Writing requires never giving up

Writing is really hard

And writing requires never giving up. The example of JK Rowling is so emotionally moving – and encouraging –  for a small writer that I am. I still can’t believe how the lady did it all. Impressive.

See: “This Animation Of JK Rowling’s Life Is Seriously Powerful”
Posted by Doireann Garrihy – 29 Mar 2017
An animation that follows the life of JK Rowling has gone viral.
Starting with her being rejected from college at the age of 17, it goes through the journey of her miscarriage, her marriage breakdown and her severe depression.
http://www.spin1038.com/entertainment/this-animation-of-jk-rowlings-life-is-seriously-powerful

See here the clip directly:

How I came to write my first book

See the story here: http://www.damulu.com/about/
The problem was first of all to start the real writing. Jotting down ideas is not enough, one must start “the real stuff”. The way I managed to start was disappearing from Beijing, getting away from office and home. The first escape was near the Western Ming Tombs (Yixian County, Hebei), in early August 2009.

Some pictures of the guesthouse, its fabulous view on the lake (I think called Wolongshan Natural Scenic Area), and the tombs: Western Qing Tombs (Qing Xi Ling, 清西陵) in Yixian County, Baoding, Hebei. Pretty close to the new Xiongan Zone…

The second escape was to a small village in the far north east side of Beijing in Pinggu County near Hebei Province (late August 2009). See the “main road” that leads to a dam. the simple guesthouse and the local food. During the week the place is empty but in the weekend people from Beijing come in great numbers to eat the, yes, delicious food.
Later I simply retreated regularly to a modest IBIS Hotel not very far from home. No contact with others.

Another long night in IBIS

When I started working on Toxic Capitalism I somehow managed to do it all at my home office, mostly late at night and burning the midnight oil.

writing and thinking at the home office

The next challenge

I am working on a couple of books. I have set the goal of finishing two completely different books this year. I have scribbled tons of notes and collected newspaper clippings, plus some files in the computer.
But nothing really written yet for the “most important book challenge”. So, after months of doubts and overloaded schedule, I have finally decided: in May I will disappear… Hopefully to start building the foundations for the “Manifesto”.
The other book will be more easy, the main challenge will be to first master the needed software: Scrivener. The topic? Jokes… Yep. No kidding.

Introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary

Finally

Yes, introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary in Beijing took some time but finally!

Rotaract Clubs of Beijing

On 27 March, Gilbert presented his book Toxic Capitalism in Cafe Ruhe (Pacific Century Place, Sanlitun), the new venue of Rotaract Beijing. members of Rotaract Beijing West also attended.
It was followed by a lively debate, fueled by sharp questions!

Rotary lunch 14 March in Kempinski: Gilbert introducing his book

Gilbert is the founder and president of a Beijing-based management consulting company that provides strategy guidance to foreign and Chinese clients. He was deeply involved in the building of the 2008 Olympic venues and as a result got the highest decorations from the Chinese government.
His talk focused on how the idea of his book “Toxic Capitalism” was born, on the challenges of researching and compiling data and then on his experience with publishing.
Toxic Capitalism – The orgy of consumerism and waste: Are we the last generation on earth?
Gilbert elaborated on the theme by shedding light on consumerism and the consequences of too much waste.
Living in China since 1980 Gilbert became alarmed by the dramatic pollution levels in Beijing and the trends of overconsumption and waste around the world.
As an engineer he delved into the data to better understand the seriousness of the situation, the reasons why it had come to all that and what we can do about it.

FYI: Penguin Random House Is Still In The Vanity Business

Consider me one of the many victims of those publishing scammers. Always interesting to understand why the press shuts its mouth on their shady practices. They simply are afraid to criticize their partners and clients.
As David Gaughran mentions (7 January 2016):
“When Penguin purchased Author Solutions in 2012 for US$116m, virtually all the press had the same angle: Penguin was making a smart move into the fast-growing world of self-publishing. No mention was made of the controversial business practices of Author Solutions, or that the giant vanity press resembled a viable self-publishing platform much in the way a glass of hydrochloric acid is a recommended way to cleanse after the holidays.”

