It’s been a crazy few weeks from the middle of June till now. I barely had time to do any writing or update the site. Only the bare minimum of maintenance was done.
Got a sudden rush project for my day job and that took up almost all of my time. Thankfully, it’s coming to an end and i’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a sizable project, with the heavy lifting done, i expect the rest of it to just fall into place nicely with little to no hiccups. I didn’t enjoy it but it’s work like these that pays the bill unfortunately.
You may have come across the term ‘ the sex & cash theory’. No, it’s not about getting cash from sex.
There is the sexy part of a job, and there is the cash part. In order to do what you want (the sexy part), you need to sort out the cash part. You can be doing something you are very passionate about, but somewhere along that process, there will be one part of it you hate, but you have to do it.
Even A list Hollywood celebrities have to go for auditions, give interviews, talk to shitty host who want to embarrass them. So the day job is the non-sexy part for me, but i know i need to do it, in order to be able to write.
I didn’t even have time to update the diary for the 3rd anniversary of the subscription format at the end of June.
Few years ago, I said i want to be able to write full time in 3 years. It’s long past that deadline but i’m not there yet. It was a target, it fell short but i’m still glad i set it in the first place, because it gave me something to work towards.
Set a target, your mind, body and the mysterious powers of the universe will get you there somehow. haha.
I’m getting closer everyday to my dream, every new story i pen, brings me closer. One day, i will be able to wake up, work on the plotlines for the stories i have conceptualised and just spend the day writing and editing. In the evenings, i’ll schedule a timeslot to meetup with everyone who wants to grab a coffee or take a walk in the park with a mad writer. We can chat about plotlines, i can listen to your ideas, and we can just look at the hot babes exercising in the parks while we’re at it.
On the personal wellness front, i’ve cut down on my running drastically. I still run occasionally to maintain my pace, i can do a leisure 7-7.5 min/km pace while chatting, or if i push myself, i can toe the 6min/km line. Rest of the time, i just hit weights and the boxing gym. Yes, i started boxing a while back because i realise the fight scenes i was working on didn’t feel realistic enough sometimes.
I want to feel the fight on the ground, keeping the distance, the footwork, the strikes, the defenses and all. There are plenty of martial arts gym to pick from but i chose boxing because i felt it was easier for a uncle to pick up. When i get my basics sorted out, i’m going to gym hop and redeploy my resources to try out other forms of martial arts, Muay thai etc.
I’m not looking to become HIBIKI in real life or anything, the brittle bones and emerging aches will not allow it. haha. I just felt if i knew how the moves were executed in real life, i will be able to write and describe them better.
Wanted to implement a new tiered membership for subscribers but don’t have time for the execution. Now that i have my calender more or less cleared up, i’m looking to get it done by next week.
More details about this will be available soon.
I’m going to take things easy for a couple of days to rest the aching bones and spend time with the family. Will ease back into writing and make up for lost time.
I don’t know if 3 more years will get me to where i want to be, but i’m going to keep moving forward. One day, i’m going to suddenly look up from my screen and realise, hey, i’m already there.
Look forward to share more interesting stories soon!
I hate tuition when i was a kid. I hated the idea and notion of having to go for more classes after normal school end when all i want to do is play. Even during class, all i can think of are the dramas showing on TV at the 7pm or 9pm timeslot. My results have always been on the border, and honestly, i don’t remember much of my tuition during primary school.
Tutors come and go, i went through a few before finally getting one that didn’t cared. She just sat through the hour and get paid even though i refused to do any assessment or ask her any questions. I can be reading my storybook and she will do her own stuff.
It’s ridiculous, and to think my parents are paying for it. It felt silly but what do i know when i’m 8? My parents did not graduate from Primary school, as blue collar workers who could not read a single sentence in English, they strongly believed education is my ticket out of the life we were stuck in.They didn’t want me to become a blue collar worker like them. This is why they threw so much money in tuition for me. The housing loan for the 3 room flat in Bedok can go unpaid for months, but the tuition teacher or centre at the RC always get paid on time.
The thing is, tuition for me, i didn’t feel it helped at all because i was simply not interested in studying. You cannot give help to someone who don’t want to get helped.My personality towards exams is the type where i wait till the shit is almost at the exit, before i start looking for a toilet and pray there are toilet paper inside. I was last in class at the end of Primary 5, and my form teacher said there’s a high chance i won’t make it pass P6 if i continue down that path.
