Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Posts Tagged ‘Personal

Blogroll update

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I recently stumbled over the German site https://ef-magazin.de/ or “eigentümlich frei”, and have read several entries that match my own opinions or provide perspective/information that would be valuable to large parts of the population on, at least, a “food for thought” basis.

These include:

A text on misinformation about nuclear power that distort the public opinion. Indeed, one of the greatest paradoxes in current politics, in my opinion, is how the German “Green” party is now reaping the political benefits of a climate crisis that has been severely worsened through the irrational hatred of nuclear power that this party (and many of its international peers) has. For thirty or forty years, this issue has been the likely single greatest item on the “Green” agenda, driving up the use of fossil fuels much further than would have been necessary.

A suggestion to rework the financing of public service TV in light of recent British suggestions. Indeed, for more than twenty years, I have viewed the variations of the “everyone must pay” systems used in both my adopted Germany and my native Sweden as grossly unethical, distortive to fair competition, and bringing very little value in light of the disputable quality of public service. This the more so after the Internet has made much of the original motivations redundant, e.g. through the great availability of free news.

Reporting on hateful Leftist students who grossly unethically and anti-democratically try to silence a lecturer with the “wrong” political opinions, in the same style so often reported from the U.S., e.g. by Minding the Campus. If in doubt, they are not only infringing on the lecturer’s right to freedom of speech and opinion, but also on the fundamental right of other students to form their own opinions—and not to just be force fed the official Leftist truth. This case is particularly perfidious: The victim is a professor* who attempted to hold a lecture on macroeconomics. The rejection stems from his being a member of the “wrong” party and seems unrelated to the actual lecture. In effect, his ability to perform in his profession is now being limited because of his political activity.

*“Hochschullehrer”: Literally, “university teacher”, which could conceivably imply something different than a professor, but I do not want to get bogged down with research and translations.

This site is put on the temporary blogroll. For the time being, I do not use the permanent for two reasons: Firstly, it appears to not be an entirely free-of-charge site. Secondly, the tone of writing is not always as neutral and factual as I would prefer. (In all fairness, it still does better than most Leftist sites and slips in tone usually have a far better reason than among the Left.)


Written by michaeleriksson

October 20, 2019 at 9:00 am

The struggling author III

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Looking back at my last update on the theme of the struggling author, I am now in a very different place. This includes having a much better understanding of writing, both as a process and as a means to produce fiction that works or does not work. It also includes having actually reached both a text mass and a sufficient maturity of outline that I probably could wrap up a readable book in just another few weeks time.

This I will not do, however, because that book might be readable, but also highly unlikely to satisfy myself and equally unlikely to be published. (Getting even a good book published is not trivial.)

Instead, I will take my time, aiming for a completion somewhere during next year’s summer. This will allow me ample time to modify both plot and text in light of increasing competence. Even now, most of what I wrote two months ago seems sufficiently weak that I am set on rewriting it—and that includes text that I was reasonably happy with at the time.

(To avoid misunderstandings: This is a good thing. It shows that I am improving. If I had not improved, then I would have cause to question my career choice. The time plan is set in the hope that I will continue to improve, so that my first book will not just be “OK” but something that I am actually happy with.)

There are still things that I struggle with. A notable example is the question of which of several alternatives to choose in key situations. Each choice can simultaneously open and close doors, and many choices can have an effect on the long term plot. Sometimes, it is possible to eat the cake and keep it too; sometimes, it is not. Consider, by analogy, questions from real life like “What if I had chosen a different major or college?”, “What if I had given that girl-/boy-friend a second chance?”, “What if I had not married that woman/man?”, “What if I had accepted respectively turned down that job offer?”, etc.

Looking at my own life, it would, e.g., be possible to have me go through both with my time as an exchange student in Germany and a later life in Sweden, with closer contacts to my family, less language issues, likely an easier career, etc. It would not be possible to combine this later life in Sweden with the actual continued life in Germany, unless the German part was cut much shorter than it was, missing much of the experiences that do make up the “book” of my life. True, even now, I could return to Sweden, but it would now be too late for many of the experiences that could have been a part of the alternate “book”, including differences in early “character development”.

