Sunday, 22 July 2012


I've just done it. Technically, it's not really a massive commitment, but it still feel like an actual promise has been made. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short).

I think I first heard about NaNoWriMo a few years ago,  but I forgot all about it until sometime earlier this year. Again, I don't remember what it was that brought it back to me, but it was probably around the time I started feeling the itch to start writing again, and I was googling for writing advice.

In short (for those who have never heard of it and who can't be bothered to look it up on Wikipedia) NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a novel of 50 000 words during the month of November. It has participants from all over the world, with online discussion forums and local meetings to provide support, and a community of sorts.

I've loved writing for as long as I can remember. These past few years I've had periods of creativity where I've produced quite a lot of text, but I've never found a story that has been able to take me past short story length. I have ideas all the time, but somehow I never seem able to find enough depth in them to develop them into an actual story. Maybe the deadline, and some other aspects of this program will give me a boost to get going.

My only problem is that this plan doesn't go too well with writing my thesis. We'll see how it goes. I want to at least give it a go, and if I fail - well, there's always next year!


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Project MA Thesis

As I may have mentioned in one or two posts this year, I wrote my bachelor's thesis this spring. This fall, I'm starting on my master's thesis, cos that's just how fucked up awesome our uni system is (really, it is pretty good, cos it's my choice to do it like this - normal people would leave it till the following year). I figured, since I'm already in a research-y state of mind, and I'm basically continuing from where I left off with my BA thesis anyway, I might as well just keep going. And I've managed to find a topic that I find interesting enough to spend ages researching, so that's good. Oh, and the fact that I'm planning to do the interviews for my thesis in Scotland may just have motivated me to do it asap. Just a little bit.

It's only July, and I don't go back to uni until September, but I've already got the ball rolling - mainly because of my inability to wait for anything unless I really really have to. I sent out e-mails to a few people that I thought might be able to help me out with finding people to interview - not expecting to hear anything back for a while, as most people are probably on holiday at the moment - but I got immediate responses, and really positive ones as well! These lovely people are really happy to help me out with anything I may need. Score! And then I sort of promised I'd have questionnaires ready by the beginning of September, because leaving it any longer than that would probably have them wonder why the hell I got in touch with them in July. So, I guess I'd better get started!

I found a blog with advice on thesis-writing, and it had a post titled "How to get started on your master's thesis". One of the points there was that you should tell people you're writing your thesis. Don't say "I'm about to start working on my thesis," tell them you are working on it. Because "thinking it makes it so", as comedian Simon Amstell puts it (in a different context alltoghether, but it works anyway). So I did just that.

Another piece of advice the blog post gave me was that you shouldn't just create an empty Word document and label it MAthesis.doc. Instead, when you finally do create that document, label it worldchangingresearch.doc. So I took the notebook I've been carrying around and using to jot down ideas I get for my thesis (as my professor recommended) and named it Amazing and World Altering Research 2012. It sure will be!

So, I've got in touch with a few people, I've got some thesis writing guides from the library, and I've booked my tickets for Scotland (first things first!).
The journey has begun (dun dun duuuun).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Finnish Culture Shock #3

Finnish Problems, round 1.
These are all true - not for everyone, and not even necessarily for me, but generally speaking they are all true. Out of these five, I'd say the one that applies to me the most is the last one.

So, as you can see, us Finns are quite awkward in social situations, and very easily embarrassed. 

More Finnish problems can be found here or here.
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