The Sitting Log

writing

And then this entry here, which doesn’t count.


Creation-ish sitting streaks

  • Day 5 of breathing exercise
  • Day 5 of giant journal writing

Thinking about:

My happy good-middlemen-only state.

Fortunately, I have never been trapped by unnecessary middlemen… almost. The irrefutable exception is Bowker, but that disgrace of a dinosaur is unavoidable in the US. Because, monopoly. So I’ll forgive myself for dealing with it.

Other than that, I am happy to say that I don’t deal with a single middleman that doesn’t do something for me.

This means that other than Bowker, every single entity that either gets a flat fee or a cut from my royalties/income serves a purpose for me.

This includes all the externally-controlled stores (ex: Kobo, Apple, Scribd, library databases, etc).

This also includes the mostly-internally-controlled store (Payhip).

Also, Stripe.

The financial overhead of using these tools is $0. If I don’t make money, they don’t make money. On top of that, other than the upload of the books, the time I spend on these tools is pretty much 0 seconds.

They handle various tasks, such as:

  • file storage
  • file delivery
  • discoverability
  • auto-connection of a file to a reading device
  • chargeback protection
  • tax calculation
  • functioning as backup copies
  • indirect piracy protection (If you’re on retailer sites, it’s likelier that they will spot a pirated copy on their own store.)

I needed to remind myself of this, my blissful good-middlemen-only state, because sometimes there are people who suggest that I get rid of this or that middleman that doesn’t suit their rainbows-and-unicorns view of how a middleman-less world should be according to them.

And I’m like…

What, you’re going to make me give up the services that auto-deliver the files and in some cases, handle the customer service as well? You think you’re going to convince me to spend a minimum of 2 minutes per reader just to deliver the files every time? Into perpetuity? So basically you’re saying, I should want a life for myself where, the more books I sell, the more miserable I will be, because instead of writing, I will be emailing more and more files to readers?

You do realize that my recognizing the insanity of that strategy (if that can be called a strategy at all) does not preclude my valuing my readers, right? In fact, because I value my readers, I would never adopt such a strategy. Even if I had only one reader every month, you’re telling me that I should be on stand-by, ready to deliver the files! And for how long? For forever? Sacrificing my writing time?

Or are you saying that you’re so special that I should create a no-middleman-according-to-you sales route just for you? Do you realize that even if one other moron like you exists, I will be wasting a great amount of time?

Or are you going to deliver the files for me? Do you think I’ll take that as a favor? From you? Are you kidding me? My readers are important to me. Why should I trust you with my reader’s data?

Actually, don’t answer any of that. This is just me expressing my disbelief. I have zero actual interest in your answers, because you’re more of a worthless middleman than any of the above-listed services.

You’re in the way.

None of them are in the way.

Get it? You wasted 5 minutes of my precious time, which is how long I took to read your “suggestion” on how I should run MY business. You think you know better about my business than I do. Clearly you are not a writer who values their writing time as much as life itself. Clearly, you’re also not any kind of business owner, because any business owner would be pissed as fuck that some moron waltzes into their store (tangible or intantible), trying to lecture them on how to run their business.

The services that you dismiss as unnecessary middlemen aren’t unnecessary to me or to my readers. Neither are they unnecessary to other readers, writers, and publishers. In fact, they’re better than not-unnecessary. They are necessary. Even Amazon, which I don’t use right now, is better than you, the literal middleman standing in the way.

All those tools take an agreed-upon monetary cut and do something for me. But how will I earn back the 5 minutes I wasted on the “suggestion” of some cruise-by “I know better than you,” who has a grand total of zero practical experience in writing and publishing? How? NEVER is the answer, okay? NEVER.

I don’t actually say this.

I block them. And then rant here.

Some technologically-savvy people just aren’t savvy overall. They don’t realize that their tiny tech bubble isn’t the broader reading audience.

Some readers need help sideloading EPUB files onto their devices. And because they know they do, they won’t buy an ebook unless it’s through their usual retail store.

Many people, in general, will not send money directly to someone they met online. And they don’t customize their computers and buy burritos in bitcoin or whatever. A lot of readers don’t care about privacy either. They care about convenience. And some of them still don’t believe that there are people who make money online.

That’s just reality.

What isn’t realistic, and instead simply the unicorns-and-rainbows worldview of some so-called tech-savvy people, is that they can go around demanding of other people a payment route that suits their preferences but 99% of the world doesn’t use or care about.


BTW I’m not mad about just ASKING about whether you can pay in crypto or not. I have nothing against crypto. (My faith in traditional banks is pretty much nonexistent, so.) I wish I could add a crypto option more easily to all the stores.