That was when something clicked inside me. Yes, the shit is coming out already, and it felt pretty liquid. Not the kind you can control, something along the line of mixing Mcspicy burger with Mala Xiang Guo and feeling the aftermath. I bucked up and scraped through to the express stream with a score of 214 for PSLE.
Just when my parents thought i was finally waking up from my shit, i fell back into the dark canyon in Secondary school.
The same thing repeated itself, i was last in class in the last express class. I barely made the minimum to clear secondary 3 and they let me on to Secondary 4 on the condition that i come back for extra classes throughout November and December holiday. That was when i woke up again, yes, because i need to start looking for a toilet again.
I was still going through all the tuition, from Sec 1 to Sec 4 but i was never interested until i went to one conducted by CDAC. It was a subsidised class, they have very good and passionate teachers and i credit the fact that i could clear my ‘O’ to them.
Of course there is also my form teacher who never gave up on me.And the half baked, cannot make it in studies kid managed to get results that is good enough to go to JC. I chose the polytechnic route though and the cycle repeats.
Given my experience with tuition, i want to make it a point that my kids don’t go through what i did. I refused to send them for academic classes much to the horror of my wife, in laws, parents and peers.
My stand is simple, if there is something they want to try and learn, can, no problem, but it must come from them. They want to try piano, can. They lasted between 6 months to 1 year. Gymnastic? Can also. Baking, cooking, can. They can now swim, tread water, cycle on two wheels, climb to the top of most rock climbing walls in SG and they can hike for a couple of hours.
Every year i made it past without sending them to tuition, i will say a silent word of prayer. I tell myself that they didn’t need it, i prayed they wouldn’t need it. As the saying goes, reality is often like a slap in the face.It seemed the school have adopted my line of reasoning when it comes to preparing them for exams. No exams for P1-P2. It starts in P3. To put this in my shit analogy, they start teaching them to look for toilet when they are in P3.
They enjoyed the first couple of years, toilets are plentiful. There is always toilet paper inside each cubicle. Then suddenly, in P3, they hid the toilet, the toilet paper and give everyone a time limit to finish shitting.
When my daughter’s first exam results came back, it was a disaster. She knew and understood the questions, but the stress of the time limit, and spending too much time drawing unnecessary diagrams left her with no time to even finish the paper. Then comes the blame game.
Fingers all came to me and needless to say, this sparked off quite a few quarrels. I feel sad of course, and my daughter’s confidence was shaken badly.
She needed extra help.
I asked her for her opinion and these are her exact words.
‘All my friends go for tuition, except me’
In my mind, i went
‘ What the fuck ‘
What the fuck is this shit system that compels us to send our kids to extra classes after school?
As frustrated as i am, i just smiled and hugged my daughter. I told her it’s ok, we’ll figure this out. The power to decide was wrestled forcibly from my hands and my wife did the research, and within a week, my daughter started tuition.
It was an emotional moment for me because it made me feel like shit. There is of course the guilt, the self blame, and the endless question of; ‘could this have been avoided if i started her earlier?’
Like zombies waiting for food, i joined the line of parents staring that their phone outside the centre. I stare into blank space and just allowed my thoughts to wander.
I worry if she will hate the class as much as her father did. After all, i walked that path before and still, look at me today. It wouldn’t be so bad if i’m some scholar or doctor, but no, i’m just another average joe passing days.
Then came the surprise. My daughter enjoyed the class, she told me the teacher is a lot more concise in her explanation, and is so much clearer then her teachers in school.
My wife gave me the triumphant look but inside my head, i did another ‘ What the fuck ‘.
So what does this translate to?
Is there something wrong with the way the schools are functioning or the very good teachers have all struck it out on their own? Do the schools assume everyone will go and get additional help outside of school hours?I don’t want my kids’ childhood to be spent inside a soul less classroom.
Her subsequent test results have shown quite a big leap in improvement and she is a lot more confident with her papers now.
As much as i hate to admit, tuition helped her. It helped her because she wanted help. If i was given a 2nd chance to go back to Primary school, i probably would have paid more attention to my books but unfortunately, there is no 2nd chance for this.
I worry about burn out because i remember feeling so exhausted with attending class after class that it made me lose all interest in my books, and i fear something like that would happen.
Every week, i will talk to her, ask if she is exhausted, tired or anything.
She tells me she’s ok.
‘My friend has tuition everyday, and piano and violin classes. She has to eat dinner in the car because no time to in between’
Those are her exact words. That ‘friend’, is the top student in the class. Full marks for all subjects. I’ve met her before, she smart, very eloquent and sweet. My daughter said she wished she was like her friend, so talented and pretty.
