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Thursday, April 02, 2009

HOW TO BLOG EVERY DAY

My beloved agent, Daphne Unfeasible, was just in town. She has left her mountain outpost where she controls her empire, Unfeasible Enterprises, and came to the big city to visit me (and some other people, but I like to think she is just here to see ME).

I told Daphne about Blog Ever Day April, and her response was a strange little noise.

“What?” I asked.

“Every day?” she said. “Your blogs are ridiculously long. If you try to write one of those every day for a month, you’ll die. I’ll have to manage your estate. I’d probably have to bury you, too.”

“I have a playlist for my funeral,” I said. “It’s mostly Swedish disco, Belgian techno . . . and the audiobook of “Robert Pattison, Eternally Yours, an Unauthorized Biography”, which isn’t even the real audiobook, it’s just me reading it into my phone, but I think people will like that . . .”

“HOW are you going to blog every day?”

I pointed to my computer confidently.

“You don’t have a plan,” she said, shaking her head. “This is one of those things that you do where you don’t have a plan. This is one of those things where you wind up calling me at 3 in the morning saying you’re fleeing the country and I have to cover for you. I’m not telling your editor that story about you being a werewolf. Not again.”

I held up a reassuring hand. I have a very calming way when she gets like this.

“Of course I have a plan,” I said smoothly. “I would never embark on a 30 day blog-writing spree without a plan. Let me make you a calming tea and I will tell you all about it.”

Now, as it happened, I did not have a plan, but that is not the kind of thing I tell Daphne. And since I am a Professional Writer, I am fully qualified to Make Things Up.

1. WAKE UP EARLY AND OBSERVE THE WORLD

The Professional Blogger is three steps ahead of the curve. Up with the dawn, he or she scours the internet for the Newest Things to talk about. For example, I woke up before ANYONE just to read about how Obama gave the Prime Minister of England some Region 1 DVDs the other day (Region 1cannot be played on most UK DVD players), and now has given the Queen an iPod, but she’s already got one. And then the Queen gave him a picture of herself.

Which is a pretty craptastic round of gift-giving. And I certainly know the pain. I borrowed this whole set of the @#$&ing Wire from Oscar thinking I could play it on my computer, because my computer has this thing where you can switch regions, so I switched regions so I could watch, and then the stupid DVDs had SCRATCHES or SPACE DUST on them or something and I couldn’t play them! So I had to buy the whole thing off of iTunes, which is fine, actually. And my dad got an iPod at the casino that he tried to give to me, but I already have an iPhone, so I said no, thanks. I’m just saying I can RELATE TO CURRENT AFFAIRS.



Start early, and with a positive attitude.


2. TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DID ALL DAY


Many times, the best blogs are simply recounts of what has happened during the day.

If I was not blogging today, I would have probably said that I didn’t do anything yesterday. Just a normal day. Some writing. Made some food. Made some calls. Did some stuff online. It was an Indoor Day. I never really moved more than a few feet away from my desk.

But since I am BLOGGING, I have to take things apart a little more and really EXAMINE my actions. For instance, yesterday I: imitated a seagull, screamed prayers in German, climbed out of a window, got faked out by 250 people online as part of a massive April Fools Day extemporaneous joke, accidentally started a nerd dating service for proms and friendship, danced on my stoop for a bunch of schoolchildren (again, not intentional), read a hundred blogs, sang for my agent, made some quinoa, presented to the first chapter of Scarlett Fever to the world, and ate a cupcake.

Listen, Emily Dickenson, one of the greatest poets that America ever produced, didn’t leave her house for years. Sometimes she didn’t even come out of her room, or wouldn’t even open the door to talk to people, preferring instead to TALK REALLY LOUDLY through the door and to send them weird little messages in baskets she lowered from her window. And she was a GENIUS!

Could Emily Dickenson have kept a blog? Hell, yeah, she could have kept a blog. DID she? No. And I sort of think she would have Twittered more. She was a woman who rocked a 140 character limit.




