Why does Everything have to make Money?

I’ve kept myself quite busy writing. I’m slow and it’s tough, especially if you’re self-critical like me. But I’m still in quarantine and I don’t have that much else going on. So why not write a book?

🤔 What I’ve been thinking about

I’ve been trying to write a small eBook which I want to give out for free. It’s about living a more peaceful life (why it’s worth it and which habits & tools could help). It started off as notes with ideas and learnings I collected for myself.

I first wanted to make it really short, but of course it’s now 80 pages long and I’ve been working on it for over a month. Some people would say I’ve “wasted a month”, and my inner critic tells me the same, sometimes.

Unfortunately I made the decision that I need to read or re-read about 50 books to get more “expert knowledge” and for being able to recommend good resources. And to make things worse I decided I need to draw my own pictures in pixel art, for whatever reason, which I’ve never done before and which takes me about 4 hours per picture (you basically need to fill in every single pixel with a colour by mouse). I’ve attached a recent draft below, I’m still trying to get the hang of it (it’s about starting to love our own “fear-monster” instead of trying to push it away, I guess).

In any case, I honestly wanted to give up this project several times. It doesn’t help that I’m super cynical and self-critical.

“I’m not even an author, I should study how to write well, first. English is not my native language. Nobody is gonna read it. People are not gonna value it (especially if you give it away for free). It’s a huge waste of time to run away from your real problems.” Those are all things this asshole inner voice keeps telling me. Also, it turns out it’s almost impossible to make non-fiction NOT super boring. But I also don’t want to waste people’s time by telling endless anecdotes about Churchill and Ghandi and all this crap.

But I kept going, and I’m kind of proud of that. Maybe I got inspired by that Anime that I started watching (I talk about it below in “What I’ve Enjoyed”).

I think I was also motivated by a guy I randomly found on YouTube named Randall. I think he’s Australian, and he tries to program a platformer game (he’s super funny, too). He’s been working on that game for years, changing his engine several times, trying to do almost everything on his own. The chances of this one-man-project becoming a hit like Stardew Valley are close to zero. I’m sure this guy has his doubts, too, andstruggles a lot. But still, he continues to move forward. Probably because he likes the process, he likes to create, he likes to experiment, he likes to find solutions to problems. (Maybe that’s why he starts over so often, I thought: he enjoys the “coming up with solutions” part more than actually finishing a game).

But here’s what I dislike: Why are we dismissive of people who take their time and do stuff which might not “lead to anything”? Why does everything have to make money? This way of thinking seems to be very prevalent in today’s world, and I don’t like it at all. There’s a cold utilitarism with trying to eliminate everything that doesn’t make money or that doesn’t “bring us forward” in some way. Of course we need to make money to pay the bills. But maybe a universal basic income might be a valid solution, at some point in the distant future, so people like Randall can keep on making their games.

I’ve seen this quite a bit with the notion that we should all turn our hobbies into “side hustles” or work more instead of “wasting our time” with video games or whatever.

No! Let people have their hobbies, even though they appear “worthless” and “uncool” to you. I love people with quirky niche hobbies. Let them enjoy themselves!

I guess the lesson here is to have less of that “outcome-orientation” that we probably get indoctrinated with in schools (only grades matter, not whether you really learned something or enjoyed yourself). The journey is the reward – don’t beat yourself up if you’re just chilling, daydreaming or experimenting. That “more, more!” mentality is kind of cancerous. “Enough” is a better way of living, maybe.

😴 What helped me find calm this week

Intentional ASMR Picks:

I’ve watched some great ASMR. This time I mainly selected popular channels:

  • My ASMR video of the week has to be ASMR Zeitgeist with a 2hr masterpiece with tons of “putting squishy stuff in your ears”. The sounds are crisp and intense, it’s visually beatiful. I’m a bit jealous of how good it is:) 
  • Close contender is Stacy Aster with her 5hr (!) video with countless triggers (I’m not sure how she does it, getting all the props and filming would take me weeks!)
  • I usually don’t love these types of roleplays but I enjoyed Goodbye Moon’s Celebrity Personal Assistant with a California accent
  • Here’s another great trigger assortment by Gentle Whispering
  • Simply Kel ASMR is a bit of a smaller channel – but she hes a nice accent and I enjoy her videos like this recent one (it’s not specifically themed and her audio is not top notch, but I sometimes prefer those “not too professional” ASMR videos)

I’ve added these to my “ASMR Favorites” Playlist.

I’ve talked about celebrities making ASMR before. Today, I saw actress Jessica Alba (unironically) making an ASMR video on her channel which I kind of liked, even though she primilarily tries to sell her beauty products I guess. She has a 3Dio ASMR mic, but doesn’t seem to really understand ASMR because she only talks in one ear (but her whispering voice isn’t bad).

Ah and by the way, I made an ASMR Shoestore Roleplay (I had wanted to do one for a while), where I very patiently present several sneakers and leather shoes.

Unintentional ASMR Picks:

💜 What I’ve enjoyed

It’s a bit embarrassing but I’ve watched a Netflix anime about volleyball every day this week (it’s called Haikyuu). It started with me finding a video in my YouTube recommendations about a 19 year old Japanese volleyball star “Yuji Nishida 西田 有志 | The Best Jumper in the World“. I clicked because I played (beach)volleyball myself and it’s one of my favorite sports. People in the comments kept talking about this anime, so I decided to check it out (even though I thought it’s going to be incredibly boring).

And, what can I say… it’s in fact an anime about volleyball in a High School team. And it’s only about volleyball, the training and the games, there’s not much else going on, and it actually goes quite a bit into tactics and so on. And of course the matches are stretched out like Dragon Ball Z episodes and there’s some anime-typical pathos. I’m not sure why I liked it. Maybe it’s because the main character’s passion and dedication for the sport is kind of inspiring.