I told her there is no need to be like her, and i told her the truth.
“I just want you to be happy, that’s all that matters to me”
There’s a lot more i want to say but i guess she is still too young to understand.
Life is a journey, and i feel it’s not right to get too hung up on results at such a young age.
Unfortunately, Singapore being Singapore, that piece of paper still matters a lot.
Sorry for the long rant but i feel much better now that i get it all out.
It’s never healthy to keep your feelings bottled up, always tell someone, or if not, just write it out and get it out of your system.
It’s a short week this week, hope everyone have a good mid week break and enjoy the parade!
Migration of the subscription platform has kept me busy for the past few weeks. There are a lot of things to do and new things to learn. It’s uncomfortable picking up new skills and working with new interface but it’s for the better. Subscribers will now have an easier interface to work with, they have more control over their account and I can deliver tiered benefits to long time subscribers. It’s not much but it’s the least I could do to thank everyone for the support.
Day job is ok. I’m starting to get some referrals from clients that I worked with for the first time since this started. Though everything is not a bed of roses, but I can’t complain much. I don’t expect it to be easy, having been working for a couple of decades, you tend to know if something is too easy, there must be a catch somewhere. I just want everything to go smoothly without drama and hiccups.
On the writing front, I’m doing my best to keep to the schedule I set for myself. No matter how busy I may be, I will average 2.5k to 4k words a day every week. From there, I will then edit/cut down unnecessary parts before I send it over to my editor.
Come end of this month, it will be a full year of me paying for advertising rights on SBF forum. I need to make a decision whether to keep it going. While it brings in more traffic, it doesn’t translate directly to increased revenue when compared to previous year without the dedicated thread. Nothing happens overnight I know, but with limited resources on hand, I just have to be a bit more careful with how I allocate them.
Most of the time when I’m scrolling through social media feeds when I’m in the toilet or just before bedtime, I tend to get push with those business related content. I’m interested in content creation and am open to ways how to turn this into a full time endeavor instead of a part time gig. I keep seeing how successful some content creators are, how much money they make. The cars they drive, the property they stay in. Sometimes it makes me wonder if they are really that good, or I just suck. Haha.
A lot of the content online keeps saying how easy it is to make money off the internet. Invest this, confirm Huat. Join me and own multiple property, confirm Huat. Go from one property to five in 3 years, confirm Huat. Collect rental and can get 5 figure income. Join my MLM, confirm Huat. Watching all these made me realise something. There isn’t a content creator that writes fiction stories and can Huat. Haha.
It’s ok. I’ll try to be the first. I don’t need a giant Huat Kueh. Just enough to be able to consider this as a full time career option will do.
Say what we like about influencers/content creators, they somehow manage to grasp the key to thrive in this age. Being pretty with a good figure is one thing, knowing how to capitalize on those asserts is another. Even if with the know how, being willing to do it, is a whole new ball game. Even doing a simple food review is not easy. Can you take to your phone while you eat your chicken rice? I can’t.
I can take nice pictures and probably write a nice article about it but people are more interested in video these days. Moving images, music, put together with some clever editing, those are the things attracting eyeballs.
The artefact series is coming together nicely. It’s something I wanted to do for Hotel Del Anna but I failed terribly. There wasn’t a key focus for HDA, I wanted it to be a place where they help people with their uncommon problems but it was developed properly. The artefact series gives me more creative freedom.
Some are asking more titles for the MOPC series, there are a couple still in the works based off hot topic policies in Singapore. They will be released soon.
That’s all for this update.
Have a good weekend all.
There is something wrong with me. You probably are aware of that given the kind of content on this site but I don’t mean that. It’s not about the content I write, it’s about me, as a person.
Lately, I find myself pushing everyone around me away. For reasons I cannot explain, I just want to be alone. I chose to be in front of my laptop doing my work when I could be spending time with my family. The work is not even urgent, yes it needs to be done but a logical choice between replying those emails , sorting out some material samples or spending time with the kids, most sane person will choose the latter.
It’s been a while since I last played with my kids, and when I do, I get distracted easily. By play, I mean like doing legos together, pretending to own a café and serve customers, or even strapping a couple of nerf guns to our bodies and start clearing rooms one after another.
