All posts tagged: writing

How to start writing in Japanese

One of my goals for November is to write in Japanese every day for a month. I have been thinking about how to write in a foreign language if you don’t have a native to correct you, and I thought that I would write about it today. If you are like me, writing is not as much difficult than discouraging. You take the grammar and the vocabulary you know, build your sentences, and while you don’t really struggle to write, you end up full of doubts and incertitudes: “what I wrote does not sound Japanese”, “it sounds like an example sentence, but I doubt whether a native would say that”, “is it even correct?”, “why do I keep using the same grammar over and over again?” and so on. A method to write in English To begin with, I would like to present a book I find truly inspiring. Originally, it is a book for Japanese who learn English and is called 『Q&A Diary 英語で3行日記』. This book was translated into Korean for Koreans who learn …

Writing in Japanese every day: how I built a new habit with マイブック

I am not doing much to actively study Japanese lately, but there is something that I do every day since February: writing a page in Japanese in マイブック. マイブック is a sort of agenda that looks exactly like a book. It is published by 新潮文庫 every year. It uses the same format, paper and characteristics than any other book by this publisher. But of course, the inside is blank. The only things you get on each page is the date. The book is also divided into 12 “chapters,” from January to December. Before I bought マイブック (a minor investment of 370 Yen), I was struggling to get into the habit of writing in Japanese every day and kept failing in my attempts. But when I got マイブック, I started writing at least a sentence or two every day and ended up filling the whole page every single day after a month or two. So what changed? I have tried to sum up how I got into the habit of writing every day: Get an agenda …

Monthly Review: May

May has been without a doubt a month of drawing and journaling. These two activities have found their place in my daily schedule by replacing what used to be an ineffective “Japanese study.” For months now, I have been thinking about how to continue learning Japanese without taking classes nor preparing for the JLPT. I haven’t found many concrete things to do or materials to study, and I was often left with a guilty feeling because I was no longer “studying Japanese.” As a consequence, I clung to all sorts of resources I had, because it gave me the impression that I was still on tracks. And then, the post “Keeping it simple: tips for simplifying your language study routine” by Kotobites helped me to understand that, sometimes, less is more. Simplifying my study routine is exactly what I have done this month. I am now accepting the idea that reading novels and the news is the core of my “study” and that I don’t need to feel bad about the things that I am not …

Motivation: got my first マイブック!

I got my first 「マイブック」, an empty book published by 新潮文庫 that offers you a page a day to write your own story, notes and thoughts. 「マイブック」has the exact same appearance than any other book published by 新潮文庫. I like the beautiful cover and the paper that may not be the best support to use a fountain pen but undeniably gives authenticity to “my book”. The inside is not totally empty, it comes with a table of contents, each new month being a new chapter. You will find the date on each page and a ribbon mark (that fascinates my cat) makes it easy to use. I bought 「マイブック」too late to write anything in January and, therefore, just started the day I got it. Writing a little every day is something that I want to do since high school but never did. Our ancient Greek teacher made us see the importance of writing every day, our own thoughts and the ones of others. Although taking notes when we read literature can be used for further …