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Welcome everyone to my blog; A Startup Writer.
Here I’ll post all sorts of stuff about the contents and backstory of the book I’m writing as well as the process I’m going through to get it finished :)
Any remarks are offcourse welcome.

Prioritizing Life

Even though it sometimes feels like yesterday that I’ve returned from Africa it has been a whole lot longer than that. Without going in to much detail, living has taken the backseat, especially the last few months. Focusing too much on work and the things society demands of a human being in the 21st century to survive. Surviving is not enough.

I just returned from a great vacation on the Greek island of Crete and it reopened my eyes. Time to turn things around. One of the things I haven’t spend enough time on is this blog and the book I’m still thinking about on a daily basis. The loss of my notebook doesn’t make it any easier to kickstart creativity, but the positive vibe I brought back surely helps to nudge me in to a direction. Time will tell if it’s the right direction but at least I’m fed up with standing still and got the energy to do something about it.

After being absent from my own writing for this long the first thing I started out with was re-reading that what I already had. I hope I’m not sounding cocky, but it’s actually quite good and I’m almost ready to put down new content.

I’m currently cutting away as much negativity from my life as I can so I’ll be having more brain capacity to focus on the things that matter to me. Friends, family, travel and writing. The last two can be perfectly combined and the more I think, talk or write about it the more energy I get to make it happen.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Bumblebee is ready to take me on a grand Euro tour after the winter, but that still needs a lot of preparation. I’m transforming my two wheeled steel steed to a mobile office using Raspberry Pi’s.

For now I just have to hold on to this energy, keep crossing things off from my to-do list and slowly move to become the person I want to be.

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Damn you life, I need to write! *edit*

Hi folks,

So my previous post was a 2014 recap, that ship has sailed many months ago but is still taking up my ‘last post’ space. Why? Because I’ve been so caught up in things that need or have to be done I don’t have much to report on my writing.

The short version is that I haven’t written a single word contributing directly to the story. Something which pains me big time. Last January, when I was visiting London, I bought myself an old fashioned notebook, which I carry around every day. Even though I’m an IT guy it feels satisfying to actually put stuff down on paper.

When I look back to the things that I’ve added the last couple of months I’ve got a slight bit of hope that I’ll be finishing my story eventually. Besides the countless To-Do’s we all have, there’s actual story material there. That little notebook is my lifeline to writing. It is always there and ready to preserve my many brain farts in written form.

Work is chaotic at best and on top of that I’ve started a small business with some friends. social obligations take up a lot of time as well and I’m in full bro-support mode for the last couple of weeks. Apart from that I like to think that I’m entitled to a bit of ‘me’ time to recharge my batteries and when all those things have been taken care of it sometimes feels as if I have to start over that whole process again.

So I’m sorry if you were hoping for the next big thing. For now I just have to cross of the next thing from my To-Do list: Buy a new motorcycle, because I managed to break my first loyal steel steed…

Motorcycleblood alongside the freeway.

Motorcycleblood alongside the freeway.

New Bike!

New Bike! I’ll call him Bumblebee.

But peeps, there’s always hope no matter what your goals are. As long as you keep your little lifeline to the things you want to do most, eventually you’ll get to the end of that seemingly endless tunnel.

Everyone thanks for your support in likes, follows and comments for now 🙂 Time to get to the end of the tunnel. *edit: added picture of new bike*

2014 in review

All of you WP bloggers out there know what this is, for the ones who don’t…

This was made possible thanks to you! The reader. Tahnk you for this 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

We love Africa but it hurts

Hi Swedish African,

Although I’m not from ZA, I totally get it. After my year in Jo’Burg, I do have to tell myself the place where I’m at now is ‘better’. Safer, prosperous opportunities, the usual. I just fell in love with the country.
After reading your post I had the urge to quote and comment on just about anything, so this is the better option. Except for this one:
‘South Africa is a wondrous fuck up: a country with a big heart and big problems.’
Thank you for making me LOL 🙂

The Swedish African

A South African woman came by my brother- and sister-in-law’s bakery in Billeberga, Sweden the other day and mentioned that she’d heard of another South African (me) who was flitting about town.

And as the story goes with most South African expats – she proceeded to make a case for why her and her husband had left their disastrous, God-forsaken country and immigrated to 1,100-strong Billeberga, where it’s safe and clean and where life couldn’t be more perfect. A place where people live equally, work hard and leave their front doors open at night.

“We love Africa but it hurts,” she said

The final straw — she told my brother-in-law — came when their young family fell victim to crime – for a second time.

