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  • weRborg
  • Super Waygook

    • 282

    • September 20, 2012, 05:15:44 pm
    • Seoul
"I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« on: June 05, 2015, 09:46:06 am »
How many of these goobers have you met here?  :rolleyes:

For a while there, every mid 20 something white teacher I met told me they were writing a book or blog about their experiences in Korea.

What drives people to do this? And what could they possible put in there that hasn't been said or done a hundred times over?

Oh, let me guess, you went out drinking with your Korean coworkers and they told you some things about Korean culture?

Or you went walking through Seoul on your own and got to truly understand how Koreans live their lives?

Or you went to the DMZ (along with thousands of other people) and now you have a strong desire to unite Korea again.

Or by experiencing every kind of Korean food, you learned to appreciate things that are different than what you were raised with.

Those topics are well and good, but they've be written about by hundreds of people by now.

There are blog ads on this site and others advertising some gooder hagwon teacher's blog that they update for a few weeks, then forget about. They talk about how Korea is so interesting and different and how all this will go in their book one day.... then nothing.

I wish people would get their heads out of the clouds.

Yes, moving to Korea can be a unique and interesting experience. But you're not the first to do it and won't be the last. Literally tens of thousands of others have done it before and experienced everything you have. You may be the special snowflake in your family or circle of friends, but there's nothing special about you in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 09:51:16 am »
Yeah like that creative writing group that was advertising for members on here a few times.  I asked them if they would help writing a choose your won adventure summer camp...

no response lol

Obviously the thought of ACTUALLY writing and producing something was too much

flatpack the lot of em, thats what I say.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 09:53:13 am »
I agree that most of these blogs and books tend to be very similar. But I don't think you need unique experiences to write a good book about your time in Korea, but rather you need a unique perspective. You have to say what has not been said. I think the problem isn't just that people's experiences are similar, but that ultimately, the people are pretty similar (or have a similar perspective).


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2015, 09:53:35 am »
People can write what they want. If we can't do what we want just because it's not an original thought, then all of us should never do jack shit, cause someone else probably have already done it before. Perhaps someone will put an original spin on it that makes it worthwhile to read. Thats why there are more than 1 pizza joint, or more than 1 book about wizards.

I myself am going to put together a photography book about Asia, but it's just going to be a sort of photo album/portfolio of my best work, and it's going to sit on my shelf, and perhaps friends' shelves to look at in 10  years time.
Open your mind.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2015, 09:54:37 am »
Yeah like that creative writing group that was advertising for members on here a few times.  I asked them if they would help writing a choose your won adventure summer camp...

no response lol

Obviously the thought of ACTUALLY writing and producing something was too much

flatpack the lot of em, thats what I say.

I actually joined that group, and it is very good. It is not geared towards our teaching jobs but to our own personal writings (either fiction or non-fiction).


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2015, 10:02:20 am »
Everyone can and everyone should write, and to hell with anyone who says otherwise.


Open your mind.


  • Timo
  • Super Waygook

    • 392

    • May 21, 2015, 02:47:36 pm
Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2015, 10:17:00 am »
I keep a blog. My family and extended family can keep up with what I'm up to. It's usually just my day-to-day stuff and what I've been getting up to. My grandparents love it and harass me if I haven't done more than 1-2 a week. According to the stats I get thousands of hits from all over the place, and I have no idea why/how as it's really only intended/written for people who know me personally.

I've found it quite nice actually. It's like keeping an online diary, and diaries are supposed to be good for your mind by reflecting on experiences.

There's some services that will convert your blog into a hard copy (book) format, so I think I'll do that when I leave so I can look back in 20 years and remember some of the good times I had here.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2015, 10:23:25 am »
Oh, people have already written about those topics? Same with marriage and family and blah.

I agree that people are too quick to try to make public their work. Often they don't read enough (or at all) or consider why others should be reading their work.

Also, the writers-who-don't-write thing is a worldwide phenomenon.

Also, I think it's interesting you point out the racial aspect of this. Seems like a particularly white thing sometimes to write that book about traveling to the strange land ohhh. That can get tiresome, for real.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2015, 10:26:43 am »
I agree with posters that value the importance of writing in general.

I also agree a lot of this stuff can just end up being stale and rehashed - but then again, just stop reading it then? Writing is a journey of the "seoul"  :P and can be either cathartic or a way of solidifying and making sense of the mundane happenings of the day...

