I Am Not a Mid-day Flamingo!

[image description: screencap of one of nanowrimo.org’s “when i write” infographics, featuring a cartoon pink flamingo wearing sunglasses against a partly cloudy blue sky with a yellow and orange sun shining above it. the text under the artwork reads: “what’s up mid-day flamingo? you write the most between 5:00PM and 6:00PM!” image copyright nanowrimo.org (fair use).]

I have a bone to pick with thee, NaNoWriMo.org. I am a night owl, not a mid-day flamingo! That isn’t even a real thing, you just made it up so that anyone who wasn’t either an early bird or a night owl wouldn’t feel left out. But that’s not what I’m here to complain about. It’s the observable fact that your “When I Write” feature is a blatant fraud! Sure, when I first updated my wordcount and entered the time I had started writing followed by the time at which I had stopped for the night, your website correctly recognised me as a night owl. But then when I happened to write something between 5pm and 6pm a couple days later, my update immediately changed my status to that of a mid-day flamingo, and so it has stayed ever since, despite numerous updates thereafter which recorded me as writing exclusively between the hours of 9pm and 2am. Then with horror I recalled a similar occurrence when I was doing NaNo in November of 2020: in exactly the same way, my “When I Write” status inexplicably changed to mid-day flamingo after a single aberrant update early in the month, and then never went back. This is unacceptable!

If only I had remembered this travesty beforehand… I never would’ve clocked myself writing before 9pm. Then whenever I visited the site to update my wordcount I would see this lovely soothing infographic, affirming what I have always been, and been proud to be:

[image description: screencap of one of nanowrimo.org’s “when i write” infographics, featuring a wide-eyed staring blue and purple cartoon owl perched on a bare branch, against a yellow full moon with clouds scudding across it. the text under the artwork reads: “hoot hoot, you’re a night owl! you write the most between 11:00PM and 12:00AM!” image copyright nanowrimo.org (fair use).]

I apologise for the blurriness of that image. Due to the unexpected and seemingly permanent loss of my precious night owl status I had to steal it from someone else’s screenshot. This is what I’ve been reduced to. Never mind that arbitrarily putting this badge of honour forever beyond my reach due to a single instance of late afternoon–or dare I say, early evening (after all, the hour between 5PM and 6PM can hardly be called mid-day, can it?)–writing spurt of less than a thousand words is an unjust denial of my heroic nocturnal struggles through frequently severe bouts of insomnia, and even my personal preferences as I’ve laboured night after night into the wee hours of the morning, alternating between typing furiously into the void and finding myself momentarily paralysed by spasms of existential dread–it’s an affront to my goth cred. I’d sooner be caught dead as an early bird, since at least that depiction would involve me eating a worm rather than having fun in the sun, which is a far less likely scenario.

Published by striderlee

Dungeon Master, homebrewer, foodie, bibliophile, and fantasy author. He/Him

7 thoughts on “I Am Not a Mid-day Flamingo!

    1. Yes, but I can’t help but think it fits… owls are solitary but in the rare occasion they come together they do look like a bunch of stuffy old geezers conferring with each other on policy.

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