Tuesday, October 26, 2021

NaNoWriMo 2021, Here I Come!

In six days, NaNoWriMo 2021 will kick off. 

For those who aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is a yearly, November  challenge in which people around the globe attempt to write a 50,000-word-minimum rough draft of a novel. 

As the founder and current organizers of NaNoWriMo explain, the challenge's aim is to help a writer, or wanna-be writer, achieve their goals. 

I tried to “win” NaNoWriMo 4 or 5 times between 2009 and 2019. Life circumstances always intervened, and I never got more than 1/2-way to the 50,000-word mark.

As a result, I was elated last year to write 50,000+ words and to wear the “2020 NaNoWriMo Winner” t-shirt I bought as an incentive. 

I wasn’t planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Although I love the concept itself and the intense focus on writing it requires, I have two large projects I’m also more than ready to spend some time on.

But two weeks ago I was struck with a strong desire to accept the challenge again this year. I decided to step away from this blog and, for the most part, from social media for the entire month of November in order to free up the time and energy needed for writing, on average, 1667 words per day. 

With that decision, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I have a love-hate relationship with social media, and my hope is that this quasi-break will give me the opportunity to step back and consider how (or even if) I want to utilize it again when December 1 arrives.

I hope that if you don’t already, you’ll visit, “like”, and “follow” my Facebook author page (Patti Miinch), where I will be posting 5-6 days each week. I’ll be sharing information that will (hopefully) inspire, inform, and entertain you along with NaNoWriMo updates. 

If you think you have a novel inside of you, there’s still time to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2021. Find out more at  NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

No Facebook or Instagram or WhatsApp -- Oh My!

Facebook was down for six hours last Monday and again for a couple of hours several days later. Unsurprisingly, reactions to the outages were mixed.

There were the inevitable conspiracy claims; more than a few skeptics claimed that the outages Monday were linked to a now-famous whistleblower’s impending Congressional testimony. The popular theory was that Facebook folks were spending those six hours frantically erasing all evidence. Of what, I’m not quite sure.

Responses from the more “mainstream” folks ranged from frantic “OMG i cant blieve fb was down it was horrible!” to “the outages were great — too bad they weren’t permanent”. 

My own ambivalence to the outages was just what what I needed to decide in favor of something I’d been casually considering for a few weeks: a partial social media hiatus.

Moving forward, I plan to post on my newsfeed sparingly at best -- for prayer requests or information for extended family or personal friends only as absolutely necessary. I’ll be using my professional/author page (PattiMiinch) for everything else.

So while, according to news sources, “millions” of people around the globe found the eight hours sans Facebook to be a horrible experience that significantly impacted their lives in a negative way, I consider it beneficial. 

What about you? Did the outage really affect you? Did it give you food for thought about your own relationship with and usage of social media? Share your thoughts via a comment.