It took me this long to admit — and it was painful — that I am going to give up on NaNoWriMo this year. It was my virgin attempt at NaNoWriMo (and at writing a novel as well) and I imagined it to be easier than it was. That was a blunder now I wish I hadn’t committed.
I took the whole process easy and didn’t put in a honest attempt until it was too late. I only really started writing around the mid-second week of November. I knew I can’t spend enough time writing with my Semester exams coming in the third week. Yet, I didn’t bother too much with NaNoWriMo initially.
I expected myself to do long hours at a stretch towards the end of the month and catch up with the backlog. It didn’t quite work out like that though. My quality of writing took a hit (massive enough to convince me to throw out everything I wrote thus far1) and I couldn’t force myself to sit and write either. It was difficult and it was ugly.
The whole episode was a regrettable mistake and as it turned out, I only wrote 16,000-odd words, far short of the 50,000 words required to rightfully win at NaNoWriMo.
At least, it wasn’t a lose-lose situation. I now know exactly what to look for, what blunders to avoid and how to get on and win at NaNoWriMo next year. Hurray for that!
And a takeaway too: Write early. Write often. It might be clichéd but it does apparently work wonders.
I was lazing through yet another evening on my favourite RSS reader and there it was. The one news that immediately made me shout Oh My GOD!!! right across the room2. Markdown is now finally supported as one of the formatting options for WordPress.com blogs.
The announcement not only made me shout but also forced me to come out of my self-imposed hiatus from blogging during the month of November. There were a couple reasons for the hiatus.
- I got my college semester exams going on3.
- Quite busy with Interactive Python class on Coursera.
- And most importantly, I am also involved in NaNoWriMO4.
But those reasons were notwithstanding to the announcement I have at my hands. It was enough to force me to temporarily suspend the hiatus and post my excitement away. Well, yes. That really is the extent of excitement that Markdown brings.
Markdown, for the currently unfortunate people who don’t know it yet, is a stripped down markup language intended to put the focus back on content instead of formatting and other trivial matters.
I have been a great fan of Markdown since the days I first started using it in the Stack Exchange network of sites. I immediately fell in love with it and went a little further and tweaked my configurations in Vim and Nano for Markdown syntax highlighting.
I’ll also let you in on a little secret: I use VimRepress for posting my blog articles through Vim — no goodies for guessing it has Markdown support. And now that WordPress.com finally has Markdown support, that Vim plugin might have to go. Good times VimRepress!
There were also times when I was tempted to switch over to the E-less blogging platform because of Markdown. I tided over that difficult period with VimRepress through. God bless Adrien Friggeri and Preston Masion for creating and recreating it. I didn’t yield to temptations and did not allow the devil to win. Yay me. And, seems like WordPress finally put the devil out of its job. Thanks WordPress!
Where were we again? Oh yes, Markdown. If you are one of those people who hasn’t heard of Markdown yet, please give it a try. You would totally be blown over by the ease of use.
And a quick note about footnotes. Markdown Extra made it painlessly easy to add footnotes and I got super excited and abused it to the maximum. Sorry about that!