Election Day approacheth, but the heck with that—it’s NaNoWriMo, y’all!

“What’s NaNoWriMo?” you may be asking. (Oh, who am I kidding. Most of you live near UNC; you already know what it is. The State Senate hasn’t entirely dismantled the humanities yet.) But for the uninitiated: NaNoWriMo is short for “National Novel Writing Month,” launched in 1999 as a November pastime for folks who don’t like running for office and can’t grow moustaches.

It works like this: at the beginning of November, you make a pledge to write 50,000 words of a novel by the end of the month. That’s it. There’s no penalty for falling short, but it’s supposedly a great motivator: you’ve always wanted to write that novel, but you’ve never had a specific reason to stop what you’re doing and start writing today? Well, here’s your reason. Feeling alone? Here’s a community of 200,000 people all doing the same thing. Afraid it won’t be any good? Whatevs. It’s quantity that matters here, not quality—you can always edit later.

All of this is music to my ears.

So of course I’m going to change things up a bit.

See, all year long I’ve been trying to become a regular blogger here on Chapelboro. And I’ve been consistently failing. I’m easily distracted. I procrastinate. Worse, I’m a hopeless perfectionist, so everything has to be Absolutely Right before I’m ready to publish a thing—every angle must be examined, every possible argument addressed—and you know there’s no such thing as perfection, so I’m doomed to come up short no matter what. (My last Local Buzz column? Eight pages long in Microsoft Word. Meticulously researched. Took a month to write. Very well received. Still got a detail wrong. Sorry, Michelle and Lydia.)

And besides, that’s not even how blogging works. “People want to see regular content,” said my friend Kit. “And they don’t want dissertations. They want ‘em short. Make one point, make it well, and get out.

“Heck, even this is already too long. You really should cut this quote.”

But he’s right. My approach has been ridiculous. I’m having trouble completing anything at all, and on the rare occasions when I do, it’s a chapter-length thesis.

So I’m making a change. Today. This month. November.

Forget NaNoWriMo. Today, November 1, I officially declare NABLOWRIMO: National Blog Writing Month!

(I…might have to work on the acronym.)

Here’s how it’ll go: beginning today, and all month long, I will write, and post on Chapelboro, one Local Buzz column every day. That’s seven posts per week, thirty in all, on any topic, of any length.

That’s doable, right?

Hopefully there’ll be something for everybody in this. My interests are pretty eclectic, so these posts will be political, philosophical, local, national, cultural, musical, artistical, literarical, and everything else in betweenical. I can’t promise they won’t be long-winded, but with the time crunch they shouldn’t run on too long.

And on December 1 we can all go back to our regular lives. But I’m hoping this will motivate me to change my ways on a long-term basis. It’s happened before. You know the movie “Water For Elephants”? It’s based on a novel (published in Chapel Hill!) that the author Sara Gruen started as a NaNoWriMo project. Maybe this too…

…but I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, NaBloWriMo begins! Email me at akeck@wchl.com and let me know what you’d like me to write about.

(I promise nothing. I know myself too well.)

EPILOGUE: Well, poop. Turns out I wasn’t the first one with the “NaBloWriMo” idea. In fact NaBloWriMo already exists—and it’s in October, not November.



It’s my hot body of text, I do what I want.