I recently decided to participate in NaNoWriMo; for the unindoctrinated, that stands for National Novel Writing Month and it starts tomorrow. The premise is that of outputting 50,000 words in one month and the purpose (of both the not-for-profit and the competition) is that of getting writers to write. In this case, the writers write fiction and while I am not particularly interested in writing fiction, I am interested in writing. And like Ben Brooks before me, I am interested in getting into the rhythm of writing consistently. However, unlike Ben, I will actually participate in the competition itself.
My father—who is a writer by passion, though not by trade—has been dragging his feet in writing his next book. Each time I would ask him about it, there would be a groan or a sheepish grin. This time around, the same progression occurred but with the realization that I could lead by example. If I finally got one of my longstanding ideas on paper, I would have something to point to when the next time I asked how his book was coming along.
Pastor’s Kid is an autobiographical novel—we can call it a memoir, but I am not sure that I will keep it entirely factual—about growing up in a church community from during my formative years. Currently, the premise is an overview of approaches and understandings of the world from childhood through adulthood within the context of the church family and pastoral family. The church community in question is one that sets itself apart from the standard norms of the church and teaches the main character everything he knows about life, the world, and Christianity. The story is partially autobiographical, while also including theological analysis and church history, as well as commentary on recent events as it pertains to the church.
I recently heard somewhere that in a forum like NaNoWriMo, you should write what you feel passionate about and while my story and my perspective may not be unique, it is inherently mine. In addition, I feel that I have something to add to this space, especially given my evangelical upbringing juxtaposed with my progressive socialistic views of just about everything. My own ideas may not be unique, but the ideas and, potentially especially, the actions of the people with whom I shared much of my upbringing, frankly, were and are.
I also have a blog and I hope to post here as I write. However, being that 50,000 words is a lot to digest in the blog format, I will likely post excerpts from various parts of the writing. Either way, don’t expect other types of writing here for the month of November.1
That is probably for the best, too. Recently, I have been disappointed by tech writing in general. Sensationalism, double standards, and exorbitant expectations have meant that I read the writings of tech bloggers less and less. It is exceedingly likely that I will return to the topics of Apple and the technology industry in my own writing after November, but I hope this month off provides me some much-needed perspective, something that is continually lacking in such discussions.↩
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.