October 29, 2007
November doesn’t start until Thursday, but I’ve already added my NaBloPoMo 2007 badge.
National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) was created last year by Eden Kennedy. She sought an alternative to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an event now in its ninth year in which participants endeavor to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I participated a few times in it but always faded out. Amassing words just for the sake of making a production goal is just not my style. The idea with NaBloPoMo is to post to your blog every day in November. That I can do, even though I am a little uncertain about connectivity during my transition to Wyoming (eighteen days from today!).
In the beginning (1999) I didn’t use the word “blog” to describe my site. I was an “online journaller,” and the word “blog” suggested not an essay with a thesis, a structure, and a point, but a collection of links and excerpts from sites the blogger had visited. Over these ten or so years, however, “blog” has become the more widely-used term for any personal site that provides fresh content on a more or less regular basis. So I’m a blogger now, and happy to be one.
NaBloPoMo has moved its administrative pages to Ning, a service that allows people to build their own social networks. It’s Facebook for the non-college crowd. (When Facebook opened itself to everyone, I built a presence there, mostly to irritate Lynn, who was duly irritated and has not “friended” me.) I’ve joined several subgroups of the larger NaBloPoMo community. I’ve aligned myself with knitting bloggers, fat bloggers, book bloggers, Pennsylvania bloggers, and bloggers over 50, even though I don’t write exclusively about any of those things.
What I like about NaBloPoMo (and Holidailies, a December blogging event) is the community it creates, at least temporarily. It’s a little like the way neighbors come together when there’s a big snowstorm or a tragedy. For a while everyone works together. We read each other’s blogs more than usual, we check out unfamiliar ones, we comment to each other, we make promises about keeping in touch.
Last year there was a “blog review” blog that specialized in scathing critiques of blogs and bloggers they felt superior to. I got ridiculed for a piece I wrote expressing lingering hurt over a breakup that happened a long time ago. It was my “airing of grievances” post for Festivus. And yeah, the snarky, anonymous critics were probably right in telling me to get over it already. But their vitriol only served to strengthen my bond with other bloggers who had been similarly slammed and with those who extended sympathy, thereby building the community. As I used to tell my students, you’re nobody till you find “[Your name here] sucks!” on the bathroom wall.
The “blogs we hate” site is gone, but I’m still here, and so are the writers who got hit by it. I’m looking forward to NaBloPoMo and Holidailies. I find I write more and write better when I think more people are reading. I wish all participants well, especially those who are undertaking NaNoWriMo as well. And check out my spot on NaBloPoMo.
And, as always, thank you for reading, so much and so often.
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margaretdeangelis [at] gmail [dot] com (replace the brackets with @ and a period)