Raindrops on a Japonica leaf in my garden, Tokyo, Japan, April 2004
Fast becoming one of my favorite blogs Journal of a Writing Man, there is something disarming and undeniably charming about Old Grey Poet’s daily stories. The fact that he focuses on the details of his daily life, peppering the anecdotes with bytes of such treasures as an annoyance with the residue left over on the back of a notebook after peeling away the price sticker, or the joy of riding a bicycle again after years of neglect, or the wonder of watching a water spout, brings me back for more every day.
I can relate to what he is writing and can fit inside the boundaries of such a world. It has made me think hard about what I want to write here, and though my last post was the usual weltschmertz griping, I intend to focus more, from now on, on this little ring of influence that I can manage by myself. The blog will undergo some changes, including new blogging software (WordPress), a facelift, and some added and rearranged categories. It will take a little while, but I hope it will streamline the site and focus the voice here.
It’s been a harrowing month, what with having been cheated in my payment for the spring hotel brochure design project (the cover of the main brochure is to the left. The colors are definitely not right online… the reddish brown on top is actually a lot deeper brown and the blue below is actually more violet) and having to deal with it all in some very convoluted Japanese negotiations (my Japanese is very good, but I just can’t keep up in such jargon-rich sparring, especially when there are two Japanese, thirty-year design veterans against one of me… and believe me, the Japanese know how to be convoluted and vague… their whole language revolves around saying things through innuendo! And no, I never was able to rectify my losses) without resources, without anyone to turn to for professional advice. It’s left me discouraged and not a little angry. I don’t think I will ever do design work in Japan again. This is the main reason I haven’t been blogging for quite some time.
But on the bright side, it’s become clear that design work is not my cup of tea (after having been cheated five times already… you’d think I would have learned by now!). Now, with all other possible career roads taken eliminated, like salt evaporated out of the bucket, I have no more excuses not to put all my effort into making it as a writer. I’ve tried every combination of vocation (except working as a field biologist) that I’ve ever imagined myself doing, and one by one eliminated them. Only writing holds fast and only writing fulfills all the criteria I’ve asked of my life. It’s hard, lonely, low paying work and I can get cheated in this field, too, but at least it’s in my language and at least I have resources and people to turn to. And most important, at least I love doing it as I do it, even when I’m struggling.
So here goes!