Things are definitely ratcheting up in the business of Tillerman writing projects.
Just look at the state of affairs in the current project - the one about 'Navigation', inspired by the recent release in the US of Tristan Gooley's book, The Natural Navigator.
In the old days of Tillerman writing projects, you would drag your feet for a week and a half, wondering how the devil you could write yet another opus about yet another preposterous topic, and then, at the very last, you'd cobble something together somehow and post it.
And that was it.
Done. End of story. Miller time.
But that was then and this is now. Those simple, carefree, innocent times have receded in the rear-view mirror of life like a smoking, misfiring VW camper van with bad valves.
In this post-modern world of watery blogal competition, things are far more complex. The stakes are higher now. The competitors are more seasoned and wise. The bar has been raised.
Just as in other arenas of high-stakes competition, where careers and reputations teeter in the balance - the Pulitzer Prizes, the Oscars, the figure-eight demolition races at Islip Speedway - knowing how to finesse the writing project game can be just as important as blogging skill. If you don't know how to interpret the rules and politick the judges, if you fail to keep up with the latest writing project trends, you are lost.
The unknowing neophyte, for instance, probably hasn't a clue that it is no longer enough to post a single entry in a Tillerman writing project. Somehow - and I don't know exactly when this happened - we have passed into the era of the multiple entry. Once merely an option, this is now a virtual requirement to ensure a win.
Just look at the work of avant-garde, trendsetting London blogger, Captain JP. In one short week, he has posted no fewer than 15 to 18 entries (I haven't checked his blog in the past 20 minutes so can't be sure of the exact number). And still they come. He has even enlisted the help of his co-blogger - a Mr. Buff Staysail - to keep the posting machine cranking out copy 24 hours a day.
Not to be caught short, in ultra-competitive New York City, crafty kayaker Bonnie Frogma has also managed to quickly put up multiple posts, after waking up and smelling the endless cups of coffee being brewed in Blighty.
The word has also made its way to the high deserts of New Mexico, where intrepid wordsmith, Carol Anne, had a perfectly serviceable and well-crafted entry posted, wherein she navigated from from one begonia to another. But reading the handwriting on Frogma's New York subway walls, she got the message post-haste and hastily re-posted.
Things were once more at impasse until Miss Frogma hatched an ingenious two-part counter plan to crush all opposition:
Part 1) Her second post references an earlier post about - what else - natural navigation (an obvious ploy that plays to the judges' tastes for anything about natural navigation)
part 2 - and this is just brilliant) There's a comment on the referenced post by none other than Tristan Gooley hisself!
Hokey smokes! How do you compete against stuff like that? Game, set, and match to the clever kayaker from Canarsie. She has this one in the bag!
Me, I completely missed the mark (sorry, meager attempt at navigation humor). I was soldiering stupidly on, thinking a single, sober, soundly-researched and scholarly post might fare well in this competition. What was I thinking? I have been outclassed by these world-class bloggers.
I guess I could have thought to link to some old, mouldy posts of my own about the dangers of over-confidence in navigation, about navigating at night in total darkness, or about navigating in fog. But, I'm from laid-back California. It's bad form to appear to be trying too hard. Zealous over-achievers are regarded with suspicion here.
But wait a minute, I could change the name of this post from The State of Things in Tillerman Writing Projects to something that would hoodwink the judges into thinking this is about navigation, too. Could I turn this into a multiple entry of my own?
I just might be back in the running!