by Catherine L. Tully
The wait is finally over. Joe and I were both recently published in the book To Japan With Love, and today I received my complimentary copies of the book in a box–all the way from Hong Kong.
It was a cool moment–I have to admit.
Being published in a travel book is a big deal in the writing world, and I am just thrilled to have two stories in this guidebook. It is my second time getting published in a book, and it is just as neat the second time. Every once in a while it is just fun to share an accomplishment with FZ readers. Thanks for being there…and keep working toward your dreams…they really can come true! (* And special thanks to Celeste Heiter for her great work editing this book–you are terrific!)
by Catherine L. Tully
No…this isn’t some kind of a cruel joke. You actually can use your writing skills to win a free trip to Japan, courtesy of the Japanese National Tourism Organization.
JNTO is running a contest beginning September 1st, and all you have to do to enter is describe “where your dreams take you” in 2010 letters or less. If your entry is chosen, you’ll be packing your bags. Sign up for the newsletter for more information as it is available or visit the constest site. Isn’t it time you did a little travel writing? The contest runs until November 30, 2009, so put your thinking cap on…
Please note that this campaign is for US residents.
(As a brief aside…I lived in Japan for three years. It is truly an amazing place to go. If you win, contact me and I’ll give you some pointers!)
This government resource, Portals to the World, provides links to links that give information about other countries around the world, such as Japan, Oman and Burma among many others. If you need to learn about things like the educational or health systems, religion or just get more resources, this is a truly amazing place to begin.
Many people will think I’ve gone completely around the bend by recommending Hagakure as a manual for freelance writers, but try reading this with your career firmly in mind. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and practical advice. Consider these quotes:
“In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths. Lord Takanobu said: If discrimination is long, it will spoil. Lord Naoshige said: When matters are done leisurely, seven out of ten will turn out badly. A warrior is a person who does things quickly.”
“Master Yagyu once remarked: I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.”
“According to Master lttei, even a poor penman will become substantial in the art of calligraphy if he studies by imitating a good model and puts forth effort. A retainer should be able to become substantial too, if he takes a good retainer as his model.”
Sure, some of it is a stretch when it comes to the modern day lifestyle of a freelance writer, but there’s plenty to ponder here. You can apply it to being mindful of well-crafted query letters, carefully checked final drafts and keeping your determination in the face of many rejections. Hagakure was written in the early 1700s by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It was only read by a select few in the early years after its publication, but it has endured. And yes, other writers have found much inspiration in these pages–Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s most famous authors, was a devoted reader of Hagakure. It’s a great book even if it does sometimes bewilder 21st century minds.
Buy Hagakure for $13.57