Brief updates – 24 Nov 2010 Edition

This brief update will be about two web initiatives, NaNoWriMo and Reverb 10, as well as my favorite post on relationships written in my new favorite blog.


I am not fisnished with NaNoWriMo yet. Right now, my novel is around 40,000 words and I believe I can manage to write another 10,000 words by the deadline. I learnt more lessons from NaNoWriMo since the last time I talked about it.

I’ve been using this novel to talk about my ideas and experiences. These ideas and experiences are expressed as dialogues by characters or monologues of the protagonist. I did a similar exercise for Julia Cameron’s Vein of Gold, but somehow I’ve been exploring my internal stories with this NaNoWriMo business more than with the Vein of Gold. I guess the thing is that this novel I’m writing is partly fictional, while a piece I wrote for the Vein of Gold was factual.

It might be the case that great novelists did the same thing for their novels and I was the only person who didn’t know about it. In any case, it’s great that I learnt about this benefit of writing a novel by actually writing one.

It’s easy to write down my ideas in the form of monologue or that of dialogue as a first draft. In fact, I used my novel as a draft for some of the blog posts I wrote during November. I let my characters talk about the core ideas behind these blog posts, and I’m very happy I did that. I might use this technique for future writing as well.

Another thing I learnt is how long I can concentrate on writing for. Provided I use this great application called JDarkRoom and there’s no distraction and I have a vague idea of what to write, I can keep writing at least for 40-50 minutes without taking a break. Indeed, I found that this chunk of time suits me most, unless words are flowing from my creative brain and there’s no reason for me to stop that flow.

I procrastinate a lot, too. But once I get myself going, I can get into writing. So, it seems the best way to beat my procrastinative habit is to start writing anyway. In fact, it amazes me that I came this far without any plot. All I did was just to write without caring too much what I was writing.

I believed I could manage it, and it is great to see that I am actually managing the situation.


After I finished with NaNoWriMo, I plan to keep writing everyday during December as well. I am going to participate in Reverb 10, organized by Gwen Bell.

Reverb 10 is…

“an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.”

The participants of Reverb 10 will do both. If you want to spend this December reflecting on your 2010 and getting ready for 2011, Reverb 10 can be a great way to do it. Join the fun!

By the way, I originally got to know about Gwen via Chris Guillebeau. In the early 2009 Chris produced Unconventional Guide to the Social Web and Gwen wrote the main guide in this product. I bought it, liked it, and started following Gwen. When she briefly came to Japan in the autumn of 2009, I met her in person, at a tweet-up organized by Sandra of Japandra (also known as @sandrajapandra). I love the way Gwen is and I totally recommend you to check out her website.

Farnoosh Brock on Why Relationships Matter

I found Farnoosh (@prolificliving) on twitter. I looked at her blog Prolific Living and it became my new favorite blog. In one of the latest posts, Farnoosh writes on Why Relationships Matter. I enjoyed that post, and I recommend you to take some time to read it. The part of the post I particularly liked is the following:

The length of a relationship is not a good measure of its depth or its meaning. Instead, remember the nature of your interaction with the other person, the simple exchange of your mutual understanding, and the lasting impressions you left behind. Let those mark your measures of success when it comes to relationships.

This part resonates with what I believe. If I wrote what I believe without an explanation, it would sound as though it’s in conflict with the above. I believe that great relationships last forever. I don’t mean to say that we keep those whom we have great relationships with physically close to us forever. What I mean is that we keep memories of them and let them live in our hearts; in that metaphorical sense, I believe that great relationships last forever. When it comes to the amount of time we spend together, these relationships may be brief. There might be only an hour of interaction between you and the person you build a relationship with. But, if that interaction is deep and meaningful and if that interaction creates amazing moments for two of you, that relationship is a great one that will last forever.

I will live my life as if those who let me create beautiful memories with them are like gifts to me. They help me create my art, after all.

I will write more on relationships and related issues in this blog as well. Let’s make this world more romantic together.

Photo: Pseudo Victor

Brief updates – 15 Nov 2010 Edition

Blog posts I recently enjoyed reading:
If you are interested in getting paid for what you love, check out Chris Guillebeau‘s post on “How to get paid for what you love“. He offers some unconventional advice on this topic.  If you like his article, subscribe to his newsletter as well.