I say write... I probably don't care what you have to say, but that isn't a good enough reason to stop you... I mean it better not be a good enough reason to stop anyone from writing.

I am going to augment my MA thesis novella with experiences and my feelings of living abroad in Korea in a post apocalyptic South African setting. It might end up being total trash, but what it will never be is a waste of time for me to have written it. If you want to increase the ways in which you can grow as a person... Writing is one such way.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2015, 10:34:42 am »
Zealout_Hill, I agree, writing will help you grow.

I want to say, though, that it's annoying (offensive, even) when people advertise/submit their blogs, stories, etc., when clearly they don't read much or reflect on what and why they're writing. Writing like this isn't an instrument of growth; it tells me this writer believes their stranger-in-a-strange-land narrative is worthwhile from the get-go. And that's about privilege and entitlement and they should be called out.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 10:36:02 am »
Some people write a diary for their family. By all means.

Others write this stuff for themselves and ask strangers to be interested in it. Think it through first.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2015, 10:39:42 am »
I hear you and agree, but if they're writing like that the only people who "should" be interested, should be the parents (family)... The best way to dignify the mole, is pretend it doesn't exist. The mole will stay underground, because:
1. that is where it has been living all it's life.
2. no one above cares what it has to say.

 :smiley:

P.S: I really like moles, so personally that's a terrible example.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 10:42:56 am »
People should write whatever they want for whomever they want, but they should keep in mind that if they want it to be appreciated by strangers, they have to be original in some way.


  • Timo
  • Super Waygook

    • 392

    • May 21, 2015, 02:47:36 pm
Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 10:50:29 am »
I hear you and agree, but if they're writing like that the only people who "should" be interested, should be the parents (family)... The best way to dignify the mole, is pretend it doesn't exist. The mole will stay underground, because:
1. that is where it has been living all it's life.
2. no one above cares what it has to say.

 :smiley:

P.S: I really like moles, so personally that's a terrible example.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2015, 10:57:12 am »
I couldn't fault anyone for writing a personal diary, even if in 2015 that means it is published online and intended for family and friends, but the annoying bit is the seemingly necessary hubris attached to many such projects. 

By all means, go on writing whatever you like, but the moment you attempt to draw traffic to (or worse, generate profit from) your work, you make the implicit statement that it adds value to the intellectual landscape.  Plenty of writers DO add value to the world, but most don't.  Their work serves only their private purposes and there's nothing wrong with that.  In Korea, and I assume most other places with a considerable expat community, there appears to be a disproportionate level of hubris behind blogs.  Far too many people hold irrationally high opinions of themselves and their writing ability. 

Again, if writing brings you peace or allows you to share some joy with your loved ones, no one should stop you.  On the other hand, if you personally think you are so special that you are duty-bound to inform the world about your precious and amazing work, you deserve endless and merciless scrutiny from those upon whom you've arrogantly foisted your (likely banal) scribblings. 

Get on with your life and do what makes you happy, but have the humility to spare others from your shameless self-promotion and mundane observations.



  • yfb
  • Expert Waygook

    • 864

    • July 05, 2010, 11:50:12 am
Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2015, 11:10:05 am »
Write whatever you want but don't expect your blog to be treated like anything more than fluff for publishing purposes.

The problem with K-blogs is that they're all fluff and uninteresting babble. Oh look the kimchi is spicy. My co-teacher is mean. Gangnam style is funny. There are very very few blogs on HOW to do something uncommon for expats in Korea, like say get a new driver's license. THOSE are useful, for example there was a blog giving exact directions to the new Ilsan immigration office.

The interesting blogs like Blackout Korea, Mr. Wonderful, and Expathell tend to get run off the web by angry nutizens or their authors lose interest. Via Korea is still going strong but he's on his way out too. Out of all the kblogs I've read over the years, Expathell is the only one worthy of dead tree format.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2015, 11:31:17 am »
Every piece of writing started out as fluff.
Open your mind.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2015, 11:44:03 am »
Reading blogs about Korea is like reading Waygook posts written by people who have lost the fear of someone replying with "stop talking complete shit you utter imbecile".

But thanks for the badly worded story of how you bought a latte at the weekend.  It was absolutely riveting.


Re: "I'm going to write a book about my time in Korea."
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2015, 12:07:44 pm »
I've read complaints about these types of bloggers before. What more do you have to add by writing your own complaint?
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