Category: Writing


From journal

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After midnight. It’s now time to write in this book that I have neglected. I feel like writing, not only feeling more inspired to do more varied things these days, but also having the time to follow such a philosophy. This is a good opportunity, as the ideas are crystallized and complete. having outside, motivating forces is good too, but can make things seem a bit fragmented.

Written in an “Oxford” notebook: “Use this notebook to consolidate all the other research and notes, a culmination of the last ten or so years of research and reading (and writing). Not perfection! But a road to such, maybe as a testing method, a means of as you go, so it goes. Memory and mind in motion… I like that idea, that the narrative shifts and things continue to change while the energy pulls it along and the focus is really sharp on certain things. The point now is just to bring them all together. No more computer except for the final stages… three drafts on the typewriter, then finalize it. This notebook can be for reading and other ideas. The purpose of my life now is to think long-term and not to write ideas because I don’t (haven’t) review(ed) what came before. I do have a focus and a continuity of thought (like never before), yet, it has not produced a complete, unified work. Cannot compare… everyone has their own method and means. Point is, I have the latent talent, and, over the course of ten years, the ability has solidified. Probably he same for learning a language–after ten years, it’s there, especially with a systematic approach. I’ve had enough experiences and have many more memories than I can ever use or be able to use in a lifetime of creation. Not about quotas though, and it shouldn’t be, though I do think an outside force is good for producing quality in a limited span of time. Editing this novel this novel over six years was definitely an experience of its own, and now that I’m finally finalizing it, I’m prepared to bring my now-self to the next novel.”

I love and cherish writing like never before—ideas bring a smile and a joy that few things do. The actual waiting can be a little tough, as it’s a process that cannot be master the first time through, meaning it must be revised again and again, especially complicated and deep stuff, and also fitting parts and pieces together and attempting to unify the mood. Yes, some stuff comes randomly, but that is rare and that stuff is complete in itself, whether a concept or a sentence, but it is almost impossible to sustain that kind of inspiration for more than a scene. Sure, Goethe did it early every morning when he was completing part two of Faust, but that book was percolating and fermenting inside of him for more than sixty years. Bottom line: being a writer is a career, a job, something that must be done everyday, with diligence and motivation, over a long period of time to see any results.

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I have been living in the Republic of Korea since August of 2009, and during my ever increasing time here, my opinions regarding many things have changed (an inevitable part of living, really). Learning Korean, I’ve also had a different experience than a lot of foreigners who either don’t try or don’t progress. At first, I really wanted to speak the language very well quickly for whatever multifarious reasons, but lately I’ve been a bit lazy and just enjoying understanding without showing off. Others do know that I understand—the knowing eyes and pained/taxed expression from listening—no need to reply.

With a month to go before my Visa expires, and it being vacation time, even though I’m working at a two week writing camp for Yonsei at the phantom friendly Seongdo campus over in Incheon, I am still able to linger on the job prospects (have been looking for a new one since February or so) and worry. Maybe I was a bit selective, and I did have two interviews, neither of which was offered nor a job I was particularly willing to take. Perhaps I would have worked at either out of convenience, but probably wouldn’t be happy. I’ve thought a lot about leaving the country, especially recently. Haven’t decided what I’ll do yet.

Perhaps it’s more a matter of never staying on the path long enough or being dissatisfied because I haven’t been on the path long enough or haven’t produced as much as I might have liked. Each day is only so long, and not having a computer, facebook or TV has made me so productive, and there’s only so much to do before I start to lose sleep to do what I consider essential. Whenever I feel this way (meaning I’m happy and headed in the right direction), something inside clicks and I start to get in my own way. For instance, alcohol has been a constant problem… I would crave a night of drunken debauchery, and feel numb and indifferent to how/who I was beforehand. Lately though, I haven’t been drinking. Or, when I have, it’s been in moderation, and definitely never when upset. There are plenty of people who drink too much without reason… I know where to find them, yet they’re not my true friends nor ever were or will be; they’re soul stealers who only need a companion in banter and chaos… that companion is no longer me. Now, if I do drink, instead of getting crazy or feeling shitty afterward, I feel fine, and the actual time drinking is usually an affirmation of life and happiness… nothing else. And now that I have been on a level-headed path for so long and should continue, I’ve come to some conclusions:

