Wednesday, September 9, 2015

About prolific writing

Yung Suk Kim

Thus far I have produced more than a dozen books. Some say that I am a writing machine. But let me be clear that I don't write things overnight and submit them for publication. Most of my writings are done over time and revised hundred times. Because people do not know the whole process or habit of my writing, they tend to think that I write fast and easy, as if I were a writing machine. That is a misunderstanding. Today when I was exercising at a gym as I used to, I thought about my prolific writing habit and know-how are three key elements for a possible prolific writing: 1) distinctive ideas; 2) investment of time and its wise management, and 3) the healthy body and spirit (physical and spiritual).

First, unique or distinctive ideas about the book are most important. There are already tons of books in the market. So I ask: Why do you waste your time if there are similar books already in the market that you are going to write. Check yourself and find where you are interested and how your idea makes a difference as compared with others. Of course, idea making does not happen in one day or overnight. Day and night, ask yourself about everything that you read and see. Also, ask why you want to write and whom you want to impact on. Often I resist familiar readings and struggle with new ways of reading. Maintain a habit of note-taking and visit your notes often and revise them. All this means you need to maintain a pool of ideas.

Second, even though you have good ideas about a new book, you cannot produce anything without setting aside time to study and reflect. I mean you have to give yourself to where your passion is. Day and night, in big or small time, you will need to have constant brainstorming for your topic. Time management is also important. For me study does not happen only in a study room or library; I often enjoy thinking and planning to write in a coffee shop or in a local park where I often walk and think. In a sense, nature is my library and classroom. Even in a sleeping bed, or in the middle of the night or early morning I wake up with new ideas or better plan for writing. I often write in my head when I go to bed. Sometimes I wake up by new ideas about the book or clear thoughts about something in a book and take notes on papers.

Third, even though you have unique ideas and the perfect time for writing, you cannot produce anything without your health. You need to maintain your body and spirit in perfect condition. Physical exercise is basic. Eat properly and exercise regularly. Meditate on your life and time. Simple lifestyle will help. Our body does not last forever.

As you see above, the above three elements are gifts of God. You cannot take boast about them. Ideas are given by God in some sense because you don't own anything in your life. You are not the owner of your life, and therefore everything good about yourself is not yours. We say that is the grace of God, which is everything in your life. Think about good ideas about the book, your time, and your body and spirit. All these are not yours. You cannot create time and body. You can use them judiciously. That is your responsibility. In the end, I want to say that writing is a vocation and mission for me. That is why I put all I have into my writing, thanking God for what I received from him. That is it.