Or, to take the excuse to segue into a different area: What if the last five (?) months had not seen my house terrorized with construction work? (The “book” of my life might be less interesting, but the book that I am writing might be considerably further along.) As is, the amount of noise has been considerably lower the last week or two, but simply will not end. I suspect that the apartment renovations are over and that some other party is now performing lesser works somewhere else in the building. This, however, includes such absurdities as loud hammering for several minutes at 5 AM (yes, AM!) two days ago.

Another considerable annoyance is the Künstlersozialkasse, ostensibly created to ease the financial burden of struggling authors and other artists through covering those portions of various pension and health-insurance fees that are paid by the employer for those in regular employment. I am a perfect case of someone for whom the Künstlersozialkasse is intended, and by the current law, the decision to include me should have been a trivial rubber stamping. Instead, the treatment of my application has been extended over more than two months—and then rejected. Moreover, this rejection has been given a motivation that is simply not compatible with the actual law. (Such misbehavior is, unfortunately, quite common in Germany, where e.g. the “IRS” often willfully ignores laws and precedence in favor of its own internal instructions, to the point that individual tax payers might need to go to court over something that has already been decided in favor of other tax payers; or need to go to court to for the same misbehavior several years in a row, even when they won in the previous years.) Moreover, the resources of this agency (or whatever might be the appropriate term) are often wasted on non-artists, like free-lance journalists, whose inclusion is contrary to the original intentions.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 19, 2019 at 9:53 pm

My baby book

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Among the things that I brought from Sweden was a “baby book”, a sort of scrap-book with pre-printed tables and sections to be filled out by my parents on my behalf, apparently gifted (in its empty state) by my paternal grand-parents and aunt. In addition, it contains a few photos, post cards, an early letter from my maternal grand-mother, a painting* labeled “ca 3 år” (“approx. 3 years”), and some similar objects.

*Water colors and chalk. Very abstract and with signs of impressionism. A long tear, mended by tape, defies the restrictions of the two-dimensional format and exemplifies early symbolism, how possessions, relationships, life it self, can be so easily torn asunder and need mending. And to think that I never managed better than a C in art during my school years…

Most of the contents of both the book and this text are likely only interesting to me, but a selection of observations:*

*The order is usually that of occurrence in the book; some minor grouping based on topic has taken place. Unless otherwise clear, claims refer to what the book says. Dates without a year refer to 1975.

  1. I was born on January 19th, 1975, at 15:19 (give or take, I assume) in Avesta, Sweden.

    (At the time of writing, October 7th, 2019, I am almost twice as old as my father, the younger parent, was at the time of my birth. And, oops, today is actually his birthday, better take a break and contact him…)

  2. At the time, I was 51 cm and 3660 g (almost exactly 20 inches and 8 pounds, respectively), but I grew rapidly and hit 100 cm and 19.1 kg at 33 months. Going by a chart* that I found on Wikipedia, the 100 cm correspond to almost the 95th percentile, which I know that I exceeded considerably for some parts of my remaining childhood.** The weight is well above the 95th percentile, which also continued to be true for a long time.

    *Note that this chart need not be correct for Sweden and that particular time. The percentiles likely give the right general idea, however.

    **A few class photos (that I also brought with me) have me towering over some of the other children. I slowed down in my early teens and topped out at 191 cm or roughly 6’ 3”.

    A brief note is given for my sister at one week: 52 cm, 3100 g. (She might then have been taller relative her age for some period. This did not last.)

  3. I laughed for the first time on February 19th, babbled on March 2nd, and said my first words at ten months.
  4. My first tooth came on August 13th, 1975, and first steps on January 3rd, 1976, i.e. shortly before my first birthday.

    (Other entries deal with sitting up, standing up, etc., including one claiming that I could walk if held in both hands at around 9 months, and another speaking of running (“springer”) along walls and furniture at 10 months. The aforementioned first steps might have been the first unassisted or unsupported, but all-in-all the claims do seem a little inconsistent to me.)

  5. I had my first bout of croup on October 10th, apparently even being hospitalized out of town.

    From memory, this disease caused me a lot of problems when I was a small child, especially when we lived in Landskrona, with its (at least then) polluted air. My parents even had some type of steam generator that was supposed to relieve the symptoms. (Whether it did, I do not remember.)

  6. There are lists of presents for my first Christmas and birthday. Most of the gifts are depressing from a child’s perspective, including toothbrushes and socks.

