I like that in a giraffe! Best of luck with both endeavors.

Cruella Collett said...

Mohamed - thank you so much, that means a lot (both your supportive comment and the fact that you don't want to lie to me). The title of my thesis is not yet finalized, but my main research questions centers around why the United States did not actively pursue a comprehensive peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict between 1956 and 1967. A fairly interesting topic, since many of the same problems remain obstacles to the conflict today.

Jen - yay! Though I'm not sure I'm willing to take the responsibility in the unlikely event that you feel overwhelmed (at least for NaBlo - I think you're supposed to feel overwhelmed for NaNo). Good luck with both challenges, glad to have you on board :)

Kablooey - I know, right! Crazy giraffes are the best ;) And thanks :)

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