F*IL is a Four-Letter Word

There is a distressing number of people on the Facebook Nano group saying they are ‘about to fail’ Nano. This makes me sad because it focusses on one aim, to reach 50,000 words and forgets everything else; the words you may have actually written and their potential, the habits you may have begun to create, the ideas that have flowed, the characters and plots that have emerged – in short it seems a very limited vision to me.

But that’s where we live right now. All we care about are winners and losers; who’s in, who’s out, who’s up and who’s down, who slaughtered who and who was used as a mop with which their opponent could wipe the floor. It’s all very sad. You’ve only got to watch the end of ‘Strictly’ (and it never does seem to end; you can sit there waiting for ‘Casualty’ or ‘His Dark Materials’ thinking why does this programme seem to be on every day? and why does it take them about half an hour to finish?) to get the picture. Nice as everyone is, though they hug each other and say how wonderful it’s been and how brilliant their partner has been and how much they’ve enjoyed it, it’s all about winners and losers; who’s going to leave with a tear in their eye and who’s going to wipe away tears of joy.

Hence our current obsession with polls, and to me the more polls I see the less I understand. I am not the only person to comment that recent opinion polls seem so far removed from my experience that it’s like living on another planet; they just don’t seem to reflect what I see and hear. It’s not only that my friends and acquaintances think differently, it’s more or less everyone I meet. And yet the polls tell a completely opposite story.

There are two possible reasons for this: either I live in a bubble or the polls are just plain wrong. OH has introduced me to a study of why this might be so, why opinion polls can produce different answers depending on a number of factors such as the way questions are worded and even the order in which the questions are asked. People want to appear consistent, so they may answer yes to a question because answering no might appear to contradict a previous answer, yet had the questions been in a different order it might have produced the opposite result.

Human beings are complex creatures and cannot be reduced to a series of yes-no answers. Anyway, here‘s the video.

In other news, I have reached 44,000 words and am on course to finish Nano. And we had a lovely time with Maisie the other day. I’ve put this pic on my phone and it always cheers me up:

Kirk out

9 thoughts on “F*IL is a Four-Letter Word

  1. Completely agree, this year I have hit the target but last year I managed 15,000 words, but they were the perfect start to the project I was working on, I don’t consider myself a failure last year and if NaNiWroMo helps anyone to write anything they might otherwise not have written then in my eyes you have won!

  2. I’ve kept glancing at your posts about Nano. Sounds painful – like the exercise we get at a writing group I go to when we can’t distract the boss by keeping the conversation going.

  3. This is the problem with targets; if one day we “fail” we risk disregarding all of the days we succeeded and the overall progress we made. It’s all to easy to give up when met with a hurdle or setback. I don’t watch Strictly but there are cases with other talent shows, where a runner up has gone on to greater things then the actual winner, maybe because they didn’t give up or didn’t feel the need to compare themselves to the winner, or used the whole thing as a lesson.

  4. I’m afraid you do live in a bubble if you believe there is any result to this election other than a huge majority for Snake-Oil Sasha. I am predicting 150 seats.

    This will happen because S.O.S. understands three basic things about the British electorate:

    1) They’re pretty stupid, on the whole and they are averse to detail;

    2) They’re pretty selfish on the whole, and they don’t much care about anyone outside their own immediate family circle (so, his misquoted predecessor was right);

    3) They don’t find politics interesting, on the whole. They’d prefer it to go away. And they certainly want Brexit to just be over with. So, what’s his campaign slogan?

    Corbyn and the clueless Swinson don’t get this. They are offering complexity to add to complexity. The tattooed and facially pierced chav who serves you in Netto doesn’t want complexity: he/she wants to ‘just get on with it.’

    So speaks Britain, the world’s second least intelleucally curious country (no prizes for guessing what the first is: the one Britain will be signing an Act of Union with before the 20s are out).

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