    Exceptions include a toy train that I actually remember* playing with on the day it was given; a toy telephone** that I at least remember having for quite a few years afterwards, but I am uncertain whether I played much with it; and a kids armchair (? “fåtölj”) that I used quite a lot at a young age (but had actually forgotten entirely until viewing a few old photos during my visits to Sweden).

    *This does seem a bit early and I cannot rule out that another train was given at a later time, and that I remember the later train. However, if so, the other train cannot have been more than a year or so later, and I have no recollection of owning two (until a much later addition of a Lego train).

    **One of those with wheels and rolling eyes.

    A separate entry for 7.5 weeks mentions my beloved penguin (cf. parts of [1]) as “first toy” (“första leksak”). It is also a good example of how I seem to have built emotional bonds with objects and people the more strongly the younger I was: at age 44, during my visits, my disappointment when it could not be found was horrible, far worse than any other material loss of my adulthood. (An upcoming text will deal more with topics like choosing what objects to keep, but the penguin would have been the number one by a mile.)

  7. The name of the family dog, repeatedly mentioned, was not “Lajsa” (as I assumed as a child) but “Eliza”, often abbreviated to “Liza”. This matches an adult suspicion of mine: I cannot recall having ever encountered a(nother) “Lajsa”, and if the “z” sound in “Liza” is dropped to an “s” sound, the pronunciation matches. Exactly this type of drop is likely with a native Swede, as Swedish has almost no “voicing” of its consonants—and if the parents did not drop it, the child might not have perceived the difference anyway.

    In my vague recollection of what my mother has told me, the breeder gave every dog born in the same litter a name beginning with the same letter (presumably, “E” in this case). This could explain the unexpectedly English name as a means to increase variation.

    An interesting coincidence is that her name matches “Eliza Doolittle” of “My Fair Lady”, my favorite musical, while there are quite a few similarities between me and Professor Higgins.

  8. At a little past nine months, my vocabulary is stated to consist of three words: “mamma”, “pappa”, “mpa”. The last is claimed as a mispronunciation of “lampa” (“lamp”), which seems an odd priority for a child. I suspect that my parents misinterpreted a random combination of those few sounds available to me; alternatively, that I understood more words but were unable to physically pronounce them.* (And, obviously, babies do not say “mamma” at an early age because it refers to their mothers—mothers are called “mamma”, “mama”, “ma”, or similar, because this matches the first things that babies can say.)

    *I remember or have been told about at least two other pronunciation issues from when I was a little older: Mispronouncing my own (original) given name “Per-Erik” as “Pejke” and turning my then favorite dish into “makok o vorv” (or something very similar), instead of “makaroner och korv” (“macaroni and sausage”). Both involve comparatively tricky tongue work and repetitions of sounds.

  9. An entry for two-and-a-half years claims that I would know all “everyday words” (“vardagsord”) and that there would not be many minutes of silence in the day. The first part is consistent with my later life (I have had an unusually large large vocabulary for my age as long as I can remember), but the second surprises me: While I do recall being more talkative and sociable when I was very young, I have been anything but for most of my life (extensive writings notwithstanding). As to the reason and exact timing, I can only speculate, but my main candidates would be (a) a natural drift towards greater introversion or lesser interest in small-talk as I matured, (b) a series of negative events* between roughly five and eight. I do note that I was a bit of a misfit with my age peers and occasionally shy even before these events, however.

    *In a comparatively short time: my parents divorced; we moved to another town, losing me the local friends; my maternal grand-father died (the paternal died when I was one or two); Liza, who was very dear to me, had to be put down due to illness; my best (human) friend in the new town moved away; and I had to go to school, which was not only boring but an environment that was in many ways hostile to me. To boot, my sister turned quite horrible around this time, likely as her own reaction to events.

  10. The next entry for two years and eight months also deals partly with vocabulary, described as “infinite” (“oändligt”; definitely hyperbole), and phrasing: “a mixture of fantasy and phrases from books” (“en blandning av fantasi och fraser från böcker”). I state for the record that I could not read at the time, although I might have spent a lot of time on picture books and similar. If the claim is literal, it must refer to what I had picked up from others reading out loud (parents and children’s TV?). It could conceivably be metaphorical, in that I might have had a “bookish” way of expressing myself.

    It also deals with my reactions to the birth of my sister: Originally, negative, then very positive. (And extremely negative in the long run, after the events of the previous footnote. I do recall that we had a good relationship prior to them, but afterwards …)

(There is very little content after this entry, be it because the baby years were considered over or because of the natural switch of attention and effort to my sister.)

