Tag Archives: personal

Writing Books: Money and Fame Versus Personal Enjoyment

I’m often asked if I’m writing to make money or become famous. I’m pretty certain that will never happen. I mean the famous part. I may make some money, but I doubt it’ll be enough to make it a full-time career. So, is it for my own personal enjoyment?

I love making stories. I love to create a world I can call my own, make my own rules, and have people live the way I wish I could live. And I want to share it. I want my world to inspire people, make them want to live there, and give readers a temporary place for their minds to live in. I think that’s what a lot of people enjoy doing while they read, experiencing another way of life. And I’m enjoying doing it (if I can find the time).

But part of me wants to become successful at it. I want to be able to make enough money to do this full time. But fame? As an introvert who doesn’t particularly enjoy being the focus of attention, I’d like to skip that. But the money, sure! I mean, what author wouldn’t want to be able to make money doing what they love?

What am I really doing this for? I think the main thing is for myself. I want to enjoy telling stories. If I make money at it, that just makes it easier for me to devote more time to make more stories for people to enjoy.

What about you? If you’re an author, how would you explain the balance between money, fame, and personal enjoyment? Let me know in the comments below.

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A Train Station Story

Here’s a little story about something that happened ten years ago. It happened in the first week of August 2005, just days after I climbed Mt. Fuji. Let’s just say that my inspiration to write this post has to do with some videos I watched on YouTube involving train station incidents.

I was sitting in the station after work. It was around 10:30 pm, and I was taking the train from Konandai Station to Shin-Sugita Station, which is near where I lived at the time. I guess it would be helpful to mention that this happened in Yokohama.

As I was saying, I was sitting in the station waiting for my train, and I was looking at my cell phone. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a businessman, around thirty-five years old, pacing back and forth. There was nothing unusual about him. He had a black suit, was carrying a briefcase, and just looked normal. I had no idea what this guy was going to do, but I wish I’d paid more attention. I went back to my phone, sending an email to my mom.

The train arrival was announced, and I continued sitting, intending on getting in the car directly in front of the bench I was on. The front of the train was approaching, when I looked up and noticed the businessman. He ran to the edge of the platform and jumped.

Everything was in slow motion. I saw him, black suit, black shoes, black hair, and black briefcase, all flying in the air with a train coming toward him at about seventy or eighty kilometres per hour. I saw the impact briefly, but what I really noticed was the shattered glass scattering through the air. I could see every little piece with my heightened senses due to the adrenaline coursing through my body. I looked around, and one guy turned to me and gave me a look that said, “Did you see that?” His eyes were wide and they probably mirrored my expression of shock.

There were other sounds in the station, the screams of high school girls and the nervous laughter of the boys. They undoubtedly had a more gruesome view of the suicide. But I saw the guy alive the very moment before he was hit. I saw him alive for about five minutes before the train, and I had no clue what he was about to do.

I didn’t know what to do. I walked out of the station and got into a taxi to go home. I sat in the taxi without saying a thing, almost motionless while I stared out the window and the scene replayed in my mind over and over again.

I got home, went inside, and broke down. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t want to do anything. I just saw a man die in one of the worst ways.

The memory hasn’t faded. It’s as clear as if it happened today. I don’t think about it often, but news of yet another suicide brings back that memory. They call them “human accident” in train stations in Japan. Sometimes, I want to tell someone the story I told you. I did when I went to work the next day, and I got to hear another suicide story from my school’s manager when she was in high school. In her case, she saw blood and a possibly severed arm. She couldn’t tell. But that’s another story, and I don’t have the details.

Why did I tell you this? Sometimes these things need to be told, instead of being held inside. It doesn’t affect me much these days, but it’s probably therapeutic to talk about it. Thanks for reading.

What I Believe In

As you saw in my last post, I am against creationism in the science classroom and against abstinence only sex education.  But what about other causes or controversial topics?  Well, here’s a list of causes with my brief answer.

