10 November 2009

The Best Lesson

The easiest lesson learned is one that is is self-taught.

How do you learn something? I mean really well and truly.
Well for me there are two ways.
Painful ways.
They both have to do with experience.
That's right, experience. You have to experience something to know.
Fine and dandy if you're told the pan's hot. Well yes, but maybe you don't believe it. So...you go check. Youch! It is hot. That's what I mean by experience. You have experienced the heat of the pan for yourself, therefore you know it's hot.
And will you ever forget that pans on the stove are usually hot? Not likely.
Another example...you like to ride your bicycle. After a few days, you realise that the footpaths near your house are extremely bumpy. And you get sore. Then you have a stroke of genius! Stand up on the bumps so you don't absorb the impact. Yay!
You rush home to tell your folks. You excitedly pour out the story. Then your dad says 'I told you that ages ago.' And so he did. Why didn't you remember? Because it wasn't important. Why wasn't it important? Because it wasn't relevant. You will always remember to do that because you taught it to yourself, no matter how many times you were told before.
The other way to learn it; embarrassment. Say your teacher calls on you in class. You don't know the answer. The teacher then spends half an hour lecturing the class on studying. Are you likely to forget that answer? Well, maybe. But if the teacher then calls on you a second time, days later and you still don't know the answer...You've been embarrassed twice (it only works for some people! Some might not get embarrassed and end up having a laugh instead, it depends on the person. Then again, someone might do both). Do you really want the experience of being embarrassed again? For me, it takes being embarrassed three times, then I know it. Really well. Really really well.
I suppose a third way could be added; endless recitation. But that's no fun, and could be forgotten. Learning things that interest you are good as well, because if it's interesting, you'll remember it, right?

04 November 2009

Novel? Short Story, More Like

Well, I have to fess up. Oh yes, I haven't been posting all right. But oh no, it was NOT because of NaNoWriMo.
Well there, I've said it.
Truth is, I have the attention span of a five-year old. Maybe less. And well...NaNoWriMo is too much like work. That's not saying I didn't try (I did for two days at least). And I'm not saying I've given up. After all, there are still 21 days left in November.
I'm just saying...I didn't realise it before, but I write short stories because that is as much as I can take. Time wise. Sure sure, other people with busier schedules can make time. But well, I can't just write. I haven't got the discipline. When I write it just flows out. Which is awesome, great, fantastic...and only happens rarely. Which is why I write rarely.
Actually, I haven't a problem getting published. The problem is having stories written to send in. Now that I think about it, that's not really a problem. In fact I should be happy I can get published.
I did write part of a novel once. About a year ago, two years? It was around 40,000 words I believe (and not finished). I wrote it in longhand, and had typed about half of it, and the word count was 20k. I didn't like it, so decided to discard it (maybe to come back later though.)
I can't force myself to write, though I think if I got some prompts (prompt books) it would be better. I know I could be a better writer if I tried harder.
That was what NaNoWriMo was for me, a way to establish a better writing routine and improve my writing in the process.
Now I really should get back to it...tomorrow :D

01 November 2009


Well actually, fifteen thousand words is quite small. It sounds big when you first say it, but then if you think about it...it's only five hundred words a day.
Today I wrote 787, in just over an hour. Pretty good I think.
I am considering going sans internet for the month for NaNoWiMo...wish me luck!
And don't be surprised if I disappear for a month.