What’s feelin’ got to do with it

A friend came to help me pack yesterday.

Before my friend arrived, he had assigned me the task the day before.

I pushed myself to sort and toss most of the piled files, scripts, printed articles, and notes. I put the kitchen stuff in two opened boxes.

I felt proud of myself as my friend made an entrance when he got inside.

Tea or coffee?

We have a lot of work to do, obviously.

He surveyed my room, displeased with the disarray.

I’ll give you three hours of my time. Here is what we need to do.
Are you ready?

You’re not staying for dinner?

I have my own stuff to take care of.

He was all spice and no sugar.

Within that three hours—

We sealed three boxes of books I’d pre-filled.

We packed most shoes and left me four pairs for the last month I have in LA.

And purses and bags. Women! I know…

We wrapped and sealed two boxes of pots and pans.

And another big box of odd stuff.

After my friend left, I managed to pack two more boxes of thicker clothes.

The photos speak for themselves—

Of course I’m still a long shot from done-done, but I noticed something. I stopped my friend before he backed out of the driveway.

Where did you learn all this?

Have you seen Apollo 13?

Not yet.

But you know the premise, right?

By now, I knew where this smartass was steering with the conversation.

When people were panicking when things went terribly wrong, the program director said—

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things worse by guessing.” 

I nodded. Message received.

For a task like yours, you focus on the problem. Not the feelings.

I can’t.

Well, people are made different.

Asshole. I thought to myself.

Then I heard myself saying—

Thank you.


Yours truly,

PS. I’m my own guest for this week’s podcast.
You may find it interesting if you’re also contemplating these things:
a) study abroad;
b) go to film school;
c) become a writer;
d) start podcasting;
e) all the above;
f) fear of the things above.

I hear you. I’ve been there. I’m still working on it.

How’s your novel going

I hear you ask.

Truth is, I put my novel on hold since mid-Aug.

I couldn’t work through the pain.

I couldn’t squeeze more willpower out of my fried brain.

I kid myself that my plate was full with the podcasting.

Half month later now, I know I need to begin again.

But of course, I find it hard to reboot.

The greatest resistance is always the beginning. From 0 to 1.

I signed up for this FREE online course called Start Writing Fiction a while ago.

The course started yesterday.

I think it would be quite beneficial for me to go through the motion, get the rough draft done first.

It may help you, too.


Yours truly,

PS. Listen to the latest RBYZ podcast if you haven’t already. The guest is truly one of a kind! Episode show notes here.

PPS. I’ll start posting the word count I’ve completed per day here till I finish.

Write or don’t

Why call yourself a writer if you don’t write? Just so it sounds good?

Okay. So what job shall I take when I’m back in China to keep me aloft?

If your parents can support you back home, I’d say don’t unless it’s a writing gig.

Here is the thing, if you can prove to yourself that you’re an “Extraordinary Alien,” you can apply for green card right away. That is, if you really prove yourself. 

I woke up with a headache and a tight neck this morning.

I dined at a Chinese director’s house yesterday. Our conversation couldn’t be more realistic. It couldn’t be more scary. Because she was telling the truth before I was 100% ready.


Just how bad do I want to be a writer before I’m anything else?

You have to be kinda crazy to be a writer. I’m a director and I still get to talk to people. You writers live in your head. It can be quite dangerous. 

Every word, cut to the chase. Every syllable, a sucker punch.

I’ve seen so, so, so many friends who are wannabe-aspiring writers for decades. Years later they’re still talking about the same story they told me eons ago. 

Shit. I’m gonna be that soon, if not already…

Sure you can earn buckets of money back home. But really ask yourself what you want.

Money is tangible, but it’s endless. 
Happiness is invisible, but you can feel it.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write every single day. It’s a verb before it’s a noun.

You’re fooling no one but yourself.

Write v.


Yours truly,

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,