But no. It is not possible at this time. And I’m not going to monitor a separate income stream that can’t be left on auto-pilot, crypto or otherwise. I won’t deal with the hassle of taxes. And oh, please, don’t start a lecture on how I can avoid the hassle of taxes. If I need tax advice, I’ll hire someone.

I guess I’m tired of the fake “helpfulness” of some of these so-called tech-savvy people. No offense, tech-savvy people in general, if you identify as such, but some tech-savvy people are just… WOW. They think because they can code, they know the world.

The fuck they do.

They really should get a life.

Anyway, my blissful good-middlemen-only state doesn’t only apply to incorporated entities. I shall remove the people middlemen, too, fiercely, from my life.

No middleman shall stand in the way between me and my writing time.

Or middlewoman. Middlepeople. Middlebeing. Whatever the latest PC term.

Ah, why do I even try to please the PC people. They are the ultimate middlefolks.

#daily #rant #productivity #writing #2022archiveQ3


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A nothing day.


Creation-ish sitting streaks

  • Breathing exercise ❌
  • Giant journal writing ❌

My life is undergoing a complete reset. This is what I call it when my life changes so completely that everything that comes after the reset turns into a “new game”—one with a completely different set of rules.

In-between complete resets, mini resets might occur. But I think this one is a big one, the one that is happening to me right now.

And a reset (of any size) really happens to me, because fundamentally—very truly deep down—I don’t choose its timing or its nature.

A reset involves a combination of the following:

  • a big move
  • a sudden, inexplicable sickness
  • a new job
  • a new hobby
  • a sudden inclination to consume/partake in certain foods, creative endeavors, or sexual activity (Yes, they’re pretty much one and the same for me. Food = creativity = sex.)
  • a new calling
  • and other key life events

I don’t believe that “owning what happens in my life” equates to “controlling my life.” In so many ways, I have ZERO control. Some things just happen to me, period.

  • ex: One day, I craved a burrito. So I decided to eat one. But why did I crave a burrito at that particular time and place? I will never know.

I can decide to act on a desire or refuse to act. But fundamentally, I never know where the desire comes from.

  • ex: Say I decided to go to a school called XYZ. But why did I choose XYZ? No, really, why? Beyond the measurable, explicable, “logical” reasons about employment rates of graduates, the expected income, the city where XYZ is located, etc—why did I choose that school above other schools with just as great numbers?
  • Was it because of the weather? Why do I like a particular kind of weather more than any other weather?
  • Was it because it was close to home? Why do I want to be close to home, or the opposite? Why do I want to be away from home?
  • Why did I want to get higher education at all? Did I really want it? Or was I just operating from the inertia expected of the people of my generation in this part of the world? Because resistance to higher education takes more effort than just getting the damn “education”?
  • What if I hadn’t gotten accepted? Would I have said “No” to all the other schools where I got admitted so that I could attend XYZ, specifically? If the answer isn’t “Yes, I would have,” can I really say that I wanted to go to XYZ? Or did I just want to obtain whatever XYZ represents, or what I think it represents?
  • If XYZ represents something to me, what is it and why do I care?
  • Why was I built to obtain that which XYZ represents through XYZ, and not through some other means?

The chain of questions can go on endlessly. And at the end, there is always, “I don’t know the answer.”

Thus, fundamentally, yeah, things happen to me.

I’m not saying that my core is immutable or predestined to be the way it is. In fact, I’m saying the opposite. After any given reset, I get a different core. (A new set of rules, remember?)

But while I have a specific kind of core, it seems that this core has a will of its own. Meanwhile, I don’t know if what I think of as my free will is actually mine or my core’s. Or neither’s.

Even if I were to make a habit of not listening to the stuff that my core surfaces to the conscious, what I do would still be a reflection of desires that I cannot comprehend.

  • ex: If I were sick and tired of feeling the urge to eat a burrito, and refused to indulge my core’s hunger, that doesn’t make me more “in control.” I can never escape from the inexplicable urges of the core, unless, the core were separated from me—taken out from inside of me. But then, I wouldn’t be me anymore, would I?

I’ve spent the past ten years or so trying to maximize the time I spend on doing things I must do, because if I don’t, I get physically sick.

  • ex) Writing. I get physically sick if I don’t write for a prolonged period of time. Literally my hair falls out and I get rashes and I cannot live with myself. So far, “prolonged period of time” has been about 3-5 days. (It depends on why I am not writing.) Anything over that and I get angry, in a similar way that a person who is hungry might get hangry.

