Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Here Comes The Train: Blaugust 2019

"And so it goes on with the show
And all I hope, hope all your dreams will come true"

It's that time of year again. Dust off the keyboard, shake the cobwebs off the mouse, bring out that old lever-arch file filled with ideas you never quite finished...

Blaugust is back!

Ok, not quite yet but it's coming. Belghast says so and he should know. He invented it.

If you hang around this corner of the blogosphere you're going to be hearing about Blaugust a lot. Naithin and Izlain are already talking about it and now so am I. Expect a lot more of this.

Just to summarize, Blaugust is a Festival of Blogging. It started out as a challenge to post every day in August and over time it morphed into something much greater and grander than that.

The modern Blaugust incorporates lapsed celebrations like Developer Appreciation Week and the Newbie Blogger Initiative. It offers opportunities to begin or begin again. It asks you to do no more than you feel but to feel you can do what you want.

For active bloggers Blaugust can be a welcome challenge. Can you hit that mark running, each and every day? For those gone dormant, living in slow-time, it offers a structure, a scaffold, something to haul on as you pull yourself upright. For everyone who sends postcards to the void and wonders if there's anyone out there it brings the noise.

With the incorporation into Blaugust of the NBI this is also the very best time to start that blog you've been thinking about for weeks, for months, for years. Pressing Publish for the first time can be scary but Blaugust has your back.

Bel's even come up with a schedule. As regular readers will know I love a schedule the way a feral cat loves a nice, hot bath with lots of shampoo. But not everything has to be about you, does it, Bhagpuss? And Bel's schedule is so pretty!

If that's not enough belt there's also the braces of Mentorship. A whole bunch of folks who've been at this for a while have volunteered to have themselves tagged on Discord so you can tap them up for advice. I'm one but don't let that put you off. Expect a lot of old war stories you've heard before and advice that works for pretty much no-one but me. (First piece of advice for free, don't go hog wild on the metaphors).

For the full skinny read Belghast's post but for quick here are the links:

Discord Invite
Media Kit

I'm likely to be home all August for medical reasons so I have no excuse to miss a day. One serious piece of advice I would throw out there, though, is if you make targets for yourself and miss them that is absolutely fine.

Every year a whole slew of people sign up and some of them we barely hear of ever again. That is okay! Blaugust is about experimenting, trying things out, getting the feel of what blogging is like (if it's new to you) or how it could be different (if you're already in).

If it's not working for you, take a break, try it another way, rethink. If it's stressing you out then, really, stop. This isn't an ironman challenge. It's a co-operative, collaborative social event that's 100% for funzies. (Probably don't say funzies if you're 60 years old like I am, just another freebie I'm throwing out there).

Last year Blaugust saw 88 sign-ups, at least according to my count. I recorded them all in a sidebar called "The Crew", whose derivation I revealed in a post I wrote as recently as this June. Should have called it Rocket 88. Missed a trick there.

In my final piece of mentoristic advice for the day, that post was one of my very favorites of the year so far. I worked really hard on it and it came out even better than I hoped. It got no reaction whatsoever. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Once before, I built a second post out of how another had failed and Gevlon turned up in the comments to take me to task about it. He'd misunderstood my reason for writing the post but he still had a point.

Blog posts aren't your babies. You don't have to protect them. They're wild. Let them fly free. The best will go unremarked while the ones you toss out in an idle coffee break will live a life of their own that outstrips anything you could have imagined. That's just how it is. Ya gotta ride it out.

Speaking of Gevlon, currently residing in the "Where Are They Now?" file, if you're reading this, have you considered that Blaugust might be the time for a comeback? Now, that would break my irony meter. But go on, you know you want to. I can buy another one.

This is running way longer than planned.  Bit of a trope here.  Let's wrap it up.

Hoping to see an even bigger turnout than last year. Let's see if we can crack the ton this time!


  1. hahahaha!

    I'm away for 2 weeks during August, so have missed this event the past few years, but I might try a haiku themed blog post every day I am away only returning to normal posts when I return.

    Creative juices flowing, thank you!

    1. Have a great time and I would love to see a daily haiku.

  2. "Should have called it Rocket 88"

    Indeed, there has been a drought of Oldsmobile references as part of Blaugust.

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