When I sat down to begin this thousand words a day malarkey, I really had no idea about where it would go each day. None at all. I figured I’d come up with an idea each day and write a thousand words about it. No thought was given to when in the day I’d do this, nor was any time spent wondering how I would possibly come up with enough ideas to meet the quota I had set myself across the entire time period.
However, once I began (and got over the hump, which was around day six and seven, possibly a little on eight too) it all seemed to become rather easy, except for the day I was ill, but that doesn’t count and I am still working on fixing it somehow.
The one thing that I have found it hard to deal with is the sudden attention I’ve been getting from armed mercenary groups, which is a subject I think deserves a thousand words of its own. Possibly a little more than that, but I haven’t got all day, you know; there are things to do, people to meet, bullets to dodge. I’m sure you know how it is.
Anyway, it turns out that once you enter the blogosphere, as the media repeatedly refers to it (or they did a couple of years ago, then they seemed to realise it was an awful term and stopped doing so), you have simultaneously entered the world of powerful, ruthless publishing circles, situated across the globe and willing to do practically anything to ensure their supremacy. Writers are mere pawns in their games, books little more than fundraisers, designed to pull in more money for their nefarious schemes and act as a carrot for any writers they’re after. “Sign with us and you’ll see your book on the shelves,” they say, and so people sign, little realising what they have gotten themselves into.
That’s a whole other level though. When you get up to physical publications you’re talking about the big guns. Helicopters, battleships, secret underground satellite networks (I’m not sure how that one works either), all of those are considered everyday in the world of hardback and paperback press. With blogs, things are a lot cruder.
Ever wonder why the established newspapers took so long to create a decent online presence? Ever wonder why some of them still struggle with it and implement seemingly ludicrous pay-to-view platforms? The answers simple, and this paragraph isn’t a non-sequitur; it fits in to everything that’s come before it.
The reason is the blogosphere isn’t a serene, pretty place where people come together for a free and frank exchange of ideas. It’s an unregulated, dog-eat-dog world where people fight to pull in whatever audience they can. As soon as they capture a hill they’ll damn well sit on it and fuck up anybody else who comes near.
You ever seen a blog war? Posts going back and forth slagging each other off? Maybe they take it to twitter? That’s just the surface of it. Whilst you’re reading that, watching each side get more and more childish, the bloggers are moving their armed groups into place, kidnapping family members, destroying property, emptying bank accounts, doing whatever they can to cripple the other blogger’s ability to post. There are more bloggers in New York than in anywhere else in the Western world. There are also more unsolved murders, more disappearances and more brutal killings than anywhere else in the Western world. Coincidence? Don’t be stupid.
None of that’s related to my story though. My story begins with this fucking thousand words a day for thirty days thing. When I started I was hopelessly naive. I’ll use it to warm up for NaNoWriMo, I thought, it’ll be great. Turns out I wasn’t the only one with a similar idea. Some guy in Texas has been doing it for years. I don’t get a lot of traffic here, but he found out about it and decided I was a threat to his visitor numbers. He’s not got a huge site; he had one big post that got a lot of clicks around the time Sarah Palin became the Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2008 American elections and he’s been coasting off his earnings from that ever since. Had been until now, at least.
When he saw what I was doing, he pulled all his remaining funds and took out a fucking hit on me. No warning, no cease and desist, no threats before hand, just straight into a shooting war, because that’s the way the game is played.
I didn’t know about it until the bus I get home from work got ploughed into by an eighteen-wheeler. Luckily for me, I’d missed it that day, but nobody on board got out alive. The wreckage was blazing and the road was closed for three days while they cleared up the mess. I wrote that off as luck, but when I found a grenade rigged up in my shower, the pin set to be pulled when the door was opened, paranoia set in and I started watching what was going on.
I only found out about the other blog because if two kills fail, this particular group lets you know what’s up before the third. It doesn’t mean they back off, just that they’re giving you the option to end it yourself before they have to. I tried negotiating with them, tried emailing the guy but I’ve had no response. It’s death or nothing, whether by their hand or mine.
On the thirteenth day I heard that they’d taken my family, and on the fourteenth their heads turned up on my doorstep.
Now I just keep writing every day because if I don’t everything was pointless. If I don’t get to thirty days with a thousand words written for each one, I may as well have just not started, and if that ends up being the case, the four heads lying in the bathroom are nothing but a senseless waste.