I don’t know why I need to write. (Or why my core needs to write.) I only know that it is about survival. This is why & how I do not pay much attention to external factors, when it comes to writing. The only thing I care about is whether I wrote on a given day and whether this cure succeeded in making the sickness go away.

I could attempt to start a chain of endless questions like the XYZ school example above, but what’s the point? Unless I want to quit writing, I’d say it’s a pretty futile exercise.

It’s much quicker to just write. I don’t mind using a quick panacea for my life, because hyperanalyzing the root causes of my desires might only lead to some other version of a “problem” that needs “solving.”

I mean, if I weren’t writing, what would I be doing instead? The answer is, “I don’t have a fucking clue and whatever the options may be, I don’t see how they are inherently better than writing.”

And thus I write. I am just one of many who do this.


The last big reset in my life was the above: me accepting that maybe I should just write.

This was after the rashes, the hair falling out, and in general, being miserable for no “scientific” and “medical” reason. No doctor could have possibly told me that the solution to my sickness was writing. It was just too out of the blue.

But one day I just knew. “Oh gosh darn. I should start writing.”

Yes, really. That’s how it happened.


Maybe all things fundamental—all things very truly deep down—happen this way. Basically, if there’s any kind of love, I don’t know how one might explain that love logically, scientifically, medically, rationally, measurably, analytically.

And the resets, big and small, are basically the big coming and going of love. In hindsight, that was what the resets were. They were a reconfiguration of my core, for love.


Anyway, all this, because the next reset seems to be coming. Maybe in a year or two I’ll know for certain.

I’m just glad that this time, my hair is most definitely not falling out. In fact, it seems thicker and darker than usual? Why? No clue. More exercise from all the golfing might be the surface reason. But why did I suddenly, after all this time never making any serious attempts to partake in any sport, suddenly start golfing? No clue.

Listen, I failed my middle school gym class once, because I refused to do backward rolls. I just couldn’t see the point, and there was definitely no love, because the PE teacher was a grabber and I didn’t like the idea of rolling backward in front of him. So I just refused. My core was telling me, fuck this guy, I’ll take the F.

I think that was the only F on my transcript, ever. But I mean, who fails PE?

Me.

But now I am here, having overcome that F (!) and with my hair healthy and long. Also, no rashes. I think this is the healthiest I’ve been all my life, even with the sleeplessness. In fact, I used to sleep A LOT when I used to be sick. Sleeping tends to be my go-to medicine when I’m truly stressed.

Maybe my current sleeplessness is a way to compensate for all the time that slipped through my fingers back then. Maybe, overall, I’m just too excited? Looking forward to the next reset? Whatever it might be?

Anyway.

Yeah.

Wow, this was a long excuse for a nothing day.

#daily #health #writing #2022archiveQ3


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  • Blind In One Eye (ready to go!): 20 mins
  • When Paths Cross In the Desert (gone!): 60 mins
  • Borrowed Skin (working title): 40 mins

And then this entry here, which doesn’t count.


Mostly, a day for finalizing stories.

Out with you! Into the world! Live long and prosper!


Creation-ish sitting streaks

  • Day 5 of breathing exercise
  • Day 4 of giant journal writing

On separating creation, creation-ish stuff, and the rest

Technically, everything in life is direct creation or creation-ish stuff. Reading, watching movies, listening to music, taking walks, talking to friends, eating—really, EVERYTHING is related to what eventually comes out of a person.

But if I start tracking everything, then that would create too much stress. I don’t want to time how long it takes for me to eat lunch, you see? Some interesting ideas might pop up in my head while eating, but nevertheless, I’d like lunch to just stay lunch.

Another reason for not tracking some things is that tracking itself takes time. Thus, I am weighing the gains vs. the losses. Tracking the amount of time spent on some activities helps motivate me. It also prevents me from bullshitting myself. But some activities just don’t need such motivations or bullshit-prevention measures, and thus tracking isn’t necessary.

Since this blog is a wrap-up-the-day, done-with-the-day place, I’m thinking, minimizing hassles is the key to maintaining the streak here.

There were some earlier posts here that I time-tracked. I will probably stop time-tracking this blog completely, now that I have Sponge. Sponge is able to hold pretty much everything. All the spongy sponge stuff! 🧽 🧽 🧽

Coincidentally, it also fits with the whole ocean theme I’ve decided to actively go for. Like, really actively. Not just tangentially, but all in.

Waves. Sandy beaches. THE island.

And sponge.

Okay bye!

