Monday, October 29, 2012


This year I will be participating in the National Novel Writing Month, in short known as NaNoWriMo.
The general idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a complete novel in just 30 days during the month of November.

If you make a living being an author, you just might be one of those nagging people, who says: "Oh, please.. Give me a break here - you can't write a novel in a month, come on! You're making the craftsmanship of authors look bad - as if you can really shake a complete, edited, proofread novel out of your sleeves in 30 days!!!"

If you think that, you're absolutely right! But you obviously didn't get the point either!

It's called NaNoWriMo, National Novel WRITING Month, not NaNoWriEdiMo or NaNoWriEdiProofReaMo or any of that sort.

Writing a Novel in one month really isn't that big of a deal.

The goal is merely 50,000 words in those 30 days. That's 1,666 words a day and frankly: if you can't write 1,666 words during an ordinary 8 hour day of work... well, don't quit your day job.. just saying.

When I sit down in front of my keyboard I can easily write 500 words in an hour. And of course, writing a novel is not only the work in front of the computer, I get that. But 1,666 should be doable, especially if you make a living being an author.

After finishing your novel in 30 days... well, that's when you begin editing, proof reading and making a cover for your book. And in most cases, those tasks are the ones that take the most time.

Writing the novel is the easy part. Making it a good one, on the other hand.. That's the real challenge!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Take me as I am

These past two weeks at work I've been listening to a song repeatedly on the radio. The song is catching and it has a text that really sticks:

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

The song is "IM A BITCH" performed by Meredith Brooks and you can read the rest of the lyrics here:

Although the song is catching and there is no doubt about its quality, I have to admit that I'm beginning to hate it because I believe it to be advocating for a poor mentality that has increasingly spread out in the western world since the first world war. This mentality seems to remove our responsibility for ourselves and for our actions. It´s basically a mentality that says: 'Take me as I am, because I'm not going to try better myself.'

I can´t say where this mentality comes from, but the problem is that it seems to be a mix of truth and lies making it almost impossible to prove wrong. This 'take me as I am' mentality is based on the truth: none of us are perfect and we never will be. But then enters a lie: that because we are not perfect and because everyone has flaws and shortcomings, then all of those flaws and shortcoming are not bad. They´re just part of human nature and being human in nature can´t be all that bad, can it?

The main character in the song believes herself to be just the way she should be. Flaws and shortcomings are not bad, because they are parts of who she is. There is more depth to it than that, but I´ll get back to this in a little while.

Here´s the thing: there is a major difference between forgiveness and acceptance. We need to be forgiven for our flaws, but that doesn't mean it is okay to have them and that we don't have to try bettering ourselves. On the contrary, forgiveness is something that can help us in our effort to do something about them.

The 'Take me as I am' mentality is nothing more than laziness.

The funny thing is (not funny like: ha ha, but funny like: hmmm...? is that so?) that even inside of the lyrics from the song, the main character gives us hints that point to her still knowing that she´s wrong.

First, she is crying because of how she behaves...
Secondly, she states that she doesn´t envy her boyfriend/husband

We should listen to that voice inside of us saying 'this is wrong' and take it as a wake up call to try bettering ourselves. Not by covering ourselves in self pitty and self loathing, but simply by stating to ourselves that we want to do better. The real power of forgiveness (forgiveness from others, but mostly when we forgive ourselves) comes from this: when our trespasses are forgiven, our thankfulness is what drives our will to change. Is it easy? I doubt it!

But it´s probably the most significant message we can send to our loved ones: I love you so much that I want to change my poor sides and be a better person!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dreadful NO!

Sometimes I find myself in a situation, where people who don't know me all that well get the impression that I'm in a bad mood, dislike them or even worse: that I'm simply an arrogant sod just waiting for a chance to belittle others.

When I was younger I couldn't wrap my head around it and I felt like the most misunderstood kid in the entire world. Today, I'd like to think I know better. Over the years I've realised that the way I speak, the words I use and the posture of my body has much more impact than I thought when I was young.

However, there is still much I can learn about communication. I've always had a way with the written word, but when it comes to communication eye-to-eye, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you know what I mean...

