Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘English’

I am going to write a novel next month. Yes, just like that. A sci-fi novel that I have been procrastinating about for a while. I am going to let Siberian Daughter get some rest and work on something completely different.

First I thought maybe I should say “I am going to TRY to write a novel” or “I am going to START writing a novel”. Then I thought what the heck. If I start my public announcement so timidly it will take away from my own motivation.

There is this worldwide initiative called National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It provides crazy people like me with an online platform and a social network of encouragement to bang out  50,000 words in the month of November. They even have local meetings!

50,000 words is the length of an average novel. I have an idea, loads of motivation, and the month of November. Every day I keep wavering between keeping this experiment quiet or letting the world know. If I keep it quiet to myself, and I fail, no harm no foul, right? But then I miss out on a potential support from all my friends, and the benefit of not having to explain my temporary insanity come November.

But then if I fail I will have to admit it publicly.

So what’s considered a failure  when you set out to write a novel in a month? A failure is that you DO NOT write a novel. Well, I am not that gullible to believe that banging out 50K words would constitute a novel. It would be a pretty decent size first draft though.  And according to my favorite quote of Ernest Hemingway “The first draft of anything is shit”. I am not under pressure to deliver a masterpiece.

So is a failure then not writing 50K words? Even if I write half of that I would be pretty happy with myself. I will have overcome procrastination, will have learned something about my writing process, and will still have a draft to work with.

So what if I discover that I hate the idea of being a writer? The solitude of it, the constant internal monologue, the boring research.  Will that be a failure? No! That will just mean that I can stop moaning and groaning about wanting to be a writer, and channel my energy elsewhere with clear conscious. I tried.

So there is really no way to fail. Either way you look at it. I have been writing 750 words every day for a month, as part of a writing exercise. I will just need to double that.

So here it is then. I am going to write a novel in November.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Portrait of Alexander Pushkin

Portrait of Alexander Pushkin by Orest Kiprensky, exhibited at Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Link to the source.

Even though I could teach my kids Russian myself, in theory anyways, they do have a professional tutor. To be honest I stink at teaching children, especially my own. I usually have very little patience for their antics and they don’t take me as seriously as a tutor. A bit of an explosive combination. But I digress.

We have this wonderful new teacher who comes to our house every week for an hour long lesson with all three kids. He not only seems to have an ocean of patience but is also contagiously passionate about the language and about Russian history.

Recently, he told me he was going to read a poem by Pushkin, a famous 19th century Russian poet, to the children. Honestly, I was very skeptical.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: