Starting Over

Discovering myself, my family and friends in a foreign land, second time around


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Five things I learnt from NaBloPoMo

memo-383982_640I don’t read posts that have a title like this one. A list of things to do, a finite number, usually less than ten, of lessons learnt, practical tips and guiding principles. Life is too complicated and extremely subjective to be condensed neatly into a “one list fits all”. Most of the time, one list doesn’t even fit one life. I have made and torn up several lists in my lifetime. Revisions to previous lists have been incremental at times and subsequent lists have held radically different if not totally opposite views.

Given this background, I have decided to take the plunge and summarize my experience from this month of intense blogging. I begin with the disclaimer that the views expressed below are my own and are true as of this writing. I reserve the right to change my mind in the following days, months and years, including any subsequent attempts at daily blogging marathons. It is entirely possible that I may learn different lessons the next time I attempt something like this and highly likely that these lessons will be promptly forgotten.

So here goes:

  1. Quantity and quality are not inversely related: Writing everyday didn’t mean I wrote badly, considering the amount of writing involved. Since I did write everyday, the improved efficiency should have but didn’t greatly improve the quality either.
  2. Look more find more: Waiting for inspiration – I didn’t have the luxury for that. So I lowered the bar and found out quite surprisingly that inspiration is easily found. All I need to do is look.
  3. Discipline and forgiveness: Are essential. The discipline to write everyday required effort. But the willingness to forgive myself required greater effort. I knew I had to write. I wanted to write brilliantly. I had to pick one.
  4. Response and responsibility: Getting a response from readers was great. Getting caught up in stats was not. I loved receiving comments and counting new followers. But my primary responsibility was to write. Sometimes I forgot.
  5. Write or do something worth writing about: I think some famous person said this. I agree. But so much of what I do does not provide fodder for writing. How do I change that? I still don’t have an answer.

Hemingway said – There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

And that is the truth.

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Picture book series

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.”  ― Albert Einstein

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.”
― Albert Einstein

June 2010
Taking DQ to my favorite spot in Washington D.C.