I try to be very honest with other people—especially you, readers—but lying to myself is totally acceptable, and I do it well. I tell myself some whoppers, and I believe them, because I am just that skilled. Or stupid. Whichever.
One lie I am very good at telling myself is that I blog regularly. “I just did it!” I will say. “Look!” And I will point at the screen.
And someone will look and say, “Well, no, this is from two weeks ago . . .” And I will say, “Look . . . a SQUIRREL!” And then I’m gone. Out the door, out the window, if necessary.
I usually have perfectly good excuses for why I haven’t blogged. I have to write books and stories. That takes a lot of time. I have to read and answer a lot of e-mail, and have meetings with people, and return phone calls. I travel a lot, so I have to stand around in lots of lines. And read. And eat. And sleep. And, of course, there’s the Abba shrine to polish.
And before you know it, that blog I think I JUST WROTE is two weeks old.
But I have been reading your e-mails, comments, tweets, and Facebook messages, and it seems that many of you would like me to blog more. This is a wonderful thing for me, as it means YOU are reading. YOUR requests cannot go ignored. I am lucky to have readers such as you.
Your requests are very important.
Important or not, I still fall down on this particular job a lot.
So I was in the shower the other day, washing my hair (I have all my good ideas when I am washing my hair—maybe I have a button on my skull that I accidentally push that controls all the thinking) . . . anyway, I had this idea. “Why not blog every day in April?” I thought. “Even if it kills you? Why not make that the goal of April? Not killing yourself, but blogging every day.”
Such a simple idea. I’ve had thoughts like it before, but this time, it felt Right. After all, I just finished Scarlett Fever, and Suite Scarlett is about to come out in paperback on May 1st. So I saw a tangible goal for myself . . . blog every day until the official release of the paperback.
So I stuck this little thought of mine up on Twitter (I can Twitter every day just fine, because that only takes about 20 seconds). I told everyone I was getting ready for Blog Every Day April. I hadn’t realized that Blog Every Day April sounds like a real thing, like an organized event. I started getting replies back from people saying that they too wanted to do Bog Every Day April. I got a note from YouTube celebrity Alex Day saying that he was going to Vlog Every Day in April.
A few hours later, my little idea from the shower had an acronym: BEDA. (Or VEDA, if you are vloging.) People were asking for rules! So I am now giving the OFFICIAL rules, and the manifesto of the thing I just made up.
THE RULES OF BLOG EVERY DAY APRIL (BEDA)
1. Blog every day in April.
THE BLOG EVERY DAY IN APRIL MANIFESTO
I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it.
I ___________________ promise to blog every day in April.
SOME QUESTIONS I HAVE SEEN, SOME I MADE UP, WITH ANSWERS
Q. What’s the point of blogging every day in April?
There’s always value to signing on to a project and seeing it through. But I think blogging every day in April has many potential benefits. If you want to be a writer, for example, this is a great idea . . . because you have to get used to the practice of writing every day, whether you think you can or not.
And I think April’s a good month for it. April is often a busy, crazy, transitional month. It’s when taxes are due (in America). It’s when school is just reaching its peak and people are just seeing the summer ahead. It’s when rain comes and flowers grow, and there’s candy, and it’s also only 30 days long! BONUS!
Q. Are there punishments if you mess up and don’t blog for a day?
I am not one for setting up punishments, because I believe that the punishments will administer themselves. At least in my case. If I mess up a day, LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL LET ME KNOW, and I will feel the tweak of failure. You can set up any punishment you like, if punishments help you! But I am a great believer in getting up again and trying the next day.
May I also suggest setting up ENCOURAGEMENTS? Here are a few ideas.
- Why not blog with a friend, or make a NEW FRIEND and read each other’s blogs every day?
- Why not promise yourself a small prize of some kind? A book, for example? (I could suggest a Suite Scarlett paperback, because the timing is excellent . . . but you see the idea here. Some small token of accomplishment.)
Q. I don’t have a blog! And if I set one up, no one would read it.
I HAVE ANSWERS FOR THIS! And an EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!
Yes, I saved a surprise for the end of this post!
I have opened a NEW BLOG SITE! On Ning! Which is just another type of blogging site, like this one, but with MANY COOL FEATURES!
For at least a few weeks or months, I’m going to post all my blogs on BOTH sites, just until enough people know it’s there, and I get all the kinks worked out, and get it hooked into my main wesbite . . . blah, blah, blah, technical stuff. So you can read BEDA here OR there. It will be the same blog!
But the difference is . . . on the other site, YOU CAN PARTICIPATE if you want! On the mj Ning blog, you can become a member (which takes about ten seconds and is free, easy, not an invasion of privacy, etc.) Here are just a few of the cool things:
- When you sign up, you can start your own blog there. You can also upload photos and videos!
- Members can friend other members . . . so you can easily find a blog buddy!
- There are forums to chat on. And there is a live chat at the bottom of the page going on at all times! I will occasionally pop on this chat—sometimes announced, sometimes unannounced!
So why NOT sign up? Why NOT join BEDA?
Anyway, I am doing it. I have sworn now. It’s official. Every day in April. Want to sign on? Have ideas? Let me know!
[Ning note: there is now an entire forum category devoted to blogs, so if you want to have a chat there and make a blog buddy, you can!]