What’s with the ‘Na’ in NaNoWriMo (and NaBloPoMo)? Why I’m still calling it BloggyWriMo.


NaBloPoMo Participant Icon

NaBloPoMo Participant Icon (Photo credit: Tojosan)

Yesterday evening, after a long day’s writing and posting, I noticed something down the bottom of my Dashboard. It was WordPress telling me that NaBloPoMo is here, and offering all sorts of inspirations. It turns out that, entirely unsurprisingly, I’m not the only blogger to jump on the WriMo bandwagon. Huzzah! Nothing like a great big source of moral support and procrastination to make my day.

By the way also- if you fancy doing a blog WriMo and my ideas about 50k and whatnot seem intimidating, there are totally loads of people who’re taking the month as a time when they’ll write a post a day. There’s no need to worry about word counts if you’re not as mentally masochistic as the likes of me. And yeah yeah, it’s the 2nd today, but shure just throw a couple of posts up today and I promise I won’t kick you off the bandwagon. As bandwagons go it’s lovely and comfy, and there’s plenty tea and coffee ’round the back. While I’m happy to hop on the NaBloPoMo wagon, though, I’m still going to call what I’m doing BloggyWriMo.

Your friendly blogger is just a teensy, weensy bit miffed.

So here we are on the internet. It’s a lovely place, mostly. I mean, there’s a fair bit of it that’s dodgy, there’s definitely areas where you’ll need a bit of eye bleach, and yes, some of the denizens are pretty damn unpleasant. But nobody’s making you go to the Land Of Things That Cannot Be Unseen and I do my best to make this little corner as pleasant as I can.

I’m here on the internet on my sofa in a quiet Dublin suburb. Next week I’ll be WriMo-ing from Glasgow, where I’ll be visiting my ridiculously fantastic girlfriend. Week after I’ll be off in Cork giving a few workshops for Pink Training. I’m not sure where you are, of course, but according to my stats page I get readers from all over.

And here’s where I get smooshy.

NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo (Photo credit: marymuses)

That’s one of my favourite things about the internet. I know it’s tacky. But I think that having intercontinental conversations on a daily basis is one of those fantastic things that reminds me that I’m really-really living in a future full of mars robots, cats on roombas and a vaguely decipherable Google Translate. The internet is why I get to sit down in front of my free videophone with a cup of tea and a pile of knitting and catch up with a friend a couple of time zones away.

So why on earth are we describing our worldwide Internet-culture phenomena as national? I hate to have to remind people of this, but the internet doesn’t just stretch from one end of the US to the other. Even this little English-speaking corner is made up of an absolute shedload of different countries and cultures all over the planet. Just because USians are a lot less likely than the rest of us to travel overseas is no excuse for forgetting that the rest of us are here. Right here. Gettin’ all up in your WriMo.

NaNoWriMo (and NaBloPoMo) are no more national than the rest of the internet. A quick scan through the NaNo page shows chapters in places as far apart as Brazil, Brisbane, Russia, Quebec, Iceland, Kenya and, yes, several right here in Ireland. This is one hell of a global phenomenon, and I wonder why we’re specifically not celebrating that in the name.

As for me, I’m gonna celebrate the hell out of being one of hundreds of thousands of people devoting a month to creating for the sheer hell of it. I think- and yes, I’m going to get a little mushy here- that the fact that people all over the world do this is a testimony to how this fantastic internet of ours isn’t just for trolls and dodgy porn. It’s also this amazing tool that we use to communicate some of the most universally wonderful things that we do. Like imagination, creativity and communication.

And that’s why, despite it being a far less sensible-sounding name than NaBloPoMo, I’m still going to call this thing I’m doing BloggyWriMo. It’s a month when I’m writing the hell out of this blog, and in turn reading the hell out of as many others as I find. This mushy idealist has no time for verbal borders. To hell with ‘national’.

What do you think? Am I being way too quibbly for my own good? Or are you with me?


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8 thoughts on “What’s with the ‘Na’ in NaNoWriMo (and NaBloPoMo)? Why I’m still calling it BloggyWriMo.

  1. I think….I like the way you think! Perhaps we need to rename it the InNaBloPoMo and the InNaNoWriMo. However, in their defense, perhaps the founders never expected their contest (?) to reach an international audience. Or maybe they are just naming it for the way it was founded. Still, it IS really cool that it attracts an international following. Think of all the great books that are getting their start here.
    At any rate, I enjoyed my visit with you immensely. I hope to do so again soon. In the meantime, happy writing.
    clr at The Brass Rag

    • Happy writing to you too! I’m loving how this month is already a chance to discover all sorts of new people. Like yourself!

      And yeah, it probably is just that it started off a US thing before expanding beyond the borders. And by now everyone knows what NaNoWriMo is. But, damnit, if I let practicality get in the way of grumbling about things I might as well put away the keyboard and never write again!

      And it is so cool. I think that writing can often be such a solitary thing. Which is nice in its own way, of course, but it’s lovely to feel part of something a little more communal every so often.

  2. The ‘Na’ is a bit odd, as surely everyone knows it is actually ‘InNa’. I suppose it’s just one of those things that’s been around for so long people don’t really think about what it stands for anymore. Yes, the community thing is good. Nice to meet you!

    • Oh yeah, I figure it is. And everyone knows what NaNoWriMo is, so i can see why people use it. US-centricism is one of my own bugbears, though, so I couldn’t help but notice.
      And nice to meet you too!

  3. There’s a page somewhere on the site that gives a history of NaNoWriMo from the time it started with just 20 people in a coffee shop in the late ’90s, all the way to what it is now. 🙂 I’m pretty sure that when they started it, they didn’t think it would grow to be so international! 😄

    Honestly, though, I’ve never really thought about the name, maybe because I’ve gotten used to calling it NaNo, and have tried to train my brain that that word refers to the writing challenge, and not the tiny iPod device.

    I think “National” gets stuck on a lot of odd things, though. I guess I just don’t pay much attention to it. I guess you could call it International Novel Writing Month, if you want, but I think InNoWriMo might be a bit harder to pronounce. 😄

  4. BTW, thanks for the shoutout! 😀

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