Everett Bogue wrote a post on “How to create an A-list minimalism blog in less than 6-months“. You might have noticed that I’ve added a photo of me in the right hand side of this blog; I followed his advice, actually. And yes, I am following his advice #5.

I didn’t realize what Jonathan Fields was up to when he tweeted “Morning, friends. Who can I help today?”. But his post made it clear. I believe what Jonathan does is great and I will try it myself. By the way, although I haven’t seen all the videos introduced in this post, I will check out Jonathan’s “The 7 Keynote MBA: How to Save 2 Years and $100,000“.

I loved this post by Tara Hunt on “Love the one you’re with“. I met Tara when she came to Japan for a launch event for her book‘s Japanese version. Tara held a karaoke tweet-up with her readers, and I tell you, it was epic. Anyway, read her post and start loving the one you’re with. Please. The following passage by Tara is a gem:

My dream is for every single woman – young and old – to get to the point where we no longer compare ourselves to others and unreal media images, but we start loving who we are and treating ourselves like gold.”

I’m still alive. I wrote about 19000 words so far. I should have written about 25000 words by now, but it’s still manageable to catch up and to write 50000 words by 30 November.

Bilingual Webzine:
If you follow me on twitter or facebook, you might have seen my musing on a bilingual (Japanese&English) webzine project. I made a feedback form and you can read more about this project on this form page (English ver. / Japanese ver.). Check it out if you’re curious.

Photo: ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser

Updates: October 2010

I had been hiding from this blog… again. Here’s a quick highlight of what I had been up to in the past few months.

Ars Amorata

I’ve been following Zan Perrion for a while and appreciate what he teaches. Zan and Hans Comijn started the online version of their program Ars Amorata recently. Ars Amorata is a 90 day transformational program for men. ‘Ars Amorata’ means the art of love and it is oriented towards things related to love and relationship as the name suggests, but what one learns in this program is much bigger than these two areas. I signed up for Ars Amorata in May and completed it. Ars Amorata helped me clarify my vision about where I want to go and what I want to do. I will write more about Ars Amorata in another post. If you are curious about it, check its promotional video and webpage.

Beautiful moments

I want to make the world more romantic. The question I get most often is “How do you do that?”. My answer is simple: I live my life as if it’s a work of art and seek for beautiful moments that contribute to this artwork. That’s what I do. If you like the idea of the world being more romantic, what you can do is to believe in experiencing the beauty that your life offers and to experience it when it’s right in front of you. I want to write more on this topic on this blog and it would be great if I could be of your help. But you can start now without waiting for my stories.

Interviewing professional fighters in Japan

Daniel the MMA photographer had been looking for an interpreter for this project on interviewing fighters in Japan. On twitter, I had been following him and replied to his tweets a few times, and he noticed that I was fluent in both Japanese and English. So he contacted me. I got to interview Megumi Fujii, Yuki Nakai, Tatsuya Onose, Maximo Blanco, and Kazuhiro Nakamura. I had so much fun with this project, because it was inspiring for me to hear from these top fighters in person. I believe the materials recorded for this project will come out as articles and videos in the future. In fact, Matt, one of the project members, wrote an article about our interview with Megumi Fujii. Check it out if you are interested. If you are on twitter and interested in BJJ or MMA, don’t forget to follow Daniel (@DanHerbertson) and Matt (@martialfarts) as well as Dean, who is another project member and likes BJJ and hardcore punk!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Asian Open Championship in Tokyo

I competed at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Open Championship in Tokyo last month. I came to the 2nd in my division, winning 4 matches by submission. I lost in the final. If you are following me on twitter or Facebook, perhaps you’ve already heard about it. Or perhaps you’ve got an e-mail from me. I will write a post on my fights soon.


I’ve been practicing Argentinean Tango since April, and in August, I started practicing for a solo performance, which will happen in November.

I met Rickson Gracie. He published a book in Japan and the publisher organized a meet-and-greet event for those who bought a copy of Rickson’s book at certain bookstores. I learnt a lot from Rickson’s view on life.

I met amazing people in the last few months. I want to meet amazing people more. Suggestions and introductions welcome.

In terms of setting up a location independent business, it’s not happening much. I need to work more on that so I can be a vagabond with location-independent sources of income. Translation, which I do, is such a source, but it’s not quite in line with my vision.

It’s been a year since I came back from Australia.

I’m totally looking forward to how I will evolve in the next few months. Watch out!

photo: geoftheref