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 (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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