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October 7, 2019 at 9:27 pm

The struggling author II

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Fairly soon after my “struggling author” piece, things started to fall into place, and by now, just short of the one-month mark, I have found my way to roughly a 40-hour week.* Moreover, I currently have no motivation problems, and self-discipline is correspondingly a non-issue.

*In terms of work relating directly to my book, ranging from research to actual writing; not including e.g. the reading of works by others or a few blog posts.

On the downside, the amount of actual output is still fairly low* and much of that in the process of being re-re-revised. This because I still am navigating some beginner’s mistakes, still have to think about some things that I expect to be automatic later on,** and have repeatedly found that my character conceptions and plot-outline require considerable changes in light of what I learned about them during writing***. I count on all three issues improving with time as I grow better and as the characters/plot reach a sufficient maturity.

*At roughly 13 thousand words or a little more than a quarter of the expected output for the National Novel Writing Month, including the short-story mentioned in the previous text. (The “raw” output, including the removed and the rewritten, is obviously higher than the “polished” output, but certainly not by anything near a factor of four. Then again, I likely have quality ambitions well above most NNWM participants.)

**Paralleling my experiences from e.g. programming, that every time a similar situation is encountered, the renewed decision will fall faster, be better, and/or require less thought, until it is at some point “internalized” or is made “by instinct”.

***Which, paradoxically, implies that it was a good idea to start writing before planning was finished: Writing has revealed weaknesses and problems that I was too inexperienced to spot just through planning. This might or might not be different for future books.

A problem area is dialogue: With all those movies and TV shows watched, I had assumed that dialogue would be fairly easy. In reality, I find that virtually everything said sounds highly unnatural in the first attempt. Moreover, the “voices” of the main protagonists are too inconsistent: comparing two chapters, I found that they each had different voices from each other (good) in both chapters, but that the voices were not consistent (bad) between the chapters… That the (non-dialogue) prose is easier might be a side-effect of all the past blogging, and that I have hardly written one word of dialogue since leaving school.* To my surprise, and in contrast, I have had no problems leaving the style of writing of my blog behind, in favor of something smoother and more “fictionally sound” (I still need to improve, but I am far closer to where I want to be than with dialogue).

*A semi-recent parody of Plato aside, where even the attempt at sounding natural would have been contrary to the purpose.

This matches a more general topic of previous experiences, readings, whatnot being of less value than expected, because they did not have the purpose to further my own writing: Over my almost four decades as a reader, I much too rarely stopped to think about what made a book good, what could be done differently, what means the author had used to achieve a certain effect, etc. The result is that I gained much less (from an aspiring author’s perspective) from the reading that I would today—and that I have a great many works and authors that I need to re-acquaint myself with.

On the upside, this first month has given me a much better understanding of what is missing in my skill-set, what qualities can make a book great, what means and possibilities there are, and so on—and I am now confident that I can become quite good at writing fiction. (But note that I still suspect that it will take years. The difference between “now” and “a month ago” is the certainty that I can do it, given enough time.)

Written by michaeleriksson

August 29, 2019 at 4:39 am

The struggling author

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Almost ten days ago, I became a professional author, and I soon jokingly referred to myself as a struggling author.

This joke has turned out to be depressingly true, if not in the more common has-trouble-to-make-ends-meet sense: I have really struggled with the transition.

This in several regards, including:

  1. The trouble with switching from my sabbatical and its great freedom to a more structured schedule. True, I likely used to spend about a full work-week per week doing things like studying, reading, writing blog posts, etc., with an eye on personal development, rather than (just) fun. True, my new schedule* is not that straining and still allows much more freedom than a desk-job. Still, the switch has been surprisingly hard, both with the needed extra self-discipline** and the restrictions on choice.

    *Currently, I have four hours a day set aside to plan/research/write, one hour to read specifically about writing, and a handful of hours to read literature that I believe to be helpful for my development (also see excursion). The proportions will likely shift away from reading as I develop my skills.

    **I know from experience that once I start to postpone tasks until tomorrow, things can slide very fast. This might be acceptable for a hobby, but would be disastrous for a professional career. I simply must take a different attitude than during my sabbatical.