#daily #2022archiveQ3 #writing #marketing


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Stuck-up-ness in search of “good Art” wastes time. Since I don't have much time, I want to avoid that stuck-up-ness. If, in that process, I end up missing some “good Art,” both creation-wise and consumption-wise, that's fine by me. At least I will have encountered some sort of art.

This, then, means that maybe I should publish that one poem as “a poem-ish story” or “a short story like a poem” or something along those lines, because Poetry with a capital P seems to be the area where there's plenty of stuck-up-ness in search of “good Poetry.”

This is the kind of capitalism that puzzles me the most. I have no doubt that there are some poems that are “better” than others in some situations, but are they ever “better” in the absolute sense? No, never.

Anyway, mainly, I'm thinking about all this because I want to keep moving down (up?) the list for this Corpus page, and that poem/non-poem that isn't out in the world yet is right near the beginning of the list.

BTW, the page is named Corpus because “body of work” sounded too serious (despite my affection for both the word “body” and the word “work”) and “oeuvre” is a word that I cannot even properly pronounce.

But corpus. It sounds strangely anatomical. Also, detached from overcomplication. It feels solid and tangible...

...like a writing desk that's been purchased a long time ago and has been in religious use ever since. Or like fingers that were trained to endure long hours of typing. Or like daily stretches, because those are what you do when you want to write and write forever until you keel over your keyboard and die. (This is my dream death scenario. The alternative is to time my location to that of an asteroid, so I can leave this world in a blaze of glory.)

So, it's corpus.

For the poem/non-poem, maybe I should put this in the subtitle: “this non-Poetry not for capitalists.” But then maybe that's too sarcastic.

#2022archiveQ3 #writing


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The pattern repeats itself, over and over again. At least, it has been repeating itself ever since I started writing freely (= no outline).

About 20~25% into the story, I get stuck for the first time (for the story; not for the first time ever in my life). This is how I figure out the eventual length of the story. Where I get stuck the first time is the 20~25% point, so…

(Current word count) * 100 / (20~25ish) = (Final word count)

And without fail, the final word count estimate is always always ALWAYS more than what I anticipated at the beginning of the story.

If I start out thinking I will write a 3k word story, I end up with 5k. If I start out thinking I will write a 40k word story, I end up with 80k.

It’s not an exact science, except that the probability that I will write more than I expected is 100%.

You’d think that after more than a dozen stories, I’d get better at estimating the size of a story, but nope. I just ended up figuring out little tricks, like the equation above. And also, I simply choose to not care about the end of the story.

It will end when it will end, I tell myself.


In the case of Mother Prey, I started out thinking that I’d write a 50k-words-ish story.

Then I got stuck at around 18k words.

Actually, no. That’s where I am at right now, but I think I began getting stuck around the 17k mark. It just took me 1k words to admit that. (This is another thing you’d think I’d get better at—admitting that I’m stuck. But nope. No. Still working on that.)

Using the aforementioned equation, I can estimate that the final length of Mother Prey will be around 85k, at the very least. Probably closer to 90k.

Edit: WRONG MATH. This is another thing you'd think I'd get better at.

Correction: Mother Prey will be 68k~85k-ish, probably. Hey, maybe I'm getting better at the initial estimation. 50k vs. 68k is not bad... although 50k vs. 85k is still very much imprecise.

Will this pattern break eventually? Will Mother Prey be the story that breaks it?

It will take some time before I find out.

This is because when I get stuck the first time (and admit it), I move to another story. Sometimes it’s a completely new story, but at other times, it’s a story for which I’d gotten stuck before. For some magical reason, time unsticks the stuck story without me actively doing anything.


Now I’m sitting here, wondering which story to return to. Yes. Returning is what I will do this time, because it simply won’t do to keep starting stories without finishing them.

I read stories for the endings. It’s probably because we’ve all begun (life), and the ending is the thing we can’t get to, unless… well, unless we cease to exist.

Fiction stories allow me to die a thousand times and be born anew. This is what I read for, and this is what I should be able to write.

When I can’t?

So far, it meant that something’s wrong in my life, outside of writing, and I need to fix that. But maybe this time, there’s nothing more to fix, other than all the different things I’ve identified over the past few weeks. Maybe, in the next few days, I will realize that once again, a previously stuck story is now willing to unstick itself.

Or maybe not.

In which case, the pattern will break. Eventually, patterns always break.

#writing #2022archiveQ3


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And then this entry here, which doesn’t count.

The stuff for Corpo Real and MMM today was from the old English podcast. Maybe once I find a tool I like, I will start podcasting in English again. But that might take some time.

