To tell the true story of this year’s NaPoBloMo fail: I plumb forgot on Tuesday, until the moment when I turned the light off to go to sleep and then I laid there and this train of thought occurred: “But you could write something short.” “But the light is off.” “But you’ll blow NaPoBloMo.” “True, but I have nothing to say.” “Can’t you think of something, just quick?” “Is that the point? And, no. Tired. Done. Power Down.” And that was the end of that. [LORD I hope this exchange doesn’t make me sound at all like Gollum, arguing with himself.] I thought, the next morning, well, I could just carry on and make it a Nearly NaPoBloMo, but less sleep than desirable on Tuesday night followed by a rather long Wednesday – i.e., being new is really exhausting even if you don’t feel like you are able to be doing much useful yet – left me tired, and not much fun. Who wants to hear from that person? Not even me.
Why is it that as soon as you make something a job – a law, a must-do, mandatory, compulsory, required – it loses its shine and becomes the absolute last thing in the world you can ever imagine doing, or more to the point, enjoying doing? It’s the natural cussedness in all of us, I guess. Maybe there are folks who don’t have that contrary feeling, but I sure don’t know any. Bless them.
There’s been a lot of talk lately on the library blogs about failure, embracing failure, the freedom of failure, etc. I don’t disagree with this – coming to terms with imperfection, whether yours personally, or that of your project, organization, group, what-have-you, certainly takes a lot of pressure off. It also encourages each of us to get over our sweet selves, which (for me anyway) is an important and ongoing project. I had been wondering if some folks might be taking this renaissance of fail too far, though; you can definitely turn what should be a sort of pragmatic tolerance for the end of the world as we know it (and trying to feel fine) into an excuse for rampant half-assery. Further, FAIL discussions can verge into snark, or even worse, flat out meanness; how quickly the shoe is on the other foot, when it’s not your hands tying those laces, right? I thought Cindi Trainor had a very good post on the subject, at ALA TechSource (so, library-centric); in case you’re interested, you can find it here.
That said, there are such things as constructive criticism, openness, transparency … and also schadenfreude. Oh, it’s out there. I think maybe some people walk around with a barely perceptible mist of schadenfreude hanging around them, just waiting for others to walk into their orbit and be carried away by it into saying things they (the others, that is) later regret. But really, blaming the person whose mistakes you’re busting on for your unkind behavior seems like the ultimate fail.
Back to the point – NaBloPoMo, 3; cg, 0. There’s always 2011.