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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Rainbow asks: I know not everyone does their BEDA blog every day, but I didn't do mine yesterday, and now I feel TERRIBLE. How can I redeem myself?

The answer, Rainbow, is not to feel bad at all!

I’ve been seeing comments like this a lot, people saying that they’ve failed. You can’t fail Blog Every Day April. You can’t really FAIL anything you write (or record)—and if you COULD fail, it certainly wouldn’t be by missing a day or two.

A lot of people ask me . . . “mj,” they say, “how did you become a writer?”

I became a writer by just trying every day. I went through many periods of trying to write every day before it clicked and I wrote every day, naturally. I think this is how you do everything, really. You simply try again the next day. Life, careers, projects, books—they’re all a long series of “next days.”

So throw all of those bad feelings and worries out the window! They have nothing to do with BEDA. If you want to do it, just try again tomorrow!

To HELP with this . . . I am introducing the BEDA Buddy system.


1. First, you have to become a member of the MJ Ning, if you aren’t already. This takes about 5 seconds and is free.* Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to talk on the forums and access all the other fun bits of the site.

2. You go to this discussion on the forum—the one called BEDA BUDDIES. Once there, you tell me a few (just a few) things about yourself. You must do this by MIDNIGHT on THURSDAY, April 16th.

3. On Friday, I sit and ANALYZE all the profiles and put people into teams of 2, 3, or 4 (or any other number) as I see fit. These are now your BEDA BUDDIES. You can give yourselves a name, establish your own routines . . . but you make a commitment to help each other to the end. You’ll provide encouragement and help, read each other’s blogs, and comment.

Now, invariably, someone is going to write to me on Monday or the week after and ask if I can still buddy them up. And I’m afraid the answer will be no. I will be putting an INTENSE EFFORT into matching everyone up (TO THE MAX!), and once I’m done, I’m done.**

At this exact moment, about a hundred people have already signed up, so there promises to be an INTERESTING MIX. Because BEDA is about more than just blogging every day—it’s about getting to know other people.

So get over there and REGISTER NOW!

It’s time to MAKE A BEDA BUDDY!

Melissa asks: Maureen, I don’t know what to write about. You’re a writer. Maybe you could give us some writing prompts to help us along on BEDA? We send you questions. Maybe you could send us some?

Of course I can! Here are some things YOU can answer in your blogs:

1. Have you ever had any embarrassing obsessions that went a little too far? Has anyone ever caught you swinging around a pen like it was a sonic screwdriver or a wand? Ever get caught with the SPARKLY makeup on? Worse? We want to know. Really.

2. Find something really wrong on the internet. (Look hard, you will find SOMETHING.) Tell us why it is wrong.

3. Write about your day from the perspective of someone who is observing you and thinks you are up to something. Like, someone who suspects you of murder. See if you can make yourself suspicious . . . of yourself.

4. You must watch tv, right? You know you’re being advertised to. What ad annoys you the most—not because it’s just dumb or repetitive—but because you can tell that some ad executive thinks they understand YOU. But they don’t. And you hate them for their cheap attempts.

5. Ever KNOW you were about to make a major mistake and felt yourself being inexorably compelled to do the thing anyway? Yeah, we want to know about that.

6. Imagine that you never had the internet. What would be different for you?

7. What’s the one thing you do that you are convinced NO ONE ELSE in the world does?

8. Or, just feel free to tell me something you think I need to know.

Stayawesome asks: What is one thing you never want to do? Why?

The list is long, stayawesome. But I’ll tell you one thing—I don’t want to go to trapeze school. I know that many of you will look at that link and think it is AMAZING, but I look at it and think how very glad I am that I am not doing that. Because to me, that is a prime example of a bad idea. Who wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Hey, you know what I should do today? I should climb up a really high ladder to a platform. And then I’ll jump off the platform! But it will be okay because I’ll have a stick! Except . . . I’ll let go of the stick!”

Not me, I’ll tell you that much.

But negative things can also be used as rewards. For example, I could use NOT going to trapeze school as a bonus I’ll pay myself—or, as another way of looking at it, as a punishment for something good happening.

Say, for example, that everyone went out and got some Suite Scarlett paperbacks and it ended up on the bestseller list. Well, sounds like I’d have to go to trapeze school if that happens. But if it DOESN’T, I’m totally off the hook.

See how that works? I get awesome rewards like that all the time. Try it for yourself! Set up something horrible you DON’T have to do if you finish BEDA!

* Well, I own your soul once you sign up, but it doesn’t cost any ACTUAL MONEY.
** As such, Friday's blog is likely to be a listing of partnerships and teams, since that's going to take me a while.

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Blogger Sierra said...

Sooo excited for this BEDA thing.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Sierra said...

*BEDA buddies!

1:35 AM  
Blogger Arletta said...

I missed a day and just moved on... it's not like I tried to HIDE it or anything...

Okay, that's a big lie. I simply claimed that the day I didn't blog didn't exist...

2:03 AM  
Blogger Maggie Shirley said...

Hmmm... BEDA Buddies. I'll be looking into that.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Super Ellen said...

Maureen, is it okay if I start BEDA now? It's almost halfway through April...

3:33 AM  
Blogger Paperclipz said...

Could I start doing BEDA right now, even though it's so late in the month? and still have a BEDA buddy and all? I’ve always wanted to have a blog, but the one thing really keeping me from starting one is my mom. I think she’s afraid of creepy online people stalking me or something. Any suggestions on how to convince her to let me do BEDA?

4:13 AM  
Blogger Miss May said...

Yes, I too wish that I could have done BEDA. Unfortunately I (somehow) completely missed it up until like a week into April. I felt very disappointed with myself and my cyber-stalking skillz.

Maureen, I have to write a rap for my Study of Religion subject at school. What advice do you have for me to complete this project without making my SOR teacher want to send me to hell? :P



8:38 AM  
Anonymous HappyLove said...

Maureen I am a serious lack of actvitys in my daily life. Is there any sports or any hours of magical happiness that you would sugust I spend my time doing?

7:51 PM  

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