Ja, ja, it’s the same spiel we hear from South African expats the world over but heck! I don’t want to judge her when…

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Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – Break Your Story Down to Build It Up.

This blog post is awesome.
It provides a tool which you can use to finish your own project.
I definitely need to give it a try 🙂

Live to Write - Write to Live

VW bug cutawayWhen we read a finished story, whether a thousand-word piece of flash fiction of a thousand-page novel, we perceive it as whole. It’s similar to the way we see each other. You don’t think of your friend as a collection of distinct elements. You don’t perceive her as a particular combination of skin and hair and eyes, scarf and jeans and shoes. You don’t see the individual bones, muscles, or cells that make up her body. You don’t consciously perceive all the discrete events and experiences that make up her personality and character. You just see Jane.

Stories are like that. We experience a story as the sum total of its parts. And, as with a person, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Still, those parts are there. Without them the person or the story would not exist, at least not in the form you perceive.

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Finally some Progress

So yeah that’s been a while…
This blogging thing is hard to maintain when you’re busy.

These past few months I got myself a job again, hooray for me. But the company decided to station me in the middle of nowhere. In Dutch perspective you might think it’s beyond the edge of the world 😉

I currently live in a vacation park about a kilometer from the world war 2 concentration camp of Westerbork.
My collegues and I have made plenty of bad jokes about this matter. Don’t be offended, we don’t mean any harm.
It feels as if you go to work on sunday afternoon and come back friday night. My social life, writing and anything else for that matter have been put on hold. It is taking its toll…

About a week ago I had my meeting with human resources, which actually worked out pretty well. Besides they giving me a raise in salary, I get a 32-hour contract. So starting next year I’ll have more time to maintain the things that matter.

Story wise nothing much happened, although I managed to get myself back in order by removing the writers block. Usually I get stuck in a state of mind and nothing good comes from it. I’ve been down that road plenty of times, so I know what NOT to do 😉 Its easier than I thought, although there might always be something that throws me of. But hey, that’s life.

I’ve been polishing some of the work I’ve already done. Since I’ve put down about 45 000 words, its quite a task to remove the kinks. Furthermore Amazon.nl launched this week, so if I ever want to market this project now would be the right time to finish it. Apart from that I also visited the old bookstore where I always went when I was a kid. Done some questioning and they’re always willing to help a starting writer.

Just a few more weeks…

The Singularity of Life

And how it forms a writer’s block.

 

The time when I could say ‘I’ve just returned from South Africa’ has come and gone. As described in my previous post, it is as if I’ve just returned and it is in the distant past. All at the same time.

Most of you probably know the feeling. You have a plan, for me writing is a big part of it, and live by it as long as you can. Then your surroundings or other conditions change and so does your own life. The big ideas you had before are sucked in an ‘endless’ void called life.

For me that’s no different story. Since my ex-former-employer took me back, life has become a rollercoaster. I just got used to the idea of spending a longer period of time with my parents. Doing the long walks with the dog, visiting friends and family. Basically enjoying the good life and chasing ‘wants’.

You can make work fit within this way of life. I’ve done something like it, before I went to South Africa, so I could do it again. There was one major difference though. I was used to go home after my shift had ended and do my own thing and start it all over the next day. Work hard, play hard.

Now, however, it feels more like ‘Lots of work, little play.’ My current job takes me far from home. Being present at the office during the day, and after work I stay at a vacation park with collegues. We have a lot of fun in the evenings so I’ll manage to get through it with a smile, however I got blown off course and need to find my bearings again.

That’s just one external factor when it comes to my writing. A ‘small’ obstacle to overcome in order to free up time for stuff that matters, like writing. Step one, do a blogpost. Step two complete the damned book 😉

The second are internal factors. Usually these are small things which add up. Stuff you promised ‘to do some time’ or your mind which just wanders to unproductive places. Staying focussed is a tricky thing. On top of all those small things you think you have to do, are the things you try to avoid but keep thinking about. It helps to put those little things down on paper and thereby filing it in your to-do pile.

Time to go to the root of the writer’s block. Its not work or the small things crossing your path every now and then. The major thing that keeps me from writing are matters of the heart. Even putting it out here on WP is a step in the right direction. Giving it perspective and gaining insight on this mysterious part of life. It is, at least for me, the main ‘issue’. The place where my head wanders the most even when it is not supposed to. The thing I need to clarify before my head can go back to the adventures of Martin and Cithea.