A little while ago I learned a new lesson. Sort of... come to think about it, I may have come across that very lesson before, but maybe it didn't sink in as well as it should.

I was at work and found myself getting more and more angry at one of my colleagues  I felt mistreated, but couldn't figure out what made me feel this way. Then, suddenly, it struck me:

Whenever I made a mistake (I'm the new guy and have a lot to learn) he "NOed" me. That is: he used the word "NO!" in a kind of agressive, snarring way - You know: just like a parent trying to control a toddler:

"NO! don´t touch the stereo!" - "NO! Knives are not toys!" - "NO! Plates are not meant for throwing!"


Words have a power build in to them and whenever we speak or write words we unleash some of that power. That single word: "NO!" has a lot of negative energy and I´ve witnessed first hand how some mentally handicapped people can even respond with violence just hearing the word.

So, I've decided to try not using that word so much. Instead of saying "No, don't touch the stereo!" to my kids, I'd like to be able to change it to: "Please leave the stereo alone."

Maybe... just maybe... My children and I will have bettered our communication this way?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Danish Amanda Todd lives life to the fullest

Amanda Todd was a Canadian girl, who killed herself after being harassed on the internet.

I don't know anything about the case whatsoever and this post really isn't about her at all.

Instead, it's a post on how such a story can go in a completely different direction. It's a story on coming out the other side of the tunnel with a smile on your face. This post is about the positive and life confirming story.

Fie Laursen is a Danish girl, who was harassed on FaceBook and other social media in the past years. She was on TV the other day and I'd have to say: I was very impressed with her!

Fie was 16 years old when she started blogging about her experiences being bullied by boys and girls her own age. 16 years old and being compared to a zoo monkey. As you can see on her picture below, that comparison is somewhat off the tracks:

Fie Laursen (photo taken from
And yes, internet harassment and harassment in general may have turned into the new black in terms of having the political correct opinions. Nevertheless it's a problem, if even a single kid has to deal with being the one whom everyone else is turning to for letting out their frustrations.
I have personal experience in this matter. As a kid, I was lonely. I was the one, no one wanted to play with. I was the one who took the punches for other kids' lack of confidence and self esteem. I know what it feels like, when all the things you say and do are ignored (best case) or ridiculed - and then see other people being cheered and encouraged for the exact same things.

If there's one thing very few people get, it is that being the bullied kid is much more than being the subject for other peoples pranks and ill conceived jokes. It's much more than stupid remarks and inconsiderate language. Being bullied goes much deeper than your ordinary teasing and fight for social status.

Basically, being bullied is about being lonely. Being outside the group...

If you are being bullied, your are not a part of the group. You won't get invited to slumber parties, your class mates won't send you that warming smile when you enter the room, you are the last to be picked in sports and no one wants to have you in their working group, unless they know your expertise will grant them victory in a competition - and even if this is the case, you will be used and thrown away like yesterdays news paper.

Being bullied means that even your funniest jokes won't bring laughter, untill they are repeated by someone else, who then get the cheers for your wits.

Being bullied means that all of the sudden the empty chair in the dining hall is taken.

Being bullied means that you can have the looks of a super model and still people will call you ugly and disgusting.

In short: being bullied means that everything you say and do will result in negative response if any at all!

Such an experience really has the potential to make you bitter. To make you hate life and hate people...

That's why I am so impressed by the way Fie Laursen handles it all. Two years ago she was the most courageous girl in Denmark. Today, she is 18 and the most courageous woman in Denmark.
That's what I think!


Because of the way she deals with it. There is no name calling, no retaliation, no anger and when she speaks of the people who hurt her, one word describes it clearly: forgiveness and moving on!

It is clear, that Fie has used her experiences in a good way. She has used it all to become an amazing woman with a big heart and a strength of a leader. She is, in my not so humble opinion, someone to be proud to know.

Finally a little encouragement for those of you out there, who experiences some of what Fie and Amanda has experienced: Those being bullied as kids mostly turn out being successful beyond those, who bullied you!

If you hold on to the good heart inside of you and fight the urge of having revenge, your experiences WILL work in your favour!

Amanda Tood ended up killing herself...
Fie Laursen has made a life for herself...

Don't be an Amanda (God rest her soul)
Be Fie!