  • Creationism taught as an alternative to evolution:  No.  Creationism isn’t science.  Evolution is.
  • Abstinence only sex education:  No.  Irresponsible, and doesn’t take into account that teenagers are horny and hormone-filled. Contraceptives must be taught, too.
  • Climate change is happening:  Yes.  So much evidence supports it.  Denying climate change doesn’t stop it from happening.
  • Destroying vast amounts of land for natural resources: No.  Stop it.  Things like oil are going to run out, so it’s better to search for renewable energy sources.
  • Nuclear power: This one is tricky.  It’s efficient, it produces a lot of energy, and it is relatively safe (coal produces more radiation, oil and gas produce far more pollution).  But when problems happen, that’s when we have a big problem.  Now, nuclear fusion would be nice.
  • Research into nuclear fusion: Big yes.  This would solve so many energy problems.  The fuel source is incredibly abundant (hydrogen), and the byproducts of fusion are benign (helium).  If it could work successfully, it would be wonderful.
  • Research for a cure for ALS and other unprofitable cures: Yes.  This has to do with responsibility to fellow humans, and not about exploiting them for profits.  I don’t care if a disease is relatively rare, work should be done to search for treatments and cures.
  • Gay rights:  Gay people should be allowed to marry, absolutely.  They should not be discriminated against.
  • Racial equality:  Yes, absolutely.  I don’t care where you’re from, I think I can get along with people from any background.  Well, I do care where people are from, mainly because I’m interested in cultures and countries.
  • Gender equality: Yes, definitely.  They should receive equal pay, they should have equal rights.  Everywhere.  That means you too, Middle East.
  • Public breastfeeding:  Yes.  Babies need to eat.
  • Profit vs environment:  Profit loses.  Environment should be protected, even if it deprives us of some natural resources.
  • Poaching of endangered species: Kill the poachers.  Honestly.  They’re scum.  They may be human, but they are not worth it.
  • Free medical care: Yes.  No one should have to pay for it.
  • Free university:  Yes.  Some countries made it work.  We need educated people, not heavily indebted people.
  • Genetically modified food: We’ve been modifying food for millennia, actually.  We’ve just become better at it.  However, there’s a problem with genetically modified crops mixing with natural vegetation.  They need to be kept separate.  Whether they’re bad for people or not, the jury is still out on this.  I’m cautious about this.  I’m sitting on the fence.
  • International conflict:  Grow up! Politicians, leaders, terrorists, you’re all bickering children.  Bickering children with big weapons.  You’re the dangers.  Learn to get along, go back to school.  We need more responsible leaders, not petty idiotic leaders who are in it for themselves.
  • Religious freedom: I’ll believe what I want, you can believe what you want.  Don’t try to change my mind.  I will shut you up.  I won’t push what I believe on you, so respect that, please.
  • Space exploration: Fully support it.  We’re screwing up this planet, so let’s find other places to go if we need to.  Colonise Mars.  But don’t screw that world up in case there is life there.
  • Medical marijuana: Yes, go for it.  But to smoke it in public, no thank you.  The smell is awful and makes me feel sick.  Keep it away from me.  And this leads to…
  • Smoking in public: I wish this would be banned from public places completely.  I don’t need your vile habit going into my or my child’s lungs.  Keep it in your home, as long as you have no children.  Keep it away from children.  Make it illegal to smoke around children, I say.
  • Antibacterial soap: Ban the stuff.  Now.  It’s creating stronger bacteria and is a hazard to our health.  Some places already have banned it.
  • Protect our little snowflakes: Kids are protected from too much these days.  They can’t run around outside with their friends because they may fall down and scratch their precious little knee, then the parents will sue the school, the city, the friends, anyone.  It’s this idiocy that’s causing children to become unhealthy blobs of fat who can’t exercise any kind of independence because their parents won’t let them.  Parents, you’re raising people, not fine china or collectibles that must be kept in mint condition.
  • The customer is always right:  No way.  Bad customers deserve to be denied service and thrown out.
  • Children should be protected from anything related to sex: No. They’ll learn about it from friends, from TV, from the Internet.  I say talk to your kids about it, honestly.
  • Teaching of history: Please be honest, and don’t give us biased drivel.  I don’t like the kind of history education that portrays your home country as the best in the world, while all the others are wrong.  This is propaganda.  Be honest, please.  Maybe that way, countries will get along.
  • Vaccinations: Absolutely.  The whole anti-vaccination movement is dangerous and damaging.  Diseases are coming back because of this lapse in judgment.  Autism isn’t caused by vaccines, either.  No research has shown that it does.  Autism is genetic.

I think that’s enough for now.  Any that I missed?  Ask me about my opinions, and I’ll answer in the comments.  What do you think?