Knowledge is indeed power, then you have at your disposal the most powerful tool in the history of mankind. I have heard many writers bemoan the fact that technology has not impacted the world in the ways depicted in so many science fiction films. There are no flying cars and very few silver jumpsuits. And yet, in my view, the many ways that technology has actually changed the world are actually even more interesting. For example, the Internet has changed how we communicate with one another, how we entertain ourselves, and how we work. Nobody could have predicted it.
If you want to work four-hour days and are willing to take the cut in income that comes with that, then that’s your call. If you want to finish work early one day “just because,” then most of the time you can. If you want to work an extra hour a day and stop working Mondays, then that’s an option too. There are limits to this flexibility, of course. If you continually shirk on your deadlines, then people are going to stop working with you. And if your contract requires you to be online during certain hours, then you can’t pack in early without telling anyone.
I also believe that, in many ways, being self-employed is actually a more stable and reliable way to earn money versus working for an employer. Think about it: If you are employed by just one company and that company goes under, you’re out of a job. No more income. The same goes if you get let go. But if you have ten ongoing clients, what are the chances that all of them are going to up and leave you at the very same time? Very slim, one would hope. Not only that, but more and more people are going to be turning to freelancers as word gets out. Why would a company limit itself to the local pool of talent when it could go online and find the very best in the business to do the job? Why would a company spend resources and office space on a permanent member of staff when it can get the same work done with no overhead, no administration, and no commitment?
Now I’m being purposefully contrary. But the point I’m making is that you will be working on your own much of the time. That means a lot of isolation, and for some people, being part of a “team” is one of the big perks of work. For that reason, this type of career is arguably better suited to introverts(yay). That said, when the time comes to speak with a client in person, it can help to be a bit more extroverted (there is such thing as an ambivert!). If you feel you will suffer as a result of not being around co-workers, then you need to make sure that you make up for it by jam-packing your free time with social alternatives.
But again, this comes down to personal preference. There is also a fair amount of admin and “fiddly stuff” to contend with when setting up any business. While a sole proprietor has less to worry about than a limited liability company, you do still need to consider things like filing tax returns, logging your expenses and income, dealing with clients, investing in marketing (maybe including trademarks), and more. You’ll need to sign up for websites, and you may wish to create your own business website. All this can be a headache and it is often a considerable “barrier to entry.”
In other words, if you’re not 100% sure about working as a freelancer, potential admin tasks may be enough to deter you from diving in. The good news is that you can take these responsibilities on slowly and eventually automate or outsource a great deal of them. But in the interests of balance, let’s consider risk. At the end of the day, you won’t be employed. You won’t have a long-term contract. There is no guarantee that the work will keep coming.
That’s a shift in the way we have been brought up to view work, and for some, that’s bound to incite just a little anxiety.
My Ahjussi (My Mister) is a tvN drama from 2018 starring Lee Sun kyun and IU that received both critical acclaim and commercial success. You can now see it on Netflix. The drama is a heart-warming story about a young woman and three middle-aged brothers struggling with life’s typical hardships. It offers 16 episodes filled with relatable situations and life lessons that we can all learn from.
Park Dong Hoon (Lee Sun Kyun from Parasite) is a well paid building engineer around forty years of age, married to pretty lawyer Yoon Hee (Lee Ji Ah from Beethoven Virus). They have one young son whom they sent to America to school to learn English, and he is younger than ten years old (I didn’t understand that for beans!). Usually when a couple is married and in love and have a baby they want to raise it themselves, not send it half-way around the world to school! This, together with the fact that there is never any physical relationship depicted between husband and wife, not even one hug, makes one doubt that any love really exists between this married couple. We soon find out why. Dong Hoon’s wife is secretly having an affair with a senior executive at the construction company where Dong Hoon works, an executive who has always been jealous of Dong Hoon’s professional capabilities and talents. Yoon Hee tells her lover that she wants to divorce Dong Hoon and marry the executive, who is named Do Joon Young (Kim Young Min, also from Beethoven Virus), but it’s obvious to the astute audience members that this adulterous bum has no interest in ever marrying her. He’s just using her to get back at Dong Hoon for earning more respect at work than he has attained.
