So what is my conundrum, you ask? What to do with my November, of course. Other than the obvious enjoying the cool off in the weather and getting to cook some Thanksgiving goodness, what should I do? There are a couple of things on the horizon that pique my interest.
First there is National Podcast Post Month, a wonderful little event that was founded last year by my podcast guru, Jennifer Navarette. What is National Podcast Post Month? Basically, you attempt to publish a podcast every day for the month of November. I did it last year, successfully I am proud to say and had a blast. Many of you may know that I produce a (approximately) weekly podcast called ‘Enlighten Up’ over at enlighten-up.org. Basically I talk about Buddhism and how classical Buddhist ideas are relevant here in the 21st Century (nice tag line, huh?). Well, this is not a quick process, so for NaPodPoMo, I changed the format completely. For those 30 days, I simply read a short thought from one of my Buddhist Books, sent out a little podcast love to some of the new podcasts I was listening to and that was about it. Sounds simple, but with finding the reading, gathering info for podcast love, recording, editing and posting show notes, it was about a 2 hour a night process. What I hadn’t thought about was how my listeners at the time would react to thirty days of being bombarded with podcasts that were a completely different format than what they were used to. Just to clarify, much of it was not positive. I lost a number of listeners because it was too much ME and not the information they had been tuning in for. I decided that if I did it again, I would do a completely new show on a different feed that would not interfere with the Enlighten Up Podcast. I also had decided I would do it on something other than Buddhism.
NaPodPoMo was actaully inspired by National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) which was inspired by the long running National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). National Blog Post Month is simply posting a blog post a day for the month of November. I had done National Blog Post Month a couple of years back and really wished I had signed up for it last year too. Why, you ask? How on earth could I do a daily podcast AND blog post. Ahhh…there is a method to this madness, young grasshopper. When I was posting the podcast, I was meticulously posting show notes and comments on the whole NaPodPoMo process in my blog. Hence, there was a blog post every day. I did it, I just didn’t sign up for it!!!
Therefore, I have successfully completed NaBloPoMo and NaPodPoMo. The one thing I haven’t tried is NaNoWriMo. To me, National Novel Writing Month would be a big challenge. Hold on, hold on. Let me lay it out for you. At 12:01 a.m. on November 1, you begin writing a novel. The goal is a 50,000 word novel before midnight of November 30. Now, I have produced dozens of podcasts and I have made hundreds, maybe thousands of blog posts, but I have NEVER written a novel. NaBloPoMo and NaPodPoMo were simply things I already did, but I just had to do them alot and fairly quickly. NaNoWriMo is a whole different animal. Needless to say, this program not only intrigues me, but scares the hell out of me.
So there lies the conundrum. Do I go for the NaPodPoMo again, whose challenge would be to try to do something new and creative in a format that I know I can complete? Or do I really go for broke and try NaNoWriMo and take on a challenge that I have never tried before and am not sure I can even get to the finish line on.
I’ve been weighing these against each other and discovered that, while they sound remarkably similar, they are really different. With the podcast, I am producing something every day, that is distributed every day, that I get feedback on the other people doing the same thing every day. There is a lot of natural interaction just from participation. But with NaNoWriMo, it’s really me vs me. Yes, there is a wordcount that’s publically visible that I update so that anyone interested can see how far along I am, and there are forums that allow some communication, but no one else is really reading your novel day by day. There isn’t that sence of closure at the end of each day. With NaPodPoMo, there had to be a new podcast out every day and it’s really obvious when you miss one. With NaNoWriMo, if I skip today, no one knows or cares. It would kinda feel like any ecouragement was artifically generated where NaPodPoMo is more natural. You really feel part of the podcasts that others are doing and you feel they are a part of yours. But, again with the novel, it’s just me vs me.
Now all this might sound like I am really leaning toward doing the podcast again. Oddly though, I am tending to lean to the novel. I think I want that challenge of something that I have never done and am not real sure I can do.
If you have experience with either of these, or you just have an opinion of what I should try, leave a comment. Like I said, I have not firmly decided one way or the other. I’m still not firm on it though, but I think I better get firm pretty quick because, no matter which one I pick, there is going to be a bit of planning involved that I need to get done before 12:01 on 1 November.
On a lighter and wonderfully fun note, I will be heading to the Social Media Club of San Antonio meet up at San Antonio College tonight. It’s from 6-8, food is going to be provided, there’s door prizes and the college paper, The Ranger, is coming with a reporter and a photographer to cover the event. That reminds me, I better avoid the ripped jeans and t-shirt.