  2. I had great early problems using my time productively, to find out what I all needed and wanted to do and how to approach it. For instance, with most of my past (non-fiction) writing, I have just had an idea, mulled it over for a while, started to write, and the let the process take over. This has not worked at all—in part, because the book I have in my mind is has a lot of pieces that do not yet fit together. Indeed, I have so far written very little text, because the planning has taken over. While this is likely a good thing (at this stage), it leads to the next issue.*

    *I know that there is a school of “just sit down and write”. While I do not say that this is a bad idea, it does not fit who I am today and the comparatively complex book I am currently working on. However, I promise not to postpone the actual writing ad eternam and I do realize that planning beyond a certain point will not be productive.

  3. What I had planned in my head during my sabbatical simply does not work: The pieces, again, do not yet fit together. I have too little of a clue what will happen beyond a certain point. The characters are too shallow. The overall rules of the universe are not yet clear. Etc. (Of course, all these are things that could make anything written too early “wrong” as things clarify.)

    On the bright side, I have made great progress and am actually starting to understand what I want to write. (Whereas I just believed that I understood it ten days ago.)

  4. My understanding of writing fiction has altered dramatically. Being specific is hard, but the analogy of having read about cold water and the jumping into it shows the general idea. While it can be safely assumed that my understanding will continue to change over the years, this time has been humbling. In particular, I had not quite understood how much there is going on behind the scenes of a text. I have encountered advice about prose, motivation, character, …, in various forms since I was a teenager, but actually trying to write a non-trivial text contemplating such aspects is something different.

    This in part through writing (a first draft of) a short-story* in parallel to planning the book, which has been a very valuable learning experience. However, it has also shown me how long the distance to mastery still is.

    *While comparatively short, it is much more “intellectually ambitious” than the small exercise and experiment stories I have written in the past.

  5. I have had various annoying and unexpected problems of other kinds, e.g. an unexpected computer crash* when I had really delved into my short-story or in that I have tried to use an external keyboard, which has had weird side-effects. (Specifically, killing the middle-button on my mouse and the Umlaut-generation on the keyboards. I still do not know what has gone wrong, despite hours spent trouble-shooting.)

    *They are very rare with me, but when they do happen, it is always at a particular inconvenient time. Moreover, with various passwords, encryption, user accounts, …, it can take a while before I am up-and-running again, which kills motivation.

Nevertheless, I remain with my decision: I might not have known how cold the water would be (at least not during the early days), but I did know that it would take years to get where I want to be, and I do know the difference between doing something as a hobby and doing it professionally—-the one is fun, the other is work. I also take comfort in sayings like “Aller Anfang ist schwer”* and “Alla är vi barn i början”**.

*German: Every beginning is hard. (More literally, possibly, “Everything’s beginning […]”.)

**Swedish: We are all children in the beginning.

A caveat to others, however: My situation is special. I have the luxury of having a few years worth of living expenses saved up and my decision to go pro was partially motivated by the wish to learn how to write fiction, in that I knew that being a pro would be helpful in a different manner from just dilly-dallying as an amateur with a dozen other interests. Most others should learn how to write well first and go pro later (if at all). Certainly, quitting a job the one week and concluding that writing will not work out the next (understatement of the year) is not a good career move.

Excursion on future updates:
Do not expect overly many. Between fiction and my (other) blogging, I will likely prefer to not burden my fingers with additional blog posts. Moreover, I intend to seek anonymous publishing, implying that sharing book-specific details might be a bad idea.

Excursion on reading:
An incidental, if possibly temporary, change is that I read in a very different manner at the moment. In the past, it was mostly a matter of entertainment; now, I often actively think about various aspects of the text, notably what works well, what does not, and respectively why. (Including formulations, structure, plot, …)

Written by michaeleriksson

August 10, 2019 at 2:19 am

Going my own ways

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One aspect of my visits to Sweden is the many recollections from my childhood brought forth.

This includes my having a long history of, literally or metaphorically, going my own ways and striving for independence* even as a child. For instance, my mother has repeatedly told me how I used to break out of my crib (“spjälsäng”), through pushing the laths (?) at the bottom aside and crawling out.