Dong Hoon is a member of a close knit family who all lives in the same city neighborhood, including two brothers and his aging mother Byeon Yo Soon (Ko Doo Shim from Dear My Friends and The Snow Queen) who still live together. The oldest brother, Sang Hoon (Park Ho San) is chronically unemployed and separated from his long-suffering wife Ae Ryun (Jung Young Joo). Gi Hoon (Song Sae Byeok) is the youngest brother who also has trouble finding work after he blew a chance to become a movie director. Dong Hoon hires a temp in his office named Lee Ji An (IU from Dream High ) who lives in financial and emotional distress daily, owing loan sharks a lot of money. She supports her disabled deaf and mute grandmother Bon Ae (Son Sook) who is unable to move by herself so Ji An often has to steal a grocery cart temporarily from a convenience store to wheel her around in it when she wants to go outside. Ji An is continuously harassed by a loan shark named Gwang Il (Chang Ki Yong) who obviously also has the hots for her. He regularly shows up at her apartment door and beats her up because she won’t give in to him sexually.
Despite everything going on Dong Hoon still cares about Ji An, and even assists her in getting her grandmother in a senior living situation that is government run so she doesn’t have to worry about her ailing grandmother’s physical needs anymore. Granny isn’t quite sure what is going on with Ji An and Dong Hoon but to her he is an angel. Ji An falls even more deeply in love with him, yet still seems to be carrying out her plan to destroy him at work! Talk about a troubled girl. All this time I kept hoping she would end up acting like a double agent and destroy the wicked Joon Young instead.
These two brothers decide to start a cleaning company to make money and at first they are embarrassed by their work but then they begin to succeed at it and feel more comfortable admitting what they do for a living. If you have to clean for a living at least do it well! Gi Hoon has had unresolved feelings for a young lady who used to be an actress he directed years ago, named Yoo Ra (Nara), and they meet up again when she is still struggling as an actress and it’s obvious an attraction is still there between them. He rebuffs her at first but you just know that won’t last long she’s far too pretty!
As we near the end of the story there are lots of surprises in store for the audience. Those who are hoping for Dong Hoon to finally wake up and realize how dead his marriage is, how it’s been empty for years, how he really loves Ji An instead of his wife, are going to be disappointed. In so many ways the lead male character Dong Hoon is admirable, but in many other ways he seems totally clueless about life and love and his own feelings. Often I just wanted to shake him out of his daze, so that he would start making good choices about his life, work, marriage, and feelings for Ji An. There was even a scene near the end where he just breaks down at home all alone and doesn’t even seem to understand why he is crying in the first place.
We have many Korean dramas that don’t hesitate to show physical relationships in “Noona Romances” (Older Women, Younger Men stories), so why does it suddenly matter when the male lead character is a decade or more older than the female character? In real life there are millions of December-May romances, so why not in television dramas?
This show is like its titular protagonist; both start out quiet, gloomy and unassuming, but over the course of 16 episodes, both reveal themselves to be beautiful, moving heroes who show us the power of kindness, and grace of humanity. Good writing, on point directing, and outstanding performances from the cast all come together to make My Mister an absorbing watch that feels organic, real, and raw. The OST, which is delicate, thoughtful, and ethereal in turn, is meticulously crafted and applied, and effectively lifts the watch to another level. Dark and beautiful. And at the same time, warm and beautiful. A must-see.
“Self-esteem isn’t everything, it’s just that there’s nothing without it”- Gloria Steinem
Building confidence similar to bringing about any personal change. First, develop self-awareness: know yourself, acknowledge that there are aspects of yourself that you wish to change, and understand what has stopped you feeling confident so far.
As you approach the task of publishing writing, accept that practically everyone strives at it. Remind yourself that writing is a “plastic art” (Smith, 1994 )
It’s been almost 10 days that I have not written anything. Not because I didn’t want to; not because I didn’t have the time but because I had a lot on my mind. I felt as if I wrote when I didn’t feel like it, I would be doing myself a big disservice. With writing, as with physical exercise, there are some who can never seem to “ﬁnd the time” to do it, some who do the minimum(like me), others who make it part of the daily routine, and still others who are positively addicted to it.
Writing can be shaped to your emotions they say though I feel vulnerable to pen down. to improve as a writer one needs to put all that they go through on paper, and that somewhere amongst the thousands of outlets, there is a place where you can publish a well-conceptualized and carefully prepared manuscript.
So instead of assuming that widely published authors write with ease, realize that they are comparable to athletes who compete in the Olympics; they have trained extensively, built endurance, worked with expert coaches, and learned the rules of the game.
When the challenges of writing are under discussion, people are much more curious about possible shortcuts to fame and fortune rather than the drudgery part, just as most people are more interested in seeing the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to Olympians than to watch athletes’ practice sessions.
