This is going to be a rough month. It’s only the second day of NaBloPoMo and I’m already exhausted. I had a very busy weekend, and I never really got over my jet lag from my New York trip two weeks ago, so daylight savings time is really hitting me hard. I hope I can make it through this 30-day challenge—and I’m not even talking about my traveling time later this month.
I tried to do some planning ahead this year, in the hopes that NaBloPoMo won’t be quite as exhausting as last year. Clearly based on today, I haven’t succeeded. Wah-wah!
Part of the problem is I’m not sure how much planning ahead I can do, or exactly what that means. As far as I understand it, we’re not allowed to write posts ahead of time. If that’s true, how much can you plan ahead?
And how can I plan ahead when we’re already into the month? Doh!
I know, going in with an idea, and maybe even an angle or an outline, is great and can help a lot. So that’s what I’ve tried to do with some of this month. BlogHer is also wonderful and lists their writing prompts for every day of the month—of the year, actually—in advance, so that also helps. I do plan to do a least a few of their writing prompts this month.
But I do have a number of my own ideas too: article or story topics that have been languishing in the Reminders app on my phone for a couple years now. In fact, I had an inspiring conversation with an amazing blogging friend last March, who had an incredible idea for me, but I haven’t had the courage to really set off with doing it.
Year of Ideas Concept
Last March at the BinderCon conference, an awesome opportunity for women and gender non-conforming writers to network and learn, I met the wonderful Lea Grover, author of Becoming Supermommy. I had read a few of her posts online and interacted with her a little through our online writers group, but we hadn’t met in person until the conference. She was one of those people with whom I felt an immediate kinship, with her cool 8-bit sunglasses and her turquoise buckle shoes. We instantly hit it off, and she became my favorite person at that conference (which, btw, is saying a lot).
At one point we were talking about writing (of course) and I told her about my Reminders app full of ideas. I love making lists with that app (though each new OS makes it more glitchy), and I have several lists on there that contain different kinds of ideas. Ideas for a particular call for pitches; ideas of useful content; ideas that might be good for LinkedIn; timely stories (those are more difficult, of course), etc. That’s what good writers do, hopefully: they come up with ideas.
The largest of these lists is simply called “Ideas.” General topics that came to me at some point or another, and it currently has about 82 items in it (it was about 75 at BinderCon). I told Lea about this list, and she had her own brilliant idea: I should attack this list, slowly working through the ideas to write, pitch, and publish all the articles or essays, all within a year. I would also write about the process on my blog. It would be my Year of Ideas.
I thought this was the most amazing, clever, potentially ground-breaking concept. Perhaps I should have been disappointed I didn’t think of it myself, but I was just grateful to Lea for giving it to me. (That’s a quick and easy illustration of how awesome BinderCon was.)
I hope my mentioning it here won’t encourage others to steal it (how horrible is that a thing to say?), but even if they do, they won’t necessarily have the same article ideas that I have, so it wouldn’t be the same project. I still love the concept, I’m still inspired by it, and I still think about whether, and when, I should do it. But it’s daunting. I think it would take a lot more planning, and not all the ideas in my list are great, of course. In fact, some are no longer relevant, and some I may have published already. But for whatever reason, be it fear, nerves, lack of energy, or something else, I haven’t decided whether to do it yet.
It doesn’t mean I haven’t worked with some of these individual article ideas. I do pitch articles, so things are progressing. But this would be a different, more involved project than simply pitching articles. Perhaps it’s something I should consider for 2016.
So I’m obviously still thinking about it here and now, with this blog post. And while I’m not officially saying “I’m kicking this thing off,” I was thinking of incorporating some of it into NaBloPoMo. One problem, truth be told, is I’m terrible at making decisions. That includes deciding whether something is worth pitching to a publication for money, or publishing on my personal blog. That’s what makes Lea’s concept so brilliant: it essentially covers both of those possibilities at once. But that’s also what makes it so daunting: it’s essentially two big projects at the same time. (It reminds me of my masters thesis… but I’ll save that story for another day.)
Back to NaBloPoMo
So while planning ahead and considering possibilities for NaBloPoMo, I have a few concepts and themes from my idea lists, naturally, that I’d love to do. Well, what’s NaBloPoMo for if not to experiment?
Here’s a few of the themes I’m tossing around, that you might see from me this month:
- Music Monday: posts about music (old or new)
- or maybe Movie Monday: posts about movies (obvy)
- TV Tuesday (I’ll give you one guess)
- Video Vednesday: I may write about a cool video I found online, or hopefully try to create some of my own (like my Halloween Grand March)
- Tutorial Thursday: a little teaching or advice post, about any number of different subjects (some likely to do with dance)
- Throwback Thursday, or more likely Flashback Friday: either a piece of pop culture nostalgia I’d like to talk about, or a piece of my history I want to share
- Experimental Saturday: a possible time to try something new, like fiction or a new technique
So there’s a few thoughts. Not all of them may happen on every day they say, or even on the day at all. For example, I was going to do my first Music Monday today, but this became such a huge blog post that I’ve decided to leave it as is. So Music Monday will have to wait for next week, or become …Tune Tuesday, or something. Who knows. But, that’s the beauty of NaBloPoMo: you never know what you’ll get.
And now that I’ve put these themes and ideas out into the world, in some way or another, I now have to make them a reality.
I hope I can get it all done. And I hope you’ll stay with me for the ride.
So what do you think readers? Do any of these themes strike your fancy, any more than anything else? Is there anything you’d like me to discuss, within any of these themes, or by themselves? What do you think of my (well, Lea’s) Year of Ideas concept? Should I go for it? 🙂 Let me know in the comments.