I know it's a football Sunday, and I've had football on TV the whole day. But I can't say that I've seen much of it. I listened...and saw a few highlights here and there...but for the most part, I spent an ungodly amount of time poking around the NaBloPoMo site, perusing various groups and discussion forums, seeing what...and who...is new this year. The site's got more than 10,600 members this year. Amazing. (and no, I didn't visit each one.)
One of the discussions in the forum caught my eye...a debate over whether backdating a post or scheduling a post to be published on a certain day in the future should be considered cheating during this month of post-a-day posts.
I always took the NaBloPoMo challenge to mean that you wrote a post in a calendar day, and published it that same day. Granted, some people write long, laborious posts that they save as drafts and tinker with for days before they find them ready for the world to see. So that adds a whole other wrinkle to the discussion.
Many people in this particular discussion felt that backposting was cheating, but writing a few posts in advance and scheduling them to be published ahead of time was not. I haven't played around with Blogger's scheduler feature yet, so I don't know if it works flawlessly or not.
I voiced my opinion in the discussion, saying that I think both methods of filling up your days are cheating. But the bottom line for me in the discussion is that every blogger has to decide for themselves what they want to get out of this month, and what they personally consider cheating.
Whether I'm participating in NaBlahBlah or not, I've gotten into the habit of changing the timestamp on my post to the time when I publish it...not the time that I bring up the screen to start writing it. Because sometimes I have the post-editing screen open for a few hours before I'm ready to publish.
However...my regular readers have already found that on November 7, I snuck in about a dozen and a half words, hit Publish and didn't pay much more attention to my blog on that Friday.
Well...I crashed on my couch after work that day, and woke up minutes before midnight, with nothing in my brain to jot down, and knowing it would be futile to write a "real" post in two minutes anyway. I pulled up the screen at 11:58pm, and wrote those lines of deep, meaningful prose. But by the time I'd published them, it was already Saturday at about...12:08am maybe?
I left the original timestamp on that post of when I started writing it, and hinted in my words that I may not have quite met the midnight deadline. I even got a text message from an eagle-eyed buddy who, a few minutes after 12:00am, said, "According to my watch it's Saturday. Where's Friday's post?" (clearly I need to help him find a social life.)
I could argue technicalities...that I actually was sitting at my computer and writing the post on Friday, so mayyybe it could count for a Friday entry. But the fact is...it wasn't published on Friday. Which is why I was quite engaged in the opinions on the backposting/scheduling discussion today.
Technically...I've failed NaBloPoMo. Already. Whether I vow to write three posts a day for the rest of the month to make up for my mistake, it doesn't change the fact that I didn't post anything on Friday, November 7. And...what I did post there, after the fact........whew, it's pretty thin stuff.
Sure, one of my readers was able to see through the words and get to the hidden meaning, the emotion, the depth...the Zen. And he should be commended for his insightfulness.
I'm going to keep blogging through the month...or at least try...because I've been reminded of the sense of community I felt when I took on this project for the first time last November. And I'd like that to continue.
But no matter what I do from here on out, I'll only be a 29 out of 30. Not only because I was a few minutes short of a deadline, but also...more so, maybe...because of the total lack of substance in the words I put down on the screen.
I consider my post from November 4, which had only a couple graphics and a quote from Kennedy, to have far more meaning than what I scribbled down on November 7 to try and make a deadline.
And now I think I owe it to myself to complete a month of posts sometime between now and next November. Who knows which month that might be? (perhaps February. twenty-eight days, you know.)
"The difference between
failure and success
is doing a thing nearly right
and doing it exactly right."