Expect that you can become a successful writer, but, as the Latin motto on the gates of the Govan Shipyard in Scotland so succinctly states, Non sine labore , not without effort.
In the winter of 1913, noted Psychologist Carl Jung embarked on a process of self-experimentation. He deliberately gave free rein to his fantasy thinking and carefully noted what ensued. He later called this process “Active imagination.” He wrote down these fantasies in the Black Books. These are not personal diaries, but rather the records of a self-experimentation.
When World War I broke out, Jung considered that a number of his fantasies were precognitions of this event. This led him to compose the first draft of Liber Novus, which consisted of a transcription of the main fantasies from the Black Books, together with a layer of interpretive commentaries and lyrical elaboration. Here Jung attempted to derive general psychological principles from the fantasies, as well as to understand to what extent the events portrayed in the fantasies presented, in a symbolic form, developments that were to occur in the world.
In the aftermath of World War II, with the advent of the Cold War, the erection of the Berlin Wall, and the explosion of the hydrogen bomb, Jung found himself once again confronted with “An apocalyptic age filled with images of universal destruction,” as he had been when he composed Liber Novus during World War I. Articulating there a direct linkage between what took place in the individual and in society at large, he argued that the only solution to the seemingly catastrophic developments in the world lay in the individual turning within and resolving the individual aspects of the collective conflict:
” [T] he spirit of the depths wants this struggle [the War] to be understood as a conflict in every man’s own nature.”3 In his personal confrontation, Jung’s endeavor was one of resolving the conflicts that were reflected on the world stage within himself. In 1917, he wrote, This war has pitilessly revealed to civilized man that he is still a barbarian. . .. But the psychology of the individual corresponds to the psychology of the nation. What the nation does is done also by each individual, and so long as the individual does it, the nation also does it. Only the change in the attitude of the individual is the beginning of the change in the psychology of the nation.”
Most people confuse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego-personalities. Anyone who has any ego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents.
People measure their self-knowledge by what the average person in their social environment knows of himself, but not by the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them. In this respect the psyche behaves like the body, of whose physiological and anatomical structure the average person knows very little too. Although he lives in it and with it, most of it is totally unknown to the layman, and special scientific knowledge is needed to acquaint consciousness with what is known of the body, not to speak of all that is not known, which also exists.
What is commonly called “self-knowledge” is therefore a very limited knowledge, most of it dependent on social factors, of what goes on in the human psyche. Hence one is always coming up against the prejudice that such and such a thing does not happen “with us” or “in our family” or among our friends and acquaintances. On the other hand, one meets with equally illusory assumptions about the alleged presence of qualities which merely serve to cover up the true facts .
Carl Jung’s concepts are definitely not everyone’s cup of coffee but understanding them is definitely something that I am giving a try.
(Girl’s name) and (boy’s name) sitting under the tree or on a beach.
K-i-s-s-i-n-g! (spell it out, more sound effects please)
First comes love.
Then comes marriage.
Then comes baby in the baby carriage!”
This particular scenein various movies & series has set the tone for this write. I have been teen aging currently and binge-watching K dramas and damn they are making me paranoid about my own timeline.
You cannot predict when you are going to meet the love of your life. You cannot predict when you will land your dream job. You cannot predict when your business will take off. You cannot predict when you will take that dream trip. While I haven’t accomplished the milestones I planned, I know my inability to meet these expectations at a certain age has no reflection on my potential to reach them in the future.
The year I turned 30, I was invited to more weddings than I had ever attended… in my life. I looked up and all my close friends had checked many of the major life boxes (soulmate, wedding, three-bedroom house, baby) while I hadn’t even started. That was the first time I felt the pressure. That year was so hard. I had to continually remind myself to be happy for my friends rather than using them as guidelines for what my life didn’t have. And even in the midst of the comparison game, I truly hated that I felt that way. I hated that I was looking at my wonderful life and seeing it as less.
While some of my friends are buying homes to settle down, there are others who are buying plane tickets to travel solo. Even though we’re all similar ages, our lives are different due to our personalities and the priorities that form because of them. Why? Because our ages don’t necessarily have to dictate when we achieve specific things in life.
When things do not go according to the timeline that you made up for your life you feel like a failure or like you are missing out. Even worse you feel that your time has passed. Creating a timeline for your life is not the issue. The problem is that there isn’t necessarily a road map for how to do that. And that’s where the problem comes in. That’s where the anxiety comes in.
But that’s the thing: “too old” or “too young” is all just part of this timeline narrative I’m refusing to accept any more. I’m excited to experience life on my own timeline… exactly how it was meant to happen. For any women out there reading this, know that your timeline is your own. No matter how different it may look to everyone around you.
