Mr. Mezzo has been spending the last week making preparations for his imminent descent in NaNoWriMo. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is a (mostly) virtual event in which a bunch of writers band together and pledge to write a 50,000 word novel during the course of November. (Hence the name: NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth.* This will be the second time he’s done it, and I’m wondering if I should maybe do something of my own in solidarity.
Now, I’m not crazy enough to do NaNoWriMo. For starters, there’s the fact that I live in a Newtonian universe where time and energy are finite resources. I still have those two classes I’m finishing up, plus choir, plus the fact that I’m just now beginning to pull myself out of the black hole I recently fell into. More importantly than those practicalities is the fact that I don’t currently have a strong idea for a book. I know I’ll write one someday — but this day is not that day. (Or “this month is not that month.” Something like that.)
But NaBloPoMo? That’s a entirely different kettle of tea.
Similar to NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo is an online virtual challenge: this time, for bloggers to put up a new post every day over the course of a month. (As in: NAtional BLOg POsting MOnth).* There’s lots of freedom in this. Often there’s a suggested theme for the month, though I think November is usually more of a free-for-all, and even if you’re taking on the challenge during a theme-y month, you’re always free to post about whatever topic you choose.
The only hard-and-fast rule seems, quite literally to be post every damn day for the month. Your daily post can even be as long or as short as you want it to be.
So, it’s still a little bit crazy to be contemplating taking on this extra challenge, but at least it seems a halfway-manageable challenge to be considering.
However, the next question is: if I were to do NaBloPoMo, which blog should I do it on? After all, I have the two — this one and Will4Will — and even I’m not insane enough to promise to fulfill the NaBloPoMo requirements on two blogs simultaneously!
So, there’s interesting reasons to go either direction. Doing it here on JALC means I have a wider range of topics to fill my days, instead of just the one. Admittedly, the looseness of how I define what is “Shakespearian” enough to post on Will4Will gives me a fair bit of latitude in either choice. Still, I can see some risk of feeling like I’ve run out of Shakespearian things to say before the month is out. Point to JALC.
There’s also the fact that I’ve developed a pretty good posting rhythm here on JALC, while I’m only just beginning to re-start the motor on Will4Will. At first blush, I thought this was another point for JALC, but then I started thinking that a challenge like NaBloPoMo could actually be a great way to get some gas in the engine for restarting Will4Will. So let’s call this one a draw. Half-point each to JALC and Will4Will.
The last factor I’ve considered is the fact that I have not yet found a way to write short posts her on JALC. I’m always sort of deconstructing the world, here, so even when I sit down with the express goal of writing something short and quick, I go down the rabbit hole. The issues get nuanced, my thinking gets twisty and complicated, my writing gets lengthy and intricate, and there I am with another 90-minute/900-word wonder. With Will4Will, I actually see a lot more freedom to do quick things. A quote. A link to part of a performance on YouTube. Because of that, the idea of doing NaBloPoMo on Will4Will actually feels more achievable than doing it here on JALC. Point to Will4Will.
The idea of doing NaBloPoMo on Will4Will also feels a little less intimidating than doing it here on JALC. I think I have some ability to keep my sense of humor as I write posts here about the insanity of the kyriarchy and its structures. Still, there’s times when I think about what I could write about here — GamerGate, that catcalling video, the casual racism of that catcalling video, the ways the woman in the catcalling video is now receiving rape threats** — endless recursive cycles of how the culture I live in is so grindingly misogynist and racist and kyriarchical. And I just sort of want to beat my head against a wall rather than come up with one more good-natured way to take on the awfulness. I’m assuming as my brain continues to rebalance and I get further out of the black hole that this ennui will lighten. But I’m not there yet. So, however escapist it is (and however embarrassingly privileged I am to even have the option of going the escapist route), spending a month writing about Shakespeare kinda feels like a nice break. Point to Will4Will.
Final tally: JALC: 1.5; Will4Will: 2.5.
We have a winner!
I’m not completely rolling up the sidewalks here at JALC. I’ll probably keep that twice-a-week pace I talked about a bit ago, using my ideas for mini-posts at Will4Will as a good way to both fulfill the requirements of NaBloPoMo and carve out the time for some JALC-writing.
But during the stretches when things are a bit quit here? You know where you can find me.
* Goddammit, WordPress, stop autocorrecting this to traditional title-case capitalization! Those extra letters are capitalized on purpose, thankyouverymuch…
** Because, of course, threatening to rape a woman is the perfect way to prove the point that she’s being oversensitive when talks about how rape culture is a thing.