Crossroads

This past week, I found myself facing a dilemma.
Boston city corner

Nanowrimo is ending, and I haven’t finished my project. It’s okay because Nano did what I wanted it to, and it got me writing. More than that, it got me thinking even harder about my future as a writer.

A few months ago, after a lot of thinking and soul-searching, I decided I wanted to go back to graduate school to pursue a MA in Book Publishing. This was a critical decision for me as I originally moved here for a completely different graduate program. However, I decided that writing is too important to me to not be a focus in my life, and that I have spent too much of my life with writing on the back burner. I always wanted writing to be a part of my life, but I always pushed it aside while I focused on other things that I perceived as “more important” or “more practical.” Continue reading “Crossroads”

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First Lines

I’ve been thinking a lot about first lines. It all began last week when I started reading Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez. The first line was so beautiful I reread it several times, and only after a few pages did I fully understand it.

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”

I can’t stop thinking about this line. I hear in my head constantly; there’s something about it that just sticks with you. Continue reading “First Lines”

2,290

2,290

That’s how many words I need to write a day to finish my Nanowrimo project on time.

It’s day 11, and by the end of today I should have written 18,337 words. So far, I have written 4,216. Needless to say, I’m a little behind.

I could make excuses about how my work schedule’s been crazy, and I’ve been tired. Or about how there was other things to do, and how I can’t focus as well when my boyfriend’s home. But none of that matters. It’s in the past now. Continue reading “2,290”

How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

I love this post from TED, and anything that helps me enhance my language skills.

TED Blog

Learning_a_languageBy Krystian Aparta

They say that children learn languages the best. But that doesn’t mean that adults should give up. We asked some of the polyglots in TED’s Open Translation Project to share their secrets to mastering a foreign language. Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles:

  1. Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
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  2. Make language-learning a lifestyle change. Elisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.
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  3. Play house with the language. The more you invite…

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Words like Water

I’m not a fast writer. It is day four of Nanowrimo, and I’m only at 2,040 words. But I’m not discouraged. I’ve had work and other responsibilities, and it’s just the beginning.

Sometimes I feel like writing is like encountering a stopped up faucet, or a or leaking damn. At first only a little bit of water gets through. But over time, the strength of the water overcomes its barrier and pushes its way through, until the water is moving at full force. Words are like water. They’re powerful. Sometimes when you start out, the words are lost to you. They only trickle out. But the more you work on something the more easily the words come, and then they come out full force.

Lao-Tzu_Water

Right now, I feel like my words are blocked, but that they are trying to get out. I think with persistence they will come.

My goals for Nanowrimo go beyond just writing 50,000 words by the end of the month. In fact, whether or not I actually write that many words is my least priority. For me, this month is about building focus and consistency, about learning discipline. I want to see what I can do.

Besides, I still have 26 more days.