Remember there is no timeline.
Last but not least I encourage you to watch this video.
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.“
Anne Lamott,Bird by Bird
I wouldn’t call this a Book summary but rather my notes on Anne Lamont’s “Bird by Bird” so please bear with me if this post appears to be too long. I couldn’t help but include the many gems that I want to be reminded of and which hopefully will also benefit you.
From my perspective as a person trying to make writing part of my daily life, I’d say Bird by Bird is more of a pep talk for writers. Sitting home alone writing can be more than a little crazy, so it’s nice to have some reassurance that the craziness is normal, along with some tools for getting to the next day or to the next page.
On writing shitty first drafts
“We all know we’re going to die; what’s important is the kind of men and women we are in the face of this. All you can give us is what life is about from your point of view.”
Writing reveals itself through writing. As you write, you uncover the hidden gems inside you that you didn’t even know were there. Words come to you, characters reveal themselves, and dialogue forms that shows who these people are. It pretty much always works this way: you have to write to figure out what you’re writing about. Ask people around you to help you with your writing. Call on them for their expertise. If you want to write about gardening or include a garden in your writing, but you don’t know the first thing about gardening, then ask someone who does. Enlist the help of others to make your words come alive.
On writer’s block and inducing creativity
For me, the most important tip Anne Lamott shared is to carve out some time every day to write, preferably at the same time. When you do this, you train your unconscious mind to kick in for you creatively. So instead of waiting for the muse to show up, you kindly invite her over every day at the same time.
Write first, Polish later.
Perfectionism can be your enemy when you get lost in the details. Anne urges us to make a mess and clean it up later. You’ll be more likely to discover interesting new directions and insights with your story and characters if you let loose. And hey, your first draft is just for you. So only please yourself as your first reader.
Thoughts on Character & Plot Development:
“Knowledge of your characters also emerges the way a Polaroid develops: it takes time for you to know them.” — Anne Lamott
When you want to map out your character’s world, traits and beliefs, write it down. What are their habits? What is their background? Are they very expressive/emotional? What do they believe in? What makes them tick? What relationships do they have with family and friends? What is their profession? What are their mannerisms? Whom would they have voted for? What do they look like? Etc. Sometimes you pour in facets of yourself or people you know. I do at least. Most characters are blends of me, friends and family. Sometimes even my perception of celebrities, politicians or just people I meet. Copy and paste habits, and looks.
“Writing is about learning to pay attention and to communicate what is going on.”
This lesson is related to avoid getting stuck or reaching a dead end. If you write about a subject you are interested in, something about which you care passionately, chances are you have a lot to say and you’re more likely to finish the story.
“You need to put yourself at their centre, you and what you believe to be true or right. The core, ethical concepts in which you most passionately believe are the language in which you are writing.”
Your reader will notice when you write about a subject matter you care about and he or she will likely be able to recognize pieces of his or her own life in what you have to say. So, be emotional in your writing, chances are you hit more nerves and tears
“Get to know your characters as well as you can, let there be something at stake, and then let the chips fall where they may.”
Here’s what Anne says in Bird by Bird: “Find out what each character cares most about in the world because then you will have discovered what’s at stake. Find a way to express this discovery in action, and then let your people set about finding or holding onto or defending whatever it is. But something must be at stake or you will have no tension and your readers will not tum the pages.”
The only thing I have to add to that is that you must make sure you invite the reader in. Why should they care about the journey of your characters?
“The development of relationship creates plot.”
Make sure your characters move forward, towards something. Traditionally there are three acts: A setup, a build-up, and the pay-off. This system exists for a reason. Sometimes you have your ending in mind at the start. Sometimes you find your plot while interacting with your muse every day and scribbling away your first draft. Some character needs to have changed when you reach the end. But whatever happens, we need to feel that it was inevitable, that even though we may be amazed, it feels absolutely right, that, of course, things would come to this, of course, they would shakedown in this way.
So this book is not only a book full of advice for writers but a book that encapsulates what it means to be a writer. Simple, clear, and truthful exploration of the writing life. I loved hearing her encouragement to aspiring writers, and I loved how she emphasized the importance of truth in writing. To become a better writer, you have to write more. Writing reveals the story because you have to write to figure out what you’re writing about. Don’t judge your initial work too harshly because every writer has terrible first drafts. The point I’m going to add here that really impacted me was Lamott message not to worry about what people think of you, but to worry about not finishing your writing.
