Waiting Till You Retire to Write?!

Some people think of writing as something you get to do when you’ve got time, when you find some free time–time away from your day job or your family duties; that is for them, the idea of writing as a career is way beyond their imagination.

Somehow, they think that writing is something you get to do when other things are either done already or put put on hold.

But when we try to understand writers and their approach to writing, we discover that each one of them had a schedule, had stick to that schedule, and treated his career as a writer seriously; that is as worthy as any other ‘real’ job.

William Zinsser said that writing is not an art, and that it is a ‘craft’ instead.

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Dean Wesley Smith’s 10 Tips for Aspiring Writers

I took these notes while watching a video of prolific writer Dean Wesley Smith speaking at the 20Booksto50K© Conference in Las Vegas (circa November 2019).

The WIBBOW TEST: Would I Be Better Off Writing?

  • 1/Sustainability

Everything I am going to say, with the rest of these points, attach it back to sustainability.
=>Look at what you’re doing right now: Is it sustainable five years from now? Is it sustainable ten years from now? Will what you do right now last?

Could you do it for five straight years?

  • 2/Have Fun

Beginner writers are always looking for sot-of secret.
If what you’re doing is not fun, then it is not sustainable.

I don’t rewrite. I write like I read.

  • 3/Never Write to Market

So be careful, write what you love. If it happens to be to a hot market, good luck god bless you.

  • 4/Defend Your Work

Write what you love & defend it against everybody:

Nobody cares how many copies your book sold.

  • 5/Never Read Reviews:

(setup a castle around yourself)

  • 6/Believe in Your Work

Just believe that you did what you did, and do the

best you can. And then, release it, and o have more

fun by doing the best you can on the next story.

  • 7/Dare to be bad

We all have that critical voice that stops us.

  • 8/Follow Heinlein’s Rules for Writers

Heinlein’s Rules(1947):
=>You must write.
=>You must finish what you write
=>You must not rewrite
=>You must put it on the market
=>You must leave it on the market
=>Start the whole process again(i.e. Write something else)

Discoverability doesn’t even begin to kick in until you got twenty or thirty major projects.

  • 9/Nobody Cares

Therefore, you have complete and total freedom to write what you want and go at your own pace.

Because f you are there for the right reasons: to be a storyteller, to be an entertainer–that’s what we all are entertainers–if you’re sitting on that computer for the right reasons: to have fun telling stories, then the fact that anybody is going to read it or not just becomes secondary, and what will happen is if write what you love and really get going at it, and get into that, people will find you because that love comes through the words, it comes through the stories; It makes you a better storyteller, it really does works! and yeah it might take a little long some people might take a number of years. If you are not in this for the twenty years long haul or ten year long haul, you are in the wrong profession. If you’re trying to make it by next year and you quit your day job and you only got one year in the bank, go get a part-time job now. Because, it is gonna take some time to ramp up.

  • 10/Calm down, take a deep breath.

Comparing your success to others is deadly. Just do your stuff.

You will track your own path.

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Meditative Running

I’d originally written & posted this short read on August 11th, 2019 somewhere else..

I think we need to get to a place where any physical endeavor is pursued as an end in itself.

I realize now that almost everything we run after in life is subject to being screwed by an irresistible tendency to pursue things for some higher purpose or Finish Line; a reward, often, much bigger than us and outside the sphere of our abilities or margin of control regarding our daily reality.

Nevertheless, rewards work. They incentive. They make us jealous and, often, they push us past our “known territory” of what we think we are capable of.

But rewards and incentives can become a double-edged sword. Chasing trophies or medals, credentials and records and recognition can and will stop being meaningful or fun after a while.

Using the words of Alan Watts, when you listen a piece of music the song itself is the point. You don’t listen waiting for the track to hit the end; you are enjoying the journey instead. The same goes for meditation, dancing, and perhaps a handful of other creative pursuits.

Lately, I’ve been applying this meditative approach to running. My running routine, something I crave each morning. What I do is that I combine my addiction to runners’ high with my struggle/obsession of establishing a daily routine template applicable regardless of time or place.
So, what I do, I wake up around 5:30 a.m and go for a 10 to 16km run on a trail course in the forest. I have access to 1.5 to 2L of water, but I don’t carry it with me as I run; I try to drink just enough water before I get out of the house, and then I put a large bottle of water somewhere between trees so I have access to water after one hour of running top.
Often, I run on empty stomach. However, if I feel like I am going for a longer run ( >16km), I try to either wake up 90 minutes earlier and get enough carbs down my system (simple carbs) or I postpone the longer run to the afternoon.