Grin and bear it. Seriously. Though the world is full of fuck heads and con artists and assholes, those people also have hearts you can access if you yourself are honest and give it a try. Smile, laugh, share the warmth, they hide or you expose from within yourself, and you’ll see those people will open up. But only if you open up honestly, without ulterior motives. I’m thinking of two individuals in particular right now, one a security guard at my job, and the other’s the owner of my favorite restaurant in Hayang. Both are older Koreans: the first male, the other opposite. The first was always grumpy and one day I smiled and laughed when I saw him and he burst out laughing… probably mumbled that I was crazy, but that was the first time in nine months that I’d ever seen him laugh. The other has a serious façade, but when you put time in, she’ll open up and be friendly and real with you.

Maybe it’s not this place that’s the problem, but me. Lately I’ve felt not scattered, but disconnected and confused, being without old friends or a meaningful dialogue with them for so long. What hurts is that they’re disconnected too, so that when I try to contact them… Nothing. Maybe I will never get rid of this blog, but as soon as this round of job searching is over, I’m gonna shut of my phone when I’m not using it. Why? Because I check my email hoping to see responses—selfishly wanting others to contact me, I think it’s selfish if they don’t—just because I’m so focused and on top of things, I shouldn’t expect others to be.

Bottom line, and a somewhat unrelated point, is that everyone isn’t perhaps racist, but has an intense fear sometimes bordering on hatred regarded Others: those whom we do not know intimately, and in many instances, do not wish to know. And that’s the kind of pigheaded bullshit that gets people to say, “My country is the best in the world” and other bullshit that’s fed to them by their Retainers. Ignorance precludes such feelings. You know what? People all over this soiled sphere say that about their countries, political parties, sexual preferences, favorite colors, foods, sports, etc. And do you know what I think?

They’re all wrong. This is the best planet (in the solar system only?) and this is the only life we know… so why worry about what we don’t know? Just go about your day to day doing the absolute best.

We get what we give. We might complain, “Blah, blah, blah,” but it’s really nothing when we consider how others are doing. Sure, life may not be what we want, but it never was nor might ever be, so shut your mouth and use all that built up negative energy to burn a fire toward making this already limited life closer to the way that fits you. Without destroying others.

Almost finished reading the first manuscript (“novel”) after not looking at it for six years. Had about a hundred pages to go, but had to leave for camp. Busy with camp, but will read the second one this week. Then I’ll know what to transfer from the first to the second. Parts from the first can probably be used for three different novels, one of which is still unwritten. Looks like work on the next novel will begin in March, before which point I hope to have finished editing most of the epic novel from 2008. That’s all for now…

111

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One hundred-eleven pages and counting… looks like a new ink ribbon is needed though…

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Nearly fifteen hundred pages to edit. Add another thousand and it’s pretty much everything in book/manuscript form that I’ve written in the last ten years: the first decade in a hopefully long and fruitful career. Cheers!

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“…An idea. All writers are unhappy. The picture of the world in books is thus too dark. The wordless are the happy: women in cottage gardens: Mrs. Chavasse. Not a true picture of the world; only a writer’s picture. Are musicians, painters happy? Is their world happier?” Thursday, September 5th, Nineteen Forty. A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf.

While I agree with her sentiments especially regarding journals/diaries, and the brunt of classical literature catches an inherent deep human sadness, I’m writing against that trend with this book. Focused; on fire. And if not this book, then another. And another’s another…

Failure: zero books finished. Maybe 700 pages, but spread amongst five or six books, and none completed.

Instead I completed another draft (fifteenth and final?) Of a novel that’s taken six years too long.

It’s just about ready. Along with a number of stories. Said I’d send them out this month… April is over. Time to act on those tasks I’ve put off for too long…

Oh, and the typewriter is broken, so it must be fixed before work commences on the newest novel.

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Welcome the next era…

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A book takes years. This one has been in the oven for six… fifteen drafts and it’s just about ready. In a few weeks, when it’s all retyped, I’ll send it out to agents. Promise!

Being a writer, an artist isn’t romantic or exciting in the least. At times. Here it is three in the morning with wake up at six-fifty and I can’t sleep because I realized the most recent novel doesn’t begin right and I’m actually stressed out about it, something that’s not even real or wasn’t until I created it. And I don’t care if that’s a run-on sentence, cause if this ain’t insanity, what is?