You should be able to identify a character by what he or she says. It’s a given that each should sound different, look different, and have different backgrounds and mannerisms but this simple advice hit home because I thought, “If I didn’t write-he said/she said-after this quote, would they know it was from this character?”
A formula when writing a short story, which goes ABDCE, for Action, Background, Development, Climax, and Ending. You begin with action that is compelling enough to draw us in, make us want to know more. The background is where you let us see and know who these people are, how they’ve come to be together, what was going on before the opening of the story. Then you develop these people so that we learn what they care most about. The plot, the drama, the actions, the tension will grow out of that. You move them along until everything comes together in the climax, after which things are different for the main characters, different in some real way.
I loved the description of rewriting and tucking the octopus in bed. The legs that keep popping out from the bedsheets, and just when you think you have them tucked in, another pops out.
Now I am interested in reading E.M. Forster and John Gardner’s advice on the plot which Lamott mentions as great reads.
The advice on having someone read your first drafts was really good, it helps to know if you’re on the right path. Common sense indeed.
One of the life lessons I loved was about not wasting your time on people who don’t respond to you with kindness and respect or wasting your time with people who make you hold your breath. “You can’t fill up when you’re holding your breath, and writing is about filling up when you’re empty. Letting images, and ideas, and smells run like water.”
Write about yourself, and making yourself the main character and trying to throw everything you love in your first book, short story, whatever. At least I’m learning I’m not alone 🙂
Letters are an amazing idea as well. Writing a part of your history, a part of a character’s history in the form of a letter that the informality might just free you from the tyranny of perfectionism, and even address it to someone. I loved this idea and I can see how several of my favorite articles or essays could have been written using this method, at least as a first draft or to brainstorm.
The idea of carrying an index card and pen in your back pocket when you walk your dogs or travel is also a lifesaver.
Live life like it was your last day and re-filling your imagination can fill back up. “Any of the things you love to do will fill you with observations, flavors, visions, ideas, and memories.”
Think of what you want to say and if anything else has been written on the subject but tell your story as someone else.
I loved the quote by Toni Morrison that Lamott uses, “The function of freedom is to free someone else. We write the unexposed. If there is a door in a castle you’ve been told not to go through you must.”
You need to discover your true voice, and you can’t do that if you think your parents are reading over your shoulder, so write in isolation.
Think about who your writing for, dedicate it to your favourite author as a gift to give back to them for influencing you. I love the idea of writing a present for someone.
There were moments when I was moved and made to think about writing, so maybe one day I’ll read Bird by Bird again and see if I can revise this first impression. Amen!
In the Famous Korean Novel “Please Look After Mom” the daughter realizes how much she loves her mother only after her mother goes missing. In an interview, the author, Kyung-sook Shin, said that she had been planning the book for a long time but couldn’t get it quite right until she changed “mother” in the title to “mom.” The novel ends with the daughter on a trip to Vatican City. The daughter lays a rosary in front of the Pietà, an image of the Holy Mother embracing the dead Jesus and prays, “Please, please look after Mom.”
After staying at home with my mother for the past two months, I have realized that my existence cannot have meaning without her. She was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and it broke my heart to look at her beautiful face lose its symmetry. My heart was filled with sadness and remorse and I found myself summoning my childhood memories filled with her warmth, love, and commitment towards our upbringing. My life would have served its purpose if I am 10% of what she is.
I feel sad to see how much older my parents have become, especially my mother. Many grey hairs have sprouted on her head, and she is not as active as she used to be. It is distressing for a daughter to see her own mother becoming old. Although I know that everything in this world is impermanent, I cannot help but wish that my mother might be exempt.
I am a lot like my mother or so I would like to believe. She is an introvert, but with a bright and warm personality. She loves music and art and enjoys reading books, just like I do. If she hears or thinks of something insightful or interesting, she likes to write it down and share it with her family and friends. She is a great cook and not just my family but everyone who has tasted her food comes back to taste more. She can be patient and strong in the face of difficulties, which I aspire to be. I am proud and grateful for everything she has done for us.
Thanks to the lockdown, I could drop everything and tend to her. I have been neglecting my own parents but now I will do better. We regret that we have not spent enough time with our loved ones because we are too busy. Though we always wish our loved ones to be happy and healthy, we often do not express it, assuming that they already know how we feel.
But today a sentiment rose up from the abyss of my heart: “Aai, Aai, I love you so, so much.” Without realizing it, the word “aai” came out instead of “mom.”
And then she resolves to become healthy again, not just for herself but also for her daughter.