Chapter 23 – October 2020

Hi! Welcome to Chapter 23.

Become evil. Rule the world. Maybe drink tea first and sit down for a bit.

“Belief is the death of intelligence.”

― Robert Anton Wilson

They say all the cells in your body are replaced every seven years. You’re a different person but keep the memories of your former selves.

It may be junk science, but it’s still a beautiful myth and a working metaphor for how to live your life.

This month, there’s fraud, fear, and friend links.

Next month, it’s National Novel Writing Month.

One of us! One of us! One of us!

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If I wasn’t a fraud or afraid

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

If I wasn’t a fraud or afraid:

  • I’d write well every day.
  • I’d finish that bloody novel.
  • I’d finish any writing at all.
  • I’d have the courage to live and pursue my dreams.
  • I’d see failure as a necessary part of success, not a permanent condition.
  • I’d be a better person.
  • I’d be kinder, happier, and more forgiving.
  • I’d be generous with my time and my affection.
  • I wouldn’t be such a fucking coward.
  • I wouldn’t be scared shitless of public speaking.
  • I’d know what to say.
  • I’d have the courage to speak out.
  • I’d have the courage to speak to you. Speak to her. Speak to anyone.
  • I’d lead by example, and be worthy of being followed.
  • I’d be out there on the frontline living my dreams.
  • I’d do the things that I encourage others to do.
  • I’d wipe the slate clean and start again, any number of times. As long as it takes to get it right.
  • There’d be gold in them woods.
  • I’d gladly trade a long life for a life well lived.
  • I’d love unconditionally without holding back for fear of getting hurt
  • I wouldn’t try to ‘get you before you get me.’
  • I’d speak the truth all the time.
  • I’d tell you that your bum DOES ‘look big in this’.
  • I’d be an activist in body and in deed.
  • I’d speak out about the government.
  • I’d be an outspoken human rights activist, and not just a member of Amnesty International.
  • I’d pay all my taxes towards schools, hospitals, and public services.
  • I’d refuse to pay taxes towards nuclear proliferation, raping the earth, or blowing the shit out of third world countries.
  • I’d beat politicians at their own game.
  • I’d beat politicians. Full stop.
  • I’d try harder.
  • I’d ‘man up’ and ‘grow a pair’.
  • I’d “bring the normals to their knees.”
  • I’d be “someone else; someone good.”
  • I’d stop quoting other people and speak my own thoughts in my own language.
  • I’d live or die — but either way just shut up and get on with it.
  • I wouldn’t cry so much or feel so ashamed.
  • I wouldn’t despise myself.
  • I wouldn’t wince when shown any sign of love.
  • I’d undress with the lights on and sleep with the light off.
  • I’d be able to sleep at night and look at myself in the mirror in the morning.
  • Clowns wouldn’t eat me in my sleep.
  • I’d be much less concerned with what you think about me.
  • I’d be easier to live with, and able to live with myself.
  • I’d be happy in my own skin.
  • I wouldn’t take out on you what I’m really taking out on myself.
  • I wouldn’t make rhetorical statements or ask rhetorical questions. Would I?
  • I’d still have more questions than answers; but at least they’d be interesting questions.
  • I’d cook meals for my friends.
  • I’d actually have friends.
  • I’d be proud of my achievements.
  • I wouldn’t seek approval from an indifferent world.
  • I’d tell my boss to shove it and move on to better things.
  • I’d quit my job and move to Japan.
  • I’d give my whole heart to Japan.
  • I’d be unflinching in my honesty and my love.
  • I’d be a more faithful lover and a more loving friend.
  • I’d spend less time dicking around on the internet.
  • I’d stop shouting at people on the internet.
  • I wouldn’t be such a dick. All of the time. On the internet.
  • I’d brush my teeth twice a day.
  • I’d always wear matching socks.
  • I’d have already finished what I haven’t begun.
  • Death wouldn’t be tapping his watch and laughing at me.
  • I’d probably live in Japan.
  • I’d probably make my living as a writer.
  • I’d probably speak publicly on a semi-professional basis.
  • I’d probably teach creative writing.
  • I’d still want the moon on a stick.
  • I’d still have 101 things on my to do list.
  • It wouldn’t matter so much in the end.
  • You wouldn’t be reading this.

Please leave your own list in the comments. And get off of my lawn!

Friend Links

Here’s some of my stuff to read on the interweb. They’re all Friend Links so anyone can read them.

Nanowrimo Boot Camp — A quick and dirty guide to surviving national novel writing month

What Japanese Culture and Being an Outsider Can Teach You about Writing — All writers are gaijin

This is How I Got Started with Travel Photography — These photos of Japan will make you want to travel

My Secret Visualisation Technique to Dramatically Improve Your Stories — The true shape of a story

The Best Thing to do with a Good Book — Bibliomancy for fun and profit

Black Mirror — A Dream Narrative

‘Do the Work’ is the Ultimate Lifehack — The productivity secret you don’t seem to get

Should I Write Under a Pseudonym? — Inquiring minds want to know

Fiction is the Lie That Tells the Truth — Why I stopped writing fiction for more than a decade

If You Didn’t Vote Then Shut Your Mouth — Don’t advertise the fact that you’re an idiot.

My Corona — Never gonna stop? Give it up.

Make Money on Medium — Build Your Audience and Grow Your Income with Medium.com

I’m Scared That 20 Years Ago I Killed Myself — How to cope when your scars come back to haunt you

Friend Links for Medium — All my Medium posts to the end of 2019

One Minute Reads for Writers — 30 posts in 30 days

jamesgarside.net — My website has links to most of my writing

Note: If you have a problem opening any of these links just try to view them in private browsing mode and that will probably do the trick.

Personal Book Review

Do you have a book that you want me to review? Be that yours or someone else’s.

I’ll review your book or a book of your choice.

Yes, even Harry Potter!

The review will be published on Medium and Goodreads.

Just message me and, you know, send me a digital copy of the book.

Thanks for reading.

As always feel free to #AskMeAnything