SoFoBoMo and Jumping the Gun
Over on Chantal Stone’s blog, I see that Chantal is preparing to jump the gun on the SoFoBoMo start. And this morning, I got email from Gordon McGregor, declaring his intent to (in his words) “go New Hampshire” and start early.
I would point out that New Hampshire is the state that goes first, as opposed to going before the start, and so strictly speaking it’s really more like he’s ‘going Florida’ or ‘going Michigan’. I’d point out, also, that both Florida and Michigan have, ahem, incurred certain costs and penalties as a result of starting early. And, as you can see from the newspapers, the consequences of Florida’s and Michigan’s hasty actions are far reaching and upsetting to many.
So I want to declare that people who start their SoFoBoMo project before 12:00 AM April 1, 2008, local time, will all be taken out, lined up against the wall, given a last cigarette, afforded a opportunity to say a few last words, offered a blindfold, and then…
No, actually, nothing like that. No one’s going to be shot because they start a few days early. The goal here is not to set some strict rules that govern who will win valuable prizes. There are no external valuable prizes, here. There’s just the satisfaction of doing the thing.
I’d encourage people to wait for April 1, because if you wait it means you’ll be starting at the same time as all those other people who respect the rules and laws that knit up the raveled sleave of our society and thus prevent our descent into an unspeakable chaos of crime, drugs, wanton promiscuity, and mindless violence. No, sorry, I got carried away, there. What I meant to say was that by starting on April 1, you’ll be maximally aligning the timing of your effort with the efforts of others, and so you’ll be better able to share with and benefit from the other participants. That, and that I’m hoping that that sort of interaction will make SoFoBoMo be a successful thing for enough people that we might all try it again next year.
Seriously, there is no official referee for SoFoBoMo. If you have a good reason to start a couple of days early, start a couple of days early. What qualifies as a good reason? I think that’s pretty much up to the real referee – yourself. If you can manage to wait, I’d encourage you to do so. If the window of your opportunity doesn’t align with the official start, we’ll all trust you to use your best judgement, and we’ll all be happy with your success at the end.
And for Pete’s sake, if you start early, at least do us all the favor of blogging about it like crazy as you start, so that the rest of us have something to distract us from the temptation to also start early, eh?