I miss those times, I want to do more of those, and I simply cannot understand what the fuck is wrong with me when I keep pushing them away. When my number 2 come to me asking if I’m free to play with her, 90% of the time, my reply will be I can’t.
I’m rushing come work.
I have a call
I need to send this out.
Here’s the shitty part, most of the time, I’m lying. I don’t know why. The work can wait. Every damm thing wait, but instead of playing with my kids, I chose to look at the screen.
It’s not as if I’m working on something that requires my 100% focus, I’m not. I’m simply pushing them away.
Just the other day, I got a literal slap on my face when my number 2 came and gave me another one of those cards with stickers and ‘I love you’ on it.
“I want you to play with me papa, but it’s ok. I know you are busy. I will play on my own”
Then she ran off.
It was a slap alright, albeit not a physical one.
It hurt, yet being the dumb fuck that I am, still chose to pretend to be busy. I smiled and told her I will be done soon. I will play with her then.
Instead, I spent my time sending migration emails, troubleshooting the site stuff, then I replied a few emails for work. Text a few contractors, I even asked a friend if he is free for supper the following week.
By the time I’m done wasting time that evening, everyone has gone to bed. I went into the kids room and I find myself squatting by a corner looking at them. Inside my head, I was asking myself what the fuck is wrong with me, why am I behaving like this?
I really don’t know. Is this part of growing old, or is this part of some evolution traits that we all go through where we need to start pushing our kids away so they will be more independent?
This sounds awfully like someone about to go into depression but I don’t think it’s that bad yet. It’s bad only when I start contemplating suicidal thoughts and that was a long time ago. I’m thankful I pulled though and I don’t want to go back there.
This, this dumb pushing everyone away thing has to stop. I’m trying to make it stop. In a few years, they will probably not want anything to do with me when they reach their teenhood, I should be treasuring every moment with them now and yet I’m wasting it.
Sometimes I feel like slapping myself, or give myself a good smack across the head to wake up.
Back on the writing front, about 50% of subscribers have migrated over. I’m going to start nudging the other 50%. Come October, you will have to login via the new login to access the new titles.
There has been a slight uptick in subscribers for the new platform, I suspect it’s because it gives less problem with the card details. So far, I have yet to encounter anyone getting rejected because of their bank. Some banks are more cautious than others especially when it comes to online transactions.
With the way things are looking, I think I can say I’m at about the halfway point to write full time for a living. I wasted more time creating my own version of BRS,FRS,ERS. (Basic,Full,Enhanced retirement sum)
Mine will be BW,FW,EW.
Basic, Full, Enhanced write
Hitting basic will be enough for me to take the plunge. I’ll gradually stop my day job, reduce the number of projects and make it a side gig so I can concentrate fully on writing. With the occasional small project here and there, plus a few odd deliveries a day and on weekends, I’m confident I can pay the bills and spend at least 80% of my time writing.
FWS is 2xBW. If the site takings gives me FW, I can stop with the side gigs and just write fulltime. Will concentrate on generating contents, maybe moving on to podcast, maybe some video production, or getting my work into audiobooks. This will be my dream, wake up and start writing, creating worlds, characters, and plot scenes.
EW will be 4xBW. Getting here will mean things are getting serious. I will probably need full time help. My dream is to have a small studio with a couple of writers, a videographer and a couple of hot babes. The hot babes are not for me ok, it’s for all of you subscribers. I think it’s definitely doable to stage some of the sensual scenes in certain stories without it falling into porn category. Of maybe I’ll just put the studio in another country and just onlyfan all the real life act out of the stories I wrote. Haha.
Right now, I’m at about 0.5 BW. 10 years of writing, 3+ years of subscription offering, I’m beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I reckon I still have about 40 odd years to live, as long as I don’t stop writing, I will get to where I want to be.
Writing is part of my life, so are my duties as a father, a husband, and a son.
I need to manage my time better and juggle these roles. Failing at any of those is not an option. Parenting is perhaps the hardest thing I ever had to undertake in life so far, sometimes I wonder if I’m even doing it right.
I don’t want to be the type of father my dad is to me. You know, the typical Asian family, very little talk, practically no small chat, everything we talk about is direct, straight to the point.
That’s all for this diary update. I’ve poured out my woes, bitched about my life, it’s done. A few years from now, I will come back, read this entry and smiled at how I have overcome this phase and how drama mama I was.
Now I’m going to go slap myself a couple of times to sober up, and it’s time to get back to work. The world doesn’t stop spinning for a man wallowing in self-pity.
I know what I want, and I will get it.