*From e.g. limits set by others, not necessarily when it comes to e.g. my parents providing dinner…

Other incidents include (ages are guesstimates):

  1. Age three or four, during a vacation, walking off into a forest, disappearing out of sight, and causing an impromptu search party of, possibly, a dozen people. I did not understand what the fuss was all about.
  2. Age five, during a mall visit, leaving my family for the great fun of an elevator ride, causing the party to split to try to cover all “escape routes”.
  3. Age five, walking well out of bounds with the family dog, only to be collected by my uncle, who happened to drive by.
  4. Age seven, taking my sister and attempting to run away, in order to not have to go somewhere*. My mother took the car and caught up in half a minute…

    *I have no idea about the where, but it likely was something boring or annoying, e.g. church.

This not to mention a great many (allowed) walks of various kinds. Indeed, a great annoyance to my mother was the restrictions by my förskola* that she had to drop me off in the morning and collect me in the afternoon—despite a distance of just a few hundred meters and despite my often going further on my own. There were even cases when my mother picked me up, dropped me of at home for a snack, and I was back, on foot and on my own, in the vicinity of the förskola half-an-hour later. Of course, in today’s over-protective climate, it is conceivable that my mother would have been considered negligent for allowing these walks…**

*Literally, “pre-school”. Going by Wikipedia, “Kindergarten” might hit the age group (around 6) better. While I am not aware of the exact background, these regulations were likely intended to protect the förskola or its employees from legal culpability, so that no child went missing “on their watch”. To boot, there was likely the aspect of one-size-MUST-fit-all that is so common among bureaucrats—not all children lived as close-by, and different rules for different children might have been unthinkable.

**Not to be confused with the first item above, where my parents actually might have been negligent.

Excursion on out of bounds:
For young me, there was a fairly wide and very long area around where I lived, visible on OpenStreetMap between Kyrkvägen and Bergmästaregatan, which had only one crossing street (a small one at that) and was considered solidly within bounds. (This area included the förskola.) In addition, the area northwards and to either side had very little traffic and was viewed with tolerance, especially the walk to Laxbrogatan and the part of it where my maternal grand-parents lived (close to the intersection with Källtorpsvägen).

For item 3 above, I likely started at my grand-parents’ and walked into the town center from there.

Excursion on school:
I do not remember how the first years of school were arranged. It is possible that I walked or drove a bike very early on; it is possible that my mother drove me the first one or two years (roughly, ages seven respectively eight). I do have a few recollections of car pooling, but I do not know whether that was a common occurrence or just a once-in-while thing. Either way, the roughly one mile distance was a matter of muscle power for most of my school years. (And, obviously, the rules for “out of bounds” rapidly grew laxer as I moved past six.)

Written by michaeleriksson

August 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Sabbatical over, going pro

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With the end of July, I am officially terminating my sabbatical to become a professional author of fiction. If and when I will be a good, published, and/or money-earning author—that is yet to be seen.

As for now, I have a number of ideas for books and short-stories, one of which I have been planning in my head for some time. While the planning stage is not yet finished, I will gradually start to generate text—should I make a mess of it, well, Rome was not built in a day and even Steinbeck’s first effort was poor. (Cf. a footnote in an older text.)

The road to this point, has been long: I have casually toyed with the idea since I was a teenager, possibly even earlier, and I fell in love with one particular book-idea at some point in the winter 2017/2018. This idea first made me consider writing books seriously (but I will save it for a time when my skills have improved considerably). During my sabbatical, starting in April 2018, I have grown the conviction that I need to go professional to have a reasonable chance at achieving something, as well as spent considerable time improving my understanding of fiction, writing, what it might take, etc.—including through a more active/conscious reading of fiction, reading about fiction, experimenting with small test stories, and writing about related topics (cf. a number of earlier texts).

I am a few months behind plan for three reasons: a shyness in pulling the trigger, great problems with finding an official source of information on the bureaucracy side,* and the disturbances through renovation works in my house that have made work hard and often forced me to spend a significant portion of the day outside my apartment (cf. several earlier texts; the last period has, knock on wood, been considerably better).

*Including options for health insurance, whom I need to tell about my plans, and similar. I have a text in planning to discuss this in more detail. Short story: plausible sounding information source A insists that I should ask implausible source B who points to source C, who ignores my specific questions in favor of a few PDF files that I had already downloaded and read on my own.

My other writings will likely be scaled back a fair bit as a consequence,* and I will likely focus on the neglected “Sweden visits” texts in the short term.

*Especially compared with this July, which has set a record—partially, because I wanted to get a few texts out of the way.

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July 31, 2019 at 12:51 am

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