The backlog is a weight on my shoulders, a monster screaming in my ear, a gargantuan roadblock preventing me from achieving creative success.
The backlog, in simplest terms, is all of the diary entries I've meant to write over the years, but haven't. The easiest way to illustrate this is with an image:
This is the actual, physical, literal backlog. It's a day-planner filled with pages dating back several years. Each of those pages on the left is a member of the backlog. On each page, there are notes that I wrote on that day highlighting what I wanted to write about. The majority of them fall into three categories:
- Trip reports from various vacations over the years
- Theater/Movie/TV Show reviews
- Major life events (birthdays, weddings, new jobs, etc)
The entries are outlined and ready to go, but most of them are so out-of-date that by the time I post them, they'll be so old that no one will ever read them. That's OK with me. While I regret that I didn't write each post in a timely manner, I'd still rather have the record in my diary than skip over the memories. But as you can see, those memories have really piled up over the years, and I'd like to get them out of my head and onto the (digital) page while I can still remember a few foggy details.
So I've been thinking about NaNoWriMo, which is this annual November challenge to write a 50,000 word novel. What if, instead of writing a novel, I dedicate that energy and time to eliminating the backlog? Call it a memoir, if you like. A sort of book. But mostly, it's just a way to get rid of all these backdated blogs-waiting-to-happen. I don't think I'll ever be able to be truly creative and write that long-considered novel until I finish this major project, because in the back of my mind it's always nagging at me and distracting me from new things.
I know that in a way, it's an abuse of the NaNoWriMo tools, but if I can just get this thing done than next year I'll be able to NaNoWriMo for real.
So let's see if I can pound out 50,000 words of blogging in November.