The running experience never ceases to please me. And once I got good at it, it seemed to me that I will never get enough. Cleansing and healing, with that pace and beautiful stride, running takes me places I never thought I shall go.

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Stuff Happen When People Get Paid

In a free society, things only happen when people get paid. Think about it. The economic incentive is the major force driving the world’s population behavior. Of course, in an unfree, semi-free, working-towards-being-free societies it is not when people get paid that events take place. Oftentimes, the people have no choice. Either it is the king, ruler, government, or the elite/intelligentsia, or a combination of both that decide on what should be done, what must not be done, and what is ought to be done. And, it is even worse if you look at The Bottom Billion; these nations, as Paul Collier puts it, are coexisting with “the twenty-first century, but their reality is the fourteenth century: civil war, plague, ignorance.” (The Bottom Billion)

A world within a world. Same century, different realities. Same 24 hours, different problems to tackle, and it seems the

And, who decides who gets paid and how much? You would be tempted to point your finger out to the Markets, saying Supply and Demand, and all that. And in a perfect world–or even a near-perfect one–you would be correct. But are we really living in a world dominated by free markets and trade? Or, are we living in a world governed by trade-offs and contradictions, by a bunch of narcissist elite controlling everything, and before all, ignorant masses?

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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‘Wake up pal, Will You? If You Are Not Inside, Then You Are Outside’ Gordon Gekko

Wake up pal, will you? If you are not inside, you are outside OK? and I am not talking about some $400,000 a year working wall street still flying first-class and being comfortable. I am talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. 50-100 million dollars buddy–a player or nothing.

Corporate Raider Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987) starring Michael Douglas

The two movies that have had the most effect, on teenagers, on freshmen and finance post-graduates alike, those who came from humble origins and those who knew the horrors of being at the bottom, both these movies share the word ‘wall street’ in their titles. They had two protagonists that seemed to be invincible, Gordon Gekko, and Jordan Belfort. The former is a fictional character–though it’s been said that it is partially based on the real life character of corporate raider Carl Icahn. The latter is a real dude though. We don’t know how much is really true of whatever have reached of his story.

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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‘I wanted to write enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings’ George Orwell on How He’d Imagined The Kind of Writer He Would Later Become

George Orwell always had known, deep down, that he wanted to write but like many of us he dodged the idea for a long time.
In fact, from the time he was seventeen and up until he got to the age of twenty four he ‘tried to abandon this idea,’ of writing, and he did, even though he was conscious that by ignoring his calling, his thing, his raison d’être, he was indeed ‘outraging’ his ‘true nature’.

I had the lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons

George Orwell’s

Not only that he had the ability imagining himself being the kind of writer that he’d eventually become, but he also could project the kind of books/novels that he wanted to write from the beginnings. He wanted to write ‘enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of details and arresting similes,’ he said, affirming that his first ‘complete’ novel, Burmese Days, which he wrote at the age of 30, fits that description perfectly.

Before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which he will never completely escape.

Why I Write, By George Orwell

4 Different Motives For Writing (according to George Orwell):

  1. Sheer Egoism
  2. Aesthetic Enthusiasm
  3. Historical Impulse
  4. Political Purpose

Orwell thought that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a ‘political attitude’.

It is bound to be a failure, every book is a failure, but I know with some clarity what kind of book I want to write.

George Orwell

It’s been said already: There are as many kind of a writer as there are kind of writing. Each, with his own history and background, childhood and milieu, ambitions and motives. And, any attempt to understand your favorite writer, should first begin by inspecting, and consequently getting your nose into his/her personal history.

And when you get your nose there, you will inevitably get surprised. Sometimes, you will be surprised by how much writers share some common ground–unconsciously so. And sometimes, you will be recognizing some pattern of ‘weirdness’ or uniqueness in their personalities, life, and career. Chaos, along with some form of neurosis, at some point in their life is a common denominator between them.

Charles Bukowski dealt with depression by not writing or doing anything and staying in bed for three to four days.

William Zinsser, however, would disagree with him. He once said that “the man who runs away from his craft because he lacks inspiration is fooling himself. He is also going broke”.

Haruki Murakami, the Japanese novelist —known for his Norwegian Woods among others, found his near ideal routine by quitting smoking, protecting his time of seclusion (he once said he is the kind of person who prefers being by himself most of the time), and becoming a runner.

Some of them work at night, some enjoy it in the afternoon, others stay up all night. Some had a sexual life resembling that of Arabian kings, and others were humble, and even ‘incels’.

I remember once Philip Roth being asked in a Paris Review interview about his daily writing ritual and work and everything, he replied:

I don’t ask writers about their work habits. I really don’t care. Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they’re actually trying to find out, “Is he as crazy as I am?” I don’t need that question answered.