So, for the foreseeable future, I am going through the English scripts for each episode and saving relevant stuff in the form of blog posts, because…

Heinlein’s 5 business rules

  1. You must write.

  2. You must finish what you write.

  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

  4. You must put the work on the market.

  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

…and not doing #4 makes me feel really very psychologically constipated, and that is especially no good when it is so hot.


Gold vs. Shit

There’s a school of thought where “If it isn’t gold (basically, if it’s shit), don’t let the world see it” is the mentality. This is not my mentality. At all.

I do not know what is gold and what isn’t. Why would I spend time determining that? Let someone else decide that. Who cares?

Besides, who are these people who claim to know what is gold and what isn’t, not only for themselves, but also for others? When did they decide that they could determine that for other people or other people’s work? Who let them decide that?

Who are the people who await the verdict of these goldshit experts? Do I want to write/talk/exist for either the goldshit experts or the verdict-awaiters? Absolutely not.

When did personal taste become such a rarity?

By the way, I’m talking about podcasts and fiction. They aren’t rocket science. They aren’t heart surgery. Literally no one will die if someone reads a “bad” book. No one will die from anybody recording and publishing a “bad” podcast, period.

So…

…if one has nothing better to do than caring about the ideas of universally-applicable shit and gold, maybe one should try shitting some oneself. Like, intentionally. Then one will see that shitting takes skill. 😂 Or that one’s gold is someone else’s shit. Or that one’s shit is someone else’s gold.

This is why Heinlein makes so much sense.

And I have immense respect for anybody who actually writes/records/does something rather than talks about doing. I respect the insta poets and Tiktokers.

(This, even though I do not like Instagram and Tiktok. My dislike for the platforms has nothing to do with my respect for people who make stuff there—unless they are claiming that they hate the platform. If they hate the platform, maybe they should leave it altogether or only use it up to the point where the platform benefits them.)

(ex: There are people who only use Facebook to talk to their grandma. I think that’s great. It makes total sense.)

(ex2: I only use Instagram for my Korean pen name, because on most local (Korean) platforms, I cannot even create an account. And Koreans have no reason to use non-Korean platforms unless they’re global. And Big Tech is Big Tech because it’s big. It allows me—as a US citizen living in the US—to reach Korean speakers living in Korea.

Instagram is shit to me in the US. Instagram is gold to me in Korea. For now.)


The futility of waiting

In the book “Writing on the Wall: Social Media – the First 2,000 Years” (an excellent book, very fun to read), it is mentioned that the poet Horace…

…advised authors to wait nine years after completing a work before handing it out, to be sure that they were entirely happy with it, because “once your words are sent out you can’t recall them.”

This sounds like madness to me, especially because the dude used to live in the era of gladiators. People died all the time!

…which people still do, in the year 2022, but at least we don’t expect to be shredded by a lion. If I’d lived when he lived, I wasn’t gonna wait nine years to make sure that my words were gold.

If they were shit before, they’ll stay shit. If they were gold before, then they’re gold anyway, so why wait nine years?

Fake humility makes no sense whatsoever.

I don’t expect to partake in gladiator games anytime soon, but still, it is entirely possible that I will be shredded by a speeding car tomorrow. So, I shall deal with my shit. That way, I know that I can deal with my gold too.

#daily #podcast #writing #2022archiveQ2


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There was no in-between: either she was hungry or she was full. Between those two states, she forgot to think about the workload of her digestive system at all.

Was there too much or too little to process?

She didn’t know.

Plenty of other things screamed for her attention: the buzzing of her cell phone on the desk, the resulting rattling of little clips and pens, and her eyes involuntarily flitting toward the phone.

Then the grim regret. Should’ve put the thing on Do Not Disturb. It wasn’t like she could afford to be distracted, because it wasn’t like she’d been hyper-focused on the screen on which she should’ve been focused before the distraction: the screen of her keyboard-connected iPad, not the one of her keyboard-less “smart” phone.

She was supposed to be typing like mad. Be in a flow state. Go to a place of nothingness, where she disappeared and the thing about which she was writing emerged.

But the buzzing. And now, the realization that her stomach was softly grumbling.

Ah, so she was hungry, instead of full—one of the only two stomach-states of which she seemed to be aware at any given time.

Brilliant. She could taste the impatience. This had happened countless times before. Now she wasn’t gonna write for the day. Or more like, she was gonna tell herself that she was gonna come back to writing later tonight, but wasn’t gonna. Already, she could smell the pizza she’d planned on ordering for dinner.

Might as well order it early.

Put the phone on Do Not Disturb tomorrow.

Then maybe tomorrow, she could write about something other than not writing.

#writing #excuses (What a disgrace…) #2022archiveQ2


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