Force of nature

Newton’s First law of Motion:

In an inertial frame of reference, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.

Here comes the million dollar question:

Where and how to find the force?


I went to a writer friend’s farewell party yesterday. No tears. Only laughters. Because by the end of 2018, everyone would be back in China. Me included.

They are visiting scholars at UCLA, from urban planning to neural science. A doctor wants to create video/audio content, explaining his line of work in plain mandarin that caters to the Chinese retirees who are Crazy Healthy Asians.

His Chinese Yankee humor, plus the subject matter, remind me of the TV series Dr. Ken by the one and only Ken Jeong.

“I think I know my core audience. I think I know what I want to talk about. I have so many anecdotes from my practice… But I don’t have professional background like you guys.”

He meant me, my writer friend, and her director husband.

I opened my laptop and showed the doc how I created my podcast from scratch.

“Stop thinking. Start recording. You can’t find your style without ever trying.”


5:30 became 11:30. Six hours later, we were all connected on WeChat.

“It’s so inspiring to see folks like you who made an idea a reality.”

“Just try it out. You never know.”

“I think I will.”

“Drop ‘think.'”


The dude remained at rest until he met the Force.

You’re welcome, doc.


Yours truly,

May the Force be with you.


Be everything

In times like this, you can’t just be a writer.
You can’t just be a producer.
You can’t just be a cinematographer.
You can’t just be a director.
You have to be everything.
You need to be a writer-director-producer-promoter ninja to get any projects made.

In a word, you have to be a genius, Superman, Wonder Woman.


Here is how it works: you start with a short and hope that short would lead you somewhere.

And after you have self-delivered your baby, you wish you have an audience to cheer you on. Of course, you go to your friends and beg them to rate your babies, ugly or not, on Amazon etc. with five-star ratings.

I told myself that I couldn’t be bothered because I made my babies out of passion, out of love. Just how many people would chime in, I don’t care. It’s pathetic. I wouldn’t allow it.

But still, I asked friends to please rate my podcast on iTunes when I launched it. Last time I checked, there are six ratings, two reviews out of some dozens messages I sent out.

Fuck, I’m a hypocrite.

Because I should just focus on my next Tuesday’s shipping deadline like I’ve promised myself:

One episode at a time. And no more.


Yours truly,

The C word

Content. It gets on my nerves when I see it abused, as I did the other day when I saw someone posted “Content Creation” at an online course I’ve been doing.

I would go so far to avoid “I’m content,” but choose “I’m fulfilled.”

I ask myself, what do people mean when they say “content?” I googled. This is the closet definition:

Information made available by a website or other electronic medium.

So it means information? If so, why do we use content? Just because everybody uses it? Just because the marketing gurus trademark it?

Truth is, I used to work in marketing. I’m not exempted. In my former line of work, I used “Content Marketing” and “Content Creation” on a daily basis.

Now I ask:

What’re the differences between “Content Marketing” and “Marketing?”
What’re the differences between “Content Creation” and “Creation?”

Does adding the C word before marketing and creation make them more specific?
On the contrary.

What I’m creating here is a blog. It’s content by default. According to the trend, I should call myself a content creator. But why do I still prefer using writer, podcaster, filmmaker, or artist in general? Because those words carry weight, meaning, emotion.

What about content? It’s arbitrary at best. In my view, it’s also—

And bullshit popularized by the CXOs, the bureaucratese who ask their subordinates to “generate content” for their content-loaded keynotes about content creation when they don’t even create the content, and to some extent, understand the content they are presenting. Because they’re on auto-pilot when they refer to content.

What would I say instead?

  • General: Things. Stuff.
  • Specific: Art. Design. Article. Essay. Blog. Screenplay…

Excuse my rant.


Your truly,