Philip Roth

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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The Accounting Recording/Bookkeeping Process Explained in 5 Minutes

This is part of a financial literacy blog series, check out the first part.

What an Account is, and How it Helps the Recording Process

For companies and financial institutions with large daily volumes of business transactions, the recording process is a very crucial part of keeping track of the company’s financial data. Problems arise all the time, an example of these problems is mistakes that occur while recording(remember the woman from Dallas who woke up one day, opened her personal bank account on her smartphone to find $37million deposited by mistake?)

Here is the video for you in case you don’t know about it:

And that’s why, these companies need to record their transactions in simple, practical, and inexpensive way. Thus, to keep track of their transaction data, companies follow certain procedures and keep certain records.

The Account:

An account is an individual accounting record of increases and decreases in a specific asset, liability, or equity item.

Financial Accounting: IFRS 4th Edition

And so each company has an account separate for each item. So items that belong under assets like Cash, Accounts Receivables, Equipment, etc.. have their own account. Also, item that belong under liabilities, like Accounts Payable, Notes Payable, Wages Payable have their own accounts, and so on.

An account’s most basic form has three parts:

  • a title
  • a debit side (on the left)
  • a credit side (on the right)
a T-account used for simplify things for learners

=> This is also known as a T-account (because of its form where illustrated obviously).

Definition of Debits & Credits:

Debit and Credit are commonly abbreviated as Dr. and Cr. respectively.

However, be careful Debit and Credit should not be interpreted as either Increase nor Decrease. You only should understand them as to what side of the Account they affect.

Debit: describes entries made into the left side of the account.
Credit: describes entries made into the right side of the account.

=> Hence, come the terms Debiting and Crediting an account.
=> After comparing the totals of each side, the account will either show a Debit Balance or a Credit Balance.

Double-entry bookkeeping system requires that for each transaction, the debit amount must be equal to the credit amount.

Benefits/Pros of the The Double-entry system(claimed to be invented by many including, but not limited to the Koreans during the time of the Goryeo Dynasty but first used in Europe by Italian Florentine merchant Amatino Manucci):
Increases Accuracy
Reduces Errors and Facilitate their detection
Generally more efficient

Debit & Credit Entries Effects on Assets:
=> Debits: Increase Assets
=> Credits: Decrease Assets

Debit & Credit Entries Effects on Liabilities:
=> Debits: Decrease Liabilities
=> Credits: Increase Liabilities

And if you are wondering why the above effects are opposite, it will be beyond easy to understand why once you remember the basic accounting equation we’ve covered in part I of this series. Assets=Liabilities+Equity.

=>Hence whatever effects Debits have on assets, then they must have exactly the opposite of that on Liabilities.

=> Most of the time, Assets should have debit balances, and liabilities should have credit balances.

Effects of Debit/Credit entries on Equity Accounts (Share Capital—ordinary, Retained Earnings, Dividends, Revenues & Expenses):
Effects on Share Capital—Ordinary:
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
Retained Earnings:
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
=> Debits Increase it
=> Credits Decrease it
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
=> Debits Increase it
=> Credits Decrease it

Now, of course, you may saying to yourself ‘Do I have to remember each Account’s specifics when it comes to Debits and Credits?’

Of course not! In fact, you only have to remember one account’s effects and understand well The Basic Accounting Equation, and you are good to go; You will be able to figure out how each of the accounts is affected by Debiting or
Crediting & its normal balance by simply looking at The Basic Accounting Equation.

The Basic Steps in The Recording Process:

There are 3 steps in the recording process:

  1. Each Transaction Gets Analyzed
  2. Transaction Gets Entered into THE JOURNAL
  3. That Transaction Entry into THE JOURNAL Gets further Transferred into THE LEDGER

What is a Ledger in Bookkeeping:

If you could think of the General Journal as a way to keep track of business transactions, then, the General Ledger is keeping track of all the accounts.

=>Journal: keeps tracks of events happening (business events=business transactions)
=>Ledger: keeps track of ‘state’ of accounts(increases, decreases, balance, etc..)

And, hence a Ledger is the set of all accounts maintained a company. The most common being the General Ledger.

a three-column account in the Ledger

The standard form of recording the state of an account within the Ledger is also known as the three-column form of account (it has three columns allocated for money: debits, credit, and balance)

What is a Journal in the Recording Process:

The Journal (aka the book of original entry) is a series of business transactions recorded in a chronological order, using the Double-Entry System. The whole process is also known as Journalizing.

