All posts by NathanAEmery

About NathanAEmery

I'm a novelist and English teacher working from Nonoichi City, Ishikawa, Japan. A native of New York State, hiker, cyclist and photographing family man.

When a Sweatshirt Says Something Awesome

Working at a handicap day care facility teaching an English class and I noticed one of the students sweatshirts said this on it:

The best way to predict your future is to create it yourself

Wow, now that is awesome!


Keep writing.


I Haven’t Been Posting, Which Means I’ve Been Writing!

Blogging and writing are two different things. I have to get on the computer and type out a post and publish it, but writing is the act of putting down words. Good news is I have been putting down the words on the page like a maniac!

From February 18th to March 1st I was drafting a new novel. The pages will become a lot fuller and developed after a second draft, now I am trying to decide to type it on my NEO or on a manual typewriter, on a computer or draft the second draft longhand like the first. Each method has its strength, but I am hovering between longhand drafting and typewriter.

As I neared the end of my first draft I went out and did a little research about the advantages of writing long hand. Seems there are many, from better memory retention to stronger mind body manipulation.

As I posted a millenia ago, I love fountain pens. My two most used pens right now are a TWSBI Diamond 580 (with a leaky grip section) and a Noodler’s Ahab with a refitted nib. I refill with Mont Blanc Toffee Brown and Noodler’s Walnut ink respectively. To sit down and write, using 5mm graph pads (I find that the spacing of 5mm graph is much better for my cursive style than lined legal pads) and I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to in life.

When I took up drafting longhand this time it was not on purpose. It was because I just didn’t want to sit down and type. Then it dawned on me that my first full novel was also basically written longhand, though a 50 page outline, on pads and I started editing from there. So I felt in good company to write out my thoughts.

I would love to say method is not important, the process of getting it done is. For you it might be sitting at a keyboard with a cup of coffee and spilling your heart through the keys. I aplaud you, keep it up. It might also be the college student discovering a typewriter and hammering away, or a teenager with his grandfather’s fountain pen putting nib to page-it doesn’t matter. What does is if you are doing it, which I have been and am deeply glad. I hope you are too.

If you don’t see my posts you know what I am doing!

Keep writing.

Speed is King

Though I have been using dictation as a tool to getting the words down faster, I still feel it is really important to sit down and type out ideas as they hit me. Recently I found some old expressions that I had written back in 2009 and posted them on my blog here. If I had not been hammering away at the keys back then I couldn’t have posted them on my blog today.

Activity, movement and flow are all part of life. We shouldn’t fight the desire to free-write. Get the words down and you will be surprised with what comes out. Both in the “Wow that is great!” sense and the “Looks like insanity squared.” way of thinking. The point, keep going.

Quantity will yield quality because as you go you, if you are paying attention, you will get better out of necessity. You will be faster and better. Two words we can all aspire to live with.

I blog to write, I write to blog. I keep moving these posts along because it is also moving my writing and publishing of books along. I am a writer, no matter if I am selling a book or just working on one. I am what I say I am, which is all you can be as a writer I think. No one will bestow on you a medal or anything!

Keep writing.

Winter and Life

In our modern age time waits for no man. Time of day, seasons and age seem to be irrelevant in the way people live in modern times which is a bit of a shame. Gone are the harvest dances. Don’t worry, I won’t bring you down!

This winter started earlier than usual and has been cold. A kicker some might say. Work goes on, I write less in the winter in favor of doing teaching tasks more at hand, which would mean my blog suffers too. When I am writing I write in every direction possible to ride the wave of inspiration, personal drive, synergy or whatever it is as long as I possibly can until I run out of emotional steam and crash on the shore.

So why is winter a harder time to write? When there seem to be two main factors here in Japan that conspire to keep me from hammering words: First is the temperature-which will not seem important to the Western mind. Japanese houses are cold, like the same temperature as outside cold. You heat each room with a kerosene or electric heater and all other rooms are cold. This dampens my comfort zone. Secondly is a lack of exercise. Wet weather makes those afternoon walks a lot harder to achieve, forget even cycling. I have found a correlation between activity and temperature.

Actually there is a third reason for my stunted writing in winter-a glut of reading during a season where it is too easy to sit and read. So I read like a fish breaths water, which is a funny way of putting it because I usually read on my Kindle in the bath every night (the Kindle is inside of two zip-lock plastic baggies and has behaved perfectly well for years).

So winter, how I loath thee! No, actually if I could find those two elements that are lacking-warmth and activity-and balance out the third-a propensity to read voraciously-then life would be good. Yet, to get back to my starting paragraph in this blog post, I think we humans too often ignore that fact that seasons are major shifts and we should embrace them, instead of trying to circumvent, changes in temperature and the life cycles of everything else. If holidays were non-existent than we would truly be in trouble, for we would forget to appreciate the white snow and the roasting of chestnuts.

I hope all of you out there who are reading this are writing to your hearts content, but if you are in a seasonal slump don’t be discouraged. The spring will come, the sun will shine and life will start again fresh and new. Just like everyday of a writer’s life can start out with a new idea and a hot cup of coffee. I wish you all well.

Keep writing.