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November conundrums

November is fast approaching, and I need to decide what to do about it.

For the past three years, I have participated in NaBloWriMo -- one substantial post every day in the month of November. In 2006 and 2007, I found this very satisfying, but last year it felt more like a chore, and this year I am finding myself at something of a loss. I haven't been posting to LJ nearly as much in recent months, and I don't know how well motivated I would be to suddenly put myself back on a daily schedule.

The first question to ask myself, of course, is why I haven't been posting. Part of it, I think, is that I've moved a lot of the random life stuff to Twitter. (Reminder: iamkj. I promise I am low-volume, rarely more than 2-3 tweets per day.) One big factor there is that I've found a Twitter app I like a lot for the iPhone (Twitterrific), whereas LJ.app and the LJ mobile web interface both suck. And I don't use that word lightly. We're talking gigantic vacuum cleaners worth of suck here. About the only thing I like about it is the ease of uploading pictures from the phone. I'm also trying to do less random webstuff on my work computer, which also leads me to spend more time on the iPhone, and therefore less on LJ

The other problem is that I just don't feel like my life is that interesting right now. There are all kinds of various stressful things going on, but I would have to write pages and pages of background to explain them, which would probably bore everyone to death. Mostly it's continual low-grade stress, which is the very worst kind to deal with for me, because it's not so bad that it motivates me to fix the things that are wrong, and in many cases the issues aren't mine to fix anyway. Just the thought of sitting down to write the whole thing up is exhausting. But it also saps my energy to write about other things, too.

Still, I do want to write in November. I am big on traditions, and NaBloWriMo has become a tradition for me. I can't imagine skipping it entirely. NaNoWriMo isn't an option, unfortunately; November is a concert and family holiday month, so I can't make that kind of time commitment, and I don't have any novel-length stories in the works anyway. One option is something like I did last January: writing every day with specific short-term goals in mind and keeping track of my progress, but not necessarily posting something every day. Another possibility is doing a hybrid, where I write every day, make daily posts about my progress (along the lines of the hashtag that some of us use on Twitter, #thewritestuff -- although amusingly, that hashtag has recently been hijacked by a Twilight fic!) and focus on finishing and posting stories as I can. If I did that, though, I would want to make a point of posting non-fic related stuff as well, and then we're back to the daily general posting.

Which brings me full circle, and makes me wonder whether I'm not thinking about this all wrong. Maybe I should be looking at this as an opportunity to get back into regular blogging about the things I care about: politics, media, librarianship, cats, and yes, fic and fandom. Not a chore, but a treat. I will mull on this some more.

Fortunately I still have a few days to decide.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Well, you know I've signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time. I'm not sure how far I'll get, but at least I'm going to be actively working on getting some words down that I can fix later. My goal is 10,000 words! Journaling has seemed like a lot of work lately, and when I do want to post, I feel like, "oh, well, I'm boring!" so I don't, or I don't want to offend people, etc., etc.! I'm sure you understand that. ;)

I think you should post what you want! November can be RECLAIM OUR JOURNAL time. I plan to sob a lot about how hard original writing is, but don't advise it for you. Better to avoid altogether that ball of stress. ;)
Oct. 26th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yay for realistic goals. :) I like it when people sign up for things like NaNo with their own limits in mind, not feeling forced to follow the rules the community sets up if they're not workable. I have avoided writing challenges like NaNo and getyourwordsout for just that reason: the lack of flexibility. NaBlo (boy, that looks dirty out of context) is much more manageable for me, just for that reason.
Oct. 26th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
I'm going to try and use NaNoWriMo to help me with my dissertation.


Anyway. The muse does as the muse does. I know what you mean about things feeling like a chore. It's no fun when you feel like you have to post, or mod, or whatever -- with me, that always sucks away a lot of creative energy, when it's no longer spontaneous but feels like an obligation.

Unfortunately, I haven't made the Twitter migration, and I feel a little out of touch with folks. So I'll be glad if you choose to "reclaim your LJ" as renay puts it. But I suppose the ephemeral nature of the web -- things come, things go, and I'm not active in the places I was 5 years ago -- makes that almost inevitable.
Oct. 26th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)

Whatever works, right? :)

Sometimes I actually find a deadline or obligation forces me to be more productive and creative -- this year's FFEX, for instance. But not always; I think it depends a lot on my mood and motivation.

I know what you mean about things coming and going online. LJ is my third major online community (the others being the TWoP boards and the Bryn Mawr mailing list), and this is the first time that I feel like I'm staying in the same place while others move on. A lot of folks have migrated to Facebook, which I will not do in this context because I feel strongly about keeping my fandom identity separate from my professional identity. LJ (and Twitter) give me plenty of privacy controls; Facebook seems to do everything it can to make my RL identity public. (Full disclosure: I do have an FB account, mostly to keep up with RL friends, but I also use it for work purposes, so I'm not going to link it here.) I like Twitter, though; it's fun for quick hits and posting links without feeling the need to write several paragraphs of context. I do understand that it's not for everyone, though.

Thanks for your thoughts! If nothing else, I can promise that this LJ isn't going anywhere. Despite the decrease in posting and community over the last couple of years, I would still feel like I was cutting an arm off if I left. And maybe an uptick in posting would make me feel more connected again.
Oct. 26th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has that problem with FB. I tried making a fandom account along with my regular one, but that's not how it's meant to be used, and I stopped quickly. Too much trouble to keep up with all the spam pokes and updates and events and...gah.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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