Pros/Benefits of Jounalizing/Keeping a Journal:
It clearly portrays the effect of each business transaction
Its chronological nature helps the business identify certain trends, find errors easily, and keeping a historical record hustle-free

There are two kind of journal entries:
Simple Entries: involves two accounts only; one for debit, and the other for credit.
Compound Entries: usually a business transaction that involves more than two accounts

A good example of a compound entry is when your business buys new equipment to improve overall operations(lower cost, faster delivery, etc..) and when you don’t pay the full sum in cash. Let’s assume you got billed £79,000 British Pounds for the new line of equipment. And, you pay £30,000 in cash, and the remaining £49,000 on credit.
=>Then, this business transaction will be ‘journalized’ as a compound entry.

Usually, the Journal has columns for account title, explanations, references, dates, and two columns one for Debit and the other for Credit.

The General Journal in Recording/Bookkeeping

Within the account title and explanation section, the name of the account to be debited is written first and then beneath it, and a little bit indented, the name of the account to be credited.

Then, each corresponding Debit and Credit amount are recorded in their respective columns.

The Ref column is initially left empty, till the entries are transferred to the Ledger; At that time, it will be assigned a Reference number.

What is Posting in Bookkeeping?

Posting is simply the process of transferring the journal entries into the corresponding affected accounts in the Ledger.

The Trial Balance & Its Purposes:

This is a list that is usually prepared at the end of an accounting period. It lists all of the accounts and their balances at any given moment t. This is obviously directly fetched from the ledger. In fact, The Trial Balance lists all the accounts in that same order in which they appear within The Ledger.

Some FAQs:

  • Do Companies Report All of Equity Accounts in The Same Financial Report?
    => No.
    => Companies report Revenues and Expenses (as well as net them out to determine the resulting Net Income or Net Loss) in The Income Statement.
    => They report Share Capital—Ordinary & Retained Earnings in The Statement of Financial Position.
    => Then, they report Dividends (as well as Retained Earnings again in details) in The Retained Earnings Statement.
  • Do Companies only use one type of Journal?
    => No. They use a variety of Journals during the recording process. However, almost every company keeps the simplest and most basic form of a Journal aka The General Journal.
  • What is a Chart of Accounts?
    => This is simply a list of all of the Ledger’s accounts with their names and corresponding unique identifying number. And generally (this differs from one company to another) there is an allocated range or interval for recognizing specific types of accounts. Example: Asset accounts numbers between 101-199.

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Will Iran and Saudi Arabia Ever Become Friends?

One summer I was staying in a hotel in the coastal North African town of Hammamet. My first evening there, and while I was in the lobby, I met a Saudi Arabian chemistry professor drinking a beer and surfing the web using an iPad. We talked and it turned out we shared some interests. One of these was politics. As we progressed in our chitchat one question popped up into my mind—one that I’d been curious about and more curious hearing a Saudi’s opinion on the issue. So, in the middle of the conversation, I threw at him a question: “Don’t you think that one day Iran and Saudi Arabia would be strong allies, the way Israel and America are, collaborating with each other militarily and economically? I can’t stop thinking how the Middle East would look like if they do so, and more importantly, who’s best interest is served when Saudi Arabia and Iran always stay in conflict?”
 The guy was surprised by the question thrown at him, and he simply ignored the possibility. “Why not, “I thought to myself. I still think about the possibility to this day. You may say that it’s not possible because of “history”. Well history is in the making as long as the world and mankind coexist. When The Suez Canal Company built the Suez Canal in the late 19th century, history changed. The same thing happened when the US built The Panama Canal. Both Canals altered geography and history—in that same order.

Sustainable peace and security require good bilateral relations and regional cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh. Iran and Saudi Arabia have significant differences, but they share common interests in many critical issues, such as energy security, nuclear nonproliferation, and Middle East stability.

Hossein Mousavian, author of Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace

As I am writing this in my daily journal, Biden, and after 5 weeks inside the White House, has just announced more American sanctions on Russia (Because of an attempted Alexei Navalny assassination by poisoning). He has just bombed Iranian targets in Syria (while trying to negotiate with Iran). He is also putting more and more pressure on Saudi Arabia after The US Intelligence came to the conclusion—one that was intentionally communicated to the public—that Mohammed Bin Salman (aka MBS) was the one pulling the strings, orchestrating the Jamal Kashuqgi’s murder in Turkey, an event that neither journalists nor the people of Istanbul will ever forget.

Nothing is impossible in politics. But, it seems the possibility of Iran and Saudi Arabia becoming regional allies, getting together, and going over all the conflicts of the past, is unlikely to happen in the near future—though I think it is still possible, under the right circumstances.

Interesting Related Books:

Useful Related Links:

You’ve been reading a post that belongs to my daily journal—an entire section of this blog that wasn’t written to be read, but to keep me going: it represents my writing momentum.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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