Read to whole story here: Penguin Random House

One of the many complaints I have is the way they give totally unreliable “reports” about sales, while I am not waiting for big sales. They are refusing to enter the 21st century in banking they do not pay electronically but through stupid checks in BP sent by snail mail from the USA. When I signed the contract they promised electronic payments. Those checks are worthless as the cost of sending those to Belgium (you can’t cash checks in Beijing) plus the Belgian bank charges would produce a negative payment. Why checks? Because they want to save money. Who still uses checks?
In other words, as good as zero income from my book.

Anybody wants the worthless checks? Need to pick them up in Beijing!

Book presentation to IsCham Beijing

On 17 December 2012 I was kindly invited to introduce my book Toxic Capitalism during the IsCham Beijing Annual Gathering and the inauguration of the new board members. IsCham: the Israel Chamber of Commerce in China.
Thanks to Fani Gurevich Bar, Ilil Bar Gat and all others for their assistance.
I had the opportunity to give a signed copy of my book to the ambassador, H.E. Matan Vilnai.
Speeches were given by the ambassador, Fani, Mickey Mushinski.
My talk lasted 43 minutes.

Pictures by myself and by IsCham.

Book presentation to six chambers!

On 27 Nov 12, BritCham and the China-Britain Business Council organized my book talk at Face Bar (Gongti Nan Lu, next to Instituto Cervantes). Five other chambers also joined:  the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, SwissCham Beijing, Bencham, the Italian Chamber, and the Malaysian Chamber.
It was announced as follows:
“Book Presentation – Toxic Capitalism: Are we the last Generation on Earth?”.
Author Gilbert Van Kerckhove joins us for the book presentation to give us a review of his thought provoking new book, “Toxic Capitalism the orgy of consumerism and waste: are we the last generation on Earth?”
The book centers on the world’s economic, environmental, governmental and social problems and what we need to do to fix them. Living in China Gilbert became alarmed by the dramatic pollution levels and the impact of Toxic Capitalism, an unwelcome strain of capitalism that thrives on over consumption and indiscriminate wastage, promoted by the West with the help of questionable companies, financial institutions and governments. China, as Factory of the World, is facing depletion of resources and roams the world to satisfy its voracious appetite for energy, raw materials, and food. How serious is the environmental destruction? Is capitalism fundamentally wrong? How did we come to this madness, and what can we do to preserve the future of our children?
We need to combat the idolatry of consumerism and fight for our goals: quality & durability, saving resources and energy. We simply consume too much and too quickly: too many gadgets, too many clothes, too many consumer products we either use little or even never at all. We waste too much, including food.
Quality & durability is not limited to consumer products. We need it in governments, services, companies, and financial institutions. We have to change our lifestyle.
About the author
Gilbert Van Kerckhove, is from Belgium and graduated as master in electronic engineering. Since 1980 he has been working with China, where he spent 27 years, mostly in Beijing but also in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
He is the president of a Beijing-based management consulting that provides strategy guidance to foreign and Chinese companies.
Since 2000 he has been assisting the Beijing Municipality in the areas of economic studies and foreign investment promotion. He has received the highest Chinese awards for his role in the 2008 Olympics, including the Chinese Green Card. He considers Beijing his home.
I had a diverse audience of at least 35 people. I gave a 60 min. presentation and we then started a lively debate.

Thanks to Liang Heng (Swisscham) and Clare (DLA Piper & Charitarian) for the pictures.
Clare also posted a very nice review on the Charitarian blog (thanks!):
http://www.charitarian.org/uncategorized/toxic-capitalism-the-only-christmas-present-to-buy/
I had brought some few copies and they were all quickly gone.
Thanks to Hayley Thomas and Russell Brown for the logistics and hosting me!