Sunday, November 04, 2012

Blogging Challenge- 25,000 Words in One and a Half Months

Six Months of Challenges

I remember when this blog used to be something really important to me.  It wasn’t so long ago, probably right before summer semester.  I had all these plans for exciting posts, all these conventions scheduled, and I was really going to take advantage of the momentum to put some great content out there.  Unfortunately, my life kind of got in the way, and it became hard to find the time to do all the back end work necessary to update the blog every other day as I’d been accustomed to doing. 

First Setback: Summer Semester

I was overwhelmed by inking class, spending three to five hours on single hour assignments.   Fortunately, I had the foresight and ability (with a little help from Joseph) to live-stream these inking assignments, and then post them to Youtube in edited and condensed form, providing me a lot of emergency posts.  Then my car broke down for the final time, which meant I was reliant upon the transportation of others to get to classes.  I spent a lot of time in Norris Hall, working on comics but not on blog posts, and I spent a lot of time car shopping and listening to spiel after endless car salesman spiel.  Then I stepped on a shard of glass, which meant I spent a lot of time hobbling back and forth.  Though out this, I tried to keep up some semblance of a schedule, but found it difficult, as I’d already tapped out the well of guest posts, and I’d quickly run through my backlog of posts.

Second Setback: Fall Semester

I resolved that things would change for the Fall semester, and that I’d get back on track.  Unfortunately, Blogger has changed some very back end features, which means I can neither schedule posts ahead of time, nor can I work on posts as drafts and remotely publish them from my phone.  Around this time, I was up to my neck in conventions, and struggling to get classwork turned in on time.  And then I got a staph infection in my knee, which meant I missed a lot of class, and spent a lot of time in clinics and hospitals.  I announced my hiatus at this time.

Since then, I’ve posted sporadically, mostly convention reports and the occasional art dump.   On the rare chance that I’ve had opportunity to prepare several posts at one time, I end up thwarted, as they’re auto posted to the same day.  Most of my time has been spent working on my Thesis comic, the first chapter of 7” Kara, which will be in watercolor.  While I love the process, it’s very time consuming, and I often forget to document my progress and process.  Even when I do, it’s usually on my phone, and the SugarSync app has the unfortunate habit of scrambling the chronological order of photos taken on a smartphone, which requires additional time.

I feel like I’m making a lot of excuses, but up until this point, I’ve been fairly quite as to my reasons for not posting.  This blog isn’t intended to be a replacement for a diary or a Livejournal, it’s not really a personal blog, and I feel uncomfortable with the majority of my posts being litanies of complaints.  I’d rather wait until the (hopeful) end of the problems.  With this semester winding to a close and the month long winter break looming before me, I hope I can solve a lot of my issues with the free time.  With that in mind, I’d like to rededicate myself to updating this blog with quality content.

An Interesting Challenge

I intend to use the remainder of the month of November (past the 15th) and the month of December to participate in my own version of NaNoWriMo.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept,  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and has been going on for quite awhile now. Your goal is to start on November 1st and write a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month.  In short, your goals are to:

  •          Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  •          Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  •          Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  •          Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  •          Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  •       Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.(

 How This Applies to Nattosoup

I don’t intend to write a novel.  That’s not what this blog is about.  This blog is about comics- planning, creation, tools, and community.  And I don’t plan on writing 50,000 words in one month, although that’s not the most inconceivable goal.  I plan on using the spirit of the endeavor- to dedicate a limited amount of time to producing a lot of work, to challenge myself, to get myself back on track.  So the parameters of my NaNoWriMo challenge will be:
To write 25,000 words worth of blog content between today (November 4th) and January 1st, with particular effort concentrated after the 15th of November.  I can’t say how many blog posts this will end up being, although I’d like to resume my every other day schedule of updating.  Word count includes dialogue in comics (although not the scripts themselves), and also includes photo captions.
This will probably force me to widen the scope of my post content to include comic reviews and more product reviews, which isn’t a bad thing in itself.  Hopefully it will also force me to generate more tutorials and to write more in-depth posts.