2014 – The Year of the Quitter


A great summary of the 2014 in indie writing, by the ever-honest K.K.Rush.

It was a tough year for all of us in the business. I struggled through, but I have seen many fall around me. Kristine, quoting profusely from 2014 year summaries by other blogging writers (which all tell the same story), provides the most complete explanation for what has happened since last New Year’s I have yet read.

Bullet-points:

Writing is hard – Solitude and making things up is not for everyone.

Self-publishing is hard – If you don’t learn to love business, self-publishing can be a soul-sucking experience. 

Success is hard – Even major success—paid sales in the tens or hundreds of thousands—requires undreamed-of work. 

The gold rush has ended – You are not entitled to fame and riches just because you published a book. 

Read the rest at: Business Musings: Things Indie Writers Learned in 2014.

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Reblog: Last night, a fast food delivery guy gave me 10 yen and it made my day


Yup. That’s Japan, alright: where the waiter tips YOU.

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

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After living here for any decent length of time, it’s easy to grow tired of the seemingly endless slew of blogs either singing Japan’s praises or celebrating its weirdness. But the thing is, there’s a reason so many of them exist. While many of the claims bloggers in Japan make are somewhat exaggerated or simply rehashes of the same experiences foreigners arriving in the country decades earlier had, there are nevertheless times when living in Japan can make you realise that the country is actually quite special.

Just last night, for example, I found myself the recipient of a tiny but powerful gesture that made me feel – after more than eight years of living here – that Japan is pretty damn cool sometimes.

Last night, dear reader, a fast food company gave me 10 yen. That’s about US$0.09.

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Reblog: Yubari: Withering into truth


Spike Japan

I was recently commissioned by The Guardian newspaper to profile dear old Yubari in a short article; you can read the fruits of that endeavor, should you care to, here. However, the piece was hacked about and chopped down to make it more digestible for the hurried browser, so I thought I would post the unexpurgated version here, the director’s cut, as it were, with the scenes that were left on the cutting-room floor restored. Veteran Spike readers will be familiar with the tale, but there were a few twists and turns in it I hadn’t anticipated when I began the research process. Revisiting all the places Spike made it to in the blog’s five-year run every five years or so would turn into a Sisyphean task, like the painting of the Forth Bridge; a fascinating grand travaux but not one I’ll be undertaking in this life. I apologize…

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