Saturday, November 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day 19

I've decided to stop posting my daily 'NaNo' writing. Nobody's reading it anyway. And I'm kinda glad nobody's reading it, because it stinks. Even 'I' am weary of the insipid characters going nowhere, and of the ridiculous word padding gained by sticking in an adverb to modify every unnecessary adjective... etc. And the not completely thought out half-baked plot will never survive. The only way the novel might be saved is by a total rewrite.

Yesterday, day 19, I wrote only 370 words, and they were not even tied in to the previous scenes... just sitting there separated by a 5 space underscore characters.

My total count is 25,440 words.

Discouraged is not the word for how I was feeling last night about NaNoWriMo. Ashamed is a better word. I gave in and joined the other mad key tappers. And I could have been using all that time for writing down 'good' words, well thought out phrases, a sensible plot... or I could have been reading some 'good' fiction.

"Oh well," I told myself last night, "maybe I'll feel better in the morning."

Now that next morning is here, and yes I do feel better. Ready to get back into the NaNoWriMo fray, ready to go trotting back to the NaNo keyboard with my 'tale' between my legs. Only ten more days until I can relax and do some serious re-writing of that horrid jumble of words saved in file titled, 'Day 1, Day 2,' and so on. I can't hardly wait.

Oh Happy Day!

. . .

Her is an interesting twist on writers who make a living by writing:

The man who writes your students' papers tells his story in THE CHRONICLE of Higher Education.

He writes:

I work at an online company that generates tens of thousands of dollars a month by creating original essays based on specific instructions provided by cheating students. I've worked there full time since 2004. On any day of the academic year, I am working on upward of 20 assignments.

In the midst of this great recession, business is booming. At busy times, during midterms and finals, my company's staff of roughly 50 writers is not large enough to satisfy the demands of students who will pay for our work and claim it as their own.

Of course, I know you are aware that cheating occurs. But you have no idea how deeply this kind of cheating penetrates the academic system, much less how to stop it. Last summer The New York Times reported that 61 percent of undergraduates have admitted to some form of cheating on assignments and exams.

And there is much more in the article. Quite interesting, really.

. . .

I came to realize this morning that I am an autodidact. Of course I've known that for a good many years, but until now I did not have a word that describes my lifetime of learning.

An autodidact is a person who has taught himself.

Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person, as opposed to learning in a school setting or from a full-time tutor or mentor.

At long last I now know what I am. If someone were to ask me what I am, I could say, "I am an autodidact."

A long list of famous autodidacts includes Woody Allen, Socrates, Ernest Hemingway, Descartes, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Alva Edison, Adolph Hitler, and many others.

We live and we learn.


"I am an autodidact."
--Nadine Gordimer

1 comment:

  1. Gene,

    Not at all true that nobody is reading your novel-in-progress. I'm reading it and enjoying the same. And I ain't nobody.