You don’t need to leave your house to be exciting.


3. TALK ABOUT STUFF ON TV


“This is where it will fall down for you,” Daphne said. “You don’t watch enough TV. You haven’t even SEEN Battlestar Galactica, or Lost, or Real Housewives, or . . .”

She listed a bunch of other shows, but I don’t remember what they are, because I don’t actually watch enough television to keep up. I DO watch television, but I tend to watch a lot of television in England, or I just watch hours and hours of Law and Order while I do other things. And I don’t even watch them, I just listen to them on headphones. But I have gotten so good at this that I can actually predict what face Jack McCoy is making without even looking. (When you read Scarlett Fever—IF you read Scarlett Fever—you will see at once that I know my Law and Order backwards and forwards.)

“I saw this show about children in pageants,” I said. “Toddlers and Tiaras. I watched it for research on stage parenting.”

“Once is not enough,” Daphne said. “If you are going to blog TV, you are going to have to watch ALL of the shows.”

But once again, I go back to Emily Dickenson, who ALSO did not watch any TV, but I think she would have been up to this task JUST FINE and would maybe have produced something like this:

This Toddlers and Tiaras show—
They show on TLC—
It kind of really makes me mad—
I throw s^&t—at my tv—

Those moms—and dads—are so messed up—
They are screwing up their kids—
They’ll all end up—in therapy—
Whatever—lol



Demonstrate your awareness of media and events, and people will be impressed.


I could tell from the way she was giving me a cold, dead, fish-eye and was answering notes on her Blackberry that Daphne could see I had the situation well under control. And so I do, having now successfully met the challenge for TWO DAYS!

I hope these tips can help YOU with YOUR BLOGGING!

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28 Comments:

Blogger Khy said...

Toddlers in Tiaras is the scariest show I have ever seen.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

omg maureen. you read all of the blogs?! including mine?!!!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Candy said...

You only got one part wrong:

"When you read Scarlett Fever—IF you read Scarlett Fever"

should instead say:

"If you read Scarlett Fever—WHEN you read Scarlett Fever"

;)

<3 you will be awesome! I can't imagine you NOT having something to blog about every day.

9:27 AM  
Blogger goreschy16 said...

I'm an intern for The Onion in Washington, DC and pitched a "story" about this 30 days of blogging vs. 30 days of video blogging. I'll let you know if I get the column. :) In all seriousness, I think 30 days of free writing could cleanse the pen.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous lightforms said...

no sound! j/k


I did enjoy it. Now I just have to wait how long for the rest of it?

9:45 AM  
Blogger Candy said...

Oh! Maureen I have a question for you to answer if you please!

What is your opinion on zombie unicorns (notice I did not say zombies VS unicorns, but unicorns who are also zombies)? Could this be the entity that brings bitter enemies to once again become friends?

9:49 AM  
Blogger betty said...

Wow, two blogs and it isn't even the 2nd yet on the West Coast. I feel special to be able to read both on the same day. :)

10:04 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I'm trying to do BEDA too, so far I've made it one day! I love your blogs though so keep going!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Rory said...

Maureen, that is some fine poetry. You are surely an inspiration to us all.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

I love reading your blogs. My favorite part? A tie between when you mention the BlogTV stuff, and the Emily Dickinsonesque poem.

I'm looking forward to the rest of April. :)

6:24 PM  
Blogger Nadia Murti said...

Good advice. And may I suggest that you reply to posts put up by other people?

What is that dating service?

6:36 PM  
Blogger Michal Chinn said...

Yay!
I too, have suceeded in blogging for two whole days!

Check it out!
www.michalchinn.blogspot.com

7:36 PM  
Blogger david elzey said...

holy cow! jimmy stewart was the previous owner of my refrigerator? i knew it was old, i didn't realize it was that old! you think maybe if i defrost the block of ice that is the freezer i'll find one of his puppy dog poems in there? i'm getting an ice pick!

