A month and a half

united-kingdomWell. It’s been a hell of a month. A hell of a month as part of a hell of a year. I had a lot of goals for this month, and… well, it’ll probably be no surprise to most of you that I was less than successful. I think there were mitigating circumstances, but even so, I do wish I had some more positive updates to share.

The first of November saw the launch of Polyglot NaNoWriMo – a challenge in which you’re supposed to write 200 words per day in a language other than your native language. It can be fiction, it can be non-fiction, it could be poetry – the only limit is your own creativity. I have to say, I’ve been ‘running’ this challenge for a number of years now with a slack handful of participants so when I announced it on Twitter last month, my expectations were low. But you guys really knocked it out of the park! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tweet of mine be shared and engaged with so widely with people from all over the world, it honestly warmed my heart to see. I’ve enjoyed seeing all of your updates using the #PolyglotNaNoWriMo hashtag, and I was even more overjoyed to see that some people had actually ‘won’ (the word the NaNoWriMo challenge itself uses for completing it), even if I myself wasn’t one of them.

Skärmavbild 2020-12-01 kl. 20.51.44My own Polyglot NaNoWriMo journey started off strong – I hit the target word count for the first 12 days of November. I was getting more comfortable with German as time was going on, and some points almost felt easy – writing dialogue especially. And then it happened. I was trying to install macOS Big Sur onto my computer, but the file was too big for my puny hard drive so I decided to do a little spring cleaning. Long story short, I spring cleaned a little too hard and deleted the operating system from my laptop. After a quick panic cry, I did everything I could to try and fix it – reading articles all over the internet for a way to get my beautiful Серёжа (all of my gadgets have Russian names, I don’t really know why) back into working order. It took about six hours. All of my files were stored in the cloud, so I knew I wouldn’t have lost anything, but I decided that I probably wasn’t going to get my writing done for the day due to the stress of the ordeal and gave myself the weekend off. Big mistake. I should have known from past experience that any break in my schedule results in certain death for the challenge – I had every intention of catching up, but sadly, that never happened.

I ended the month with a word count  of 2,509 – just short of half way. To be honest, I’m not sad about it – what with the move to my new flat happening at short notice at the end of the month, my rhythm would have been interrupted one way or the other. And I think I realise now that writing in German was a bit more work than I could handle. I do like the story and the characters I’ve created, though, so I’m toying with the idea of translating the whole thing into Swedish and continuing on from where I left off. Limping across the finish line before the end of the year, maybe. 16F9957E-7907-46B1-8BB6-BD4CD69B7435At least all the stress of moving is now over and done with, and I’m now ready to spend the festive period (and thankfully some time off work) in my own space. I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks unpacking, no doubt, but then it’s right back on the language bandwagon – I’ve already picked out my next project and have been toying with it a little on Busuu… but I’m not ready to commit to anything just yet, nor will I be mentioning what it is, so I can drop it without anybody knowing should it come to that. Still, I remain cautiously optimistic! Just one quick final note to anybody who is bizarrely still reading this absolute drivel – thank you. Thank you all for all of your support and encouragement over the past few years, but this one especially. The language learning community has been so incredibly welcoming and accepting, I’m grateful for every single one of you. I hope you and your nearest and dearest are all doing well, and, to sign off for another year – thank you for reading, I’ll see you in January.

– J.


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