When you write a blog, you’re hounded by a lot of thoughts. Sometimes they are inspiring and encouraging, but often they are full of doubt and cause you to hold yourself back.
What should I write about today?
Will anyone care about this?
What if this isn’t funny/meaningful/insightful/informative/other adjective enough?
It’s been xx number of days since my last post! I have to come up with something!
In reality, most of that doesn’t matter. There aren’t deadlines. Expectations are established only by yourself. It’s easy to think cliched things like “just write for you” and “if someone connects with it, they’ll keep coming back.” It’s less easy to believe those things because they sound like crap that would be printed on the top of a drug store Post-It tablet next to a picture of a swan, even though they are pretty solid facts.
Worrying too much about what an audience thinks is the best way to make sure you stifle every blog post that you might write.
–Transport to my next thought–
It’s November now (holy shit, what?) and I have seen a lot of Twitter people talking about NaNoWriMo. That’s the crazy annual event where people attempt to turn out mad amounts of words every day for a month to create a novel. You’re supposed to just write and write and write, letting whatever nonsense your mind creates spew from your fingers into Microsoft Word, constructing a wonderfully rough story that you can spend December and beyond turning into something logical that others might want to read. Then you’ll get it published, become a super successful author, make millions of dollars, buy fancy rugs and move to Maine.
For most, NaNo becomes 30 days sitting in your own crusty filth, staring blankly at your monitor as you constantly wrestle with your mind telling you THIS IS STUPID GARBAGE AND YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND YOU NEED TO STOP TRYING. Then after nine hours of typing and thirteen cups of coffee you check your word count to discover you’ve only typed 327 words and you need 1,600 to hit today’s quota, and you’re staring at your screen with disbelief like Andrew W.K. on the Mother of Mankind album cover as you realize it’s a hellza lot harder than you thought.
Jesting aside, NaNoWriMo is a great idea because it encourages people to do something they might not otherwise ever have the ambition to start. It takes what is actually an incredibly huge project and makes it seem it’s not that big a deal by cramming it into a bite-sized time frame. It gives people the confidence to try, and community support to keep them going.
I tried it a few years ago. I got 22,741 words down with no problem, and suddenly realized I had no idea where the story was going. Instead of continuing on like you’re supposed to, I let that stop me, got all Andrew W.K. about it and now I have a two year-old Google Doc wondering when it’s going to be opened again. I was excited by the story when I started, and thought it was garbage by the midpoint. There’s a bunch of notes at the end of the document for where to go next, and I no longer have any idea what they mean. Something about an allegory for heaven and hell, character progression concepts, and a part where I apparently went off subject and started writing “Titanic 2: Dude Where’s My Boat?”
I decided novels just might not be my thing. I still more or less think that. This wasn’t the first novel I’d tried to write. Or the second. Or third. Or eighth. I decided it’s just not the way my brain works. Hell, I can barely stay focused on a novel long enough to read one if the word “Rowling” isn’t on the spine, so how could I expect to write one? Whether or not this is good thinking, it’s still the way I feel.
The point is – if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this month, good luck. Try your best to stick with it, or you’ll end up with a sad fat old Google Doc that you won’t want to work on, but won’t want to delete because you spent a lot of time on it. And that’s depressing.
–Transport back to previous thought to tie all this jibjab together–
Instead of NaNoWriMo’ing, or whatever the hell present tense of that would be, I’m going to blog my way through November. I’m not going to worry about what people may think. I’m not going to try to meet some weird self-imposed quota or stress about what goes up. I’m going to do whatever I want, no matter who you call a cootie queen, you lint licker! And I’m going to make misplaced references to old commercials because I still think they’re hilarious.
It will just be me, my zany tales about suck puddles and my spicy penis, and you. And I like you. I mean, I like like you. A lot.
Man, that cracks me up something violent.