8:21 PM  
Anonymous ravendaine said...

I love anyone who shares my love of Cary Grant! Not that I don't love you anyhow...this fact is just another reason why.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Just think, you didn't think the vlogbrothers would be able to vlog every day!!

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Joie said...

Good music for writing http://www.pandora.com/ it is internet radio where you enter the names of your favorite singers or songs and it will stream similar music to your computer.

1:39 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Maureen,

This has nothing to do with your post, but it just popped into my mind. I was reading "Suite Scarlett" and I noticed you use the phrase "Japanese slippers" a lot. I think I recognized it from some other books you've written as well. I'm not trying to be obnoxious here, but I'm an advanced student of Japanese who's studied abroad in Japan, so I've picked up a fair amount of cultural knowledge. I have to inform you--there is no such thing as a Japanese slipper! Japanese traditional shoes are sandals, kind of like thongs. They are called geta and you can see pictures of them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geta_(footwear) . Japanese people do use house slippers a lot, but I think you're thinking of satin embroidered flats--which are Chinese slippers! Chinese people are the ones who wear slippers as traditional shoes. Anyway, I hope you take this into consideration next time you decide to use that phrase to describe someone's footwear :) Thanks, and I'm sorry if I was annoying!!

4:52 AM  
Blogger sruble said...

This post is even better than the one yesterday, although I do love Monsterpiece Theater.

Thanks for starting BEDA. I joined in today by posting twice (to make up for not starting yesterday).

4:55 AM  
Blogger Kimmy123 said...

Yeah, actually, I didn't feel up to doing it today, but felt kinda better afterward. it's like a cleansing type thing :)

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Olivia said...

I love the His Girl Friday picture. Cary Grant/Jimmy Stewart movies are the best.

Good luck with the blogging! You can do it! I believe in you. Love your posts so far.

Have a marvelous Friday.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Meftihe said...

Thank you Maureen! You inspired my second blog post, it feels good to successfully do two days in a row. I don't mean to get all optimistic, but I think I can actually do this thing!!

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Maureen
Love your blog. I'm going to love reading it everyday.
Anyway I doibt you will read this comment or even reply to it by 6:15 Friday morning but I'll ask anyway. How would you describe Devilish. Is it a Supernatural thriller or a paranormal adventure.It's for a book review for newspaper at school.
If you don't reply it's fine.
Thanks for reading...if you did read it. If you didn't and this is someone else reading this...okay...awkard.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Nic said...

Excellent blog!

I've decided to embark on this crazy task with you. Just in case you're interested to see how I fare (although I expect you'll be too busy writing your own), it can be found here
http://ablogforthesakeofblogging.blogspot.com/
Good luck!
x

7:36 AM  
Blogger Tami said...

I just read your blog for the first time and I have to tell you, I LOVE IT! I'll be back! :)

9:10 AM  
Blogger bucketlips572 said...

after your amazing blogtv show last night, well wednesday night, I realized I loved your personality and just had to get my hand on one of your books. so i drove my mother to the book store and asked her to buy me a book, i found the section with yours, chose one and my mother asks "what is this book about?" i siply replied "i dont know, but the woman who writes it has an amazing personality so i just have to check out her writing"

11:31 AM  
Blogger ananasch said...

I'm IN ! I started 1 April ;-)

I'm reading "13 little blue envelopes" and I really love your style!

x- Anne

11:59 AM  
OpenID lalalaamichelle said...

Maureen? I love you.
ESPECIALLY the playlist for your funeral bit. You're amazing. AMAZING.

12:30 AM  
Blogger chlsnn said...

Just so you know,
you are officially the coolest person EVER.
Especially the playlist at your funeral. I laughed out loud.

(You'd have to know me and my imaginary relationship with Robert Pattinson [referance to #8 on 18 things to do before any time] to fully understand how amazing that was)

3:29 AM  

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