Tagpainting

TOUCH BASE

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@klovestorun via Twenty20

Hello good people! How are you? The last few days were a few hectic, and I don’t know what I have been doing. So I thought it is good to write a blog post about it and sort things out. So welcome to the Touch Base!

The first important thing that happened is that we found a baby cat at the entrance of our house. He had a gash on his stomach and right under his arm, as well as multiple scratches around his body. We took him to the vet and the vet amca, as we call him, said that “the kitten should be fed every hour or every two hours until his wounds are completely closed.” We had multiple trips to the vet amca and had many sleepless nights, and still have many sleepless nights, but our little boy is as healthy as he could be.

He is pear-shaped and happily purring while he is trying to carry his huge ass around. We named him Loki because our older cat is called Thor, and this little one is a bit battered up. Look at him. Isn’t he the silliest kitten you have ever seen?

Our baby boi Loki!

Dealing with our kitten made us have many sleepless nights, which shifted my focus from being the most boring intellectual person ever. So I have started diversifying my attention towards many interests I have. I started painting again and reading to my heart’s delight. I was kind of miserable when I forced myself to focus on writing, so I stopped doing that.

I was focusing on being a writer because at the company I am working at, they shited my position from a graphic designer to a writer/translator/editor of English. I thought I wasn’t ready for the job yet, and I thought I have to improve extremely quickly, so I dropped everything I do and focused on learning how to write.

As it turns out, I knew how to write well enough for the company, so I can relax and continue being the jack of all trades master of none I am. I have translated websites, social media posts, youtube captions, and I started writing a series in which I interview ex-pats living in Istanbul and write a short essay about them. I love that job, and I am organically improving at it. Below is a photo from an interview I recently had.

My good friend Oscar and I

Leaving the obsessive days behind, I started looking around, and I found out Medium has many interesting articles. I used to dwell in Medium, but it has been quite some time since I have spent some time there. I spent a couple of nights reading Medium articles while waiting for the time to feed Loki. One night, I came across this article talking about a new social media platform on the blockchain. I joined BitClout even before I finished the article. You can reach my profile here.

BitClout made me realize the power of the blockchain, and I started investing in cryptocurrencies as well. Even though I wouldn’t suggest people who don’t understand finance invest their hard-earned cash on cryptocurrencies, long-term investors or people who understand finance shouldn’t miss the opportunity. I don’t care about short positions when I am investing, so I took long positions for some of the coins I found interesting and left it at that.

On BitClout, people can invest in other users’ currencies, and a user invested a whopping $180 on my coin. I wanted to pay him back, so I offered him to paint something in return. He wanted me to paint a friend of his as a troll, so I tried:

A troll painting by me!

Since I stopped trying to be cool and decided that I am going to follow my interests and curiosities, I decided that I should also loosen up in my blog. I will continue writing on my blog, but I am more likely to use this as a place to think publicly and give a heads up about what is going on in my life. I would be delighted if you come and check what we are up to from time to time!

See you around!

WRITING IS NOT PAINTING

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When I started this blog, I thought that I would publish regularly and experiment with different writing styles. When I started, I announced that I am going to post twice a week. After failing that, I said that I am going to publish every day. My action was akin to a couple who makes a baby to strengthen their failing marriage.

That fallacy was the result of my artistic training. In art, we know that starting a lot of new work trumps working on one thing until you make that thing perfect. If they were given a year to improve, the painter who starts a new painting every day will be significantly better than the painter who works on the same painting at the end of the year. I thought writing would be similar.

I couldn’t be more wrong…

I can churn out mediocre articles with streams of consciousness every day, but those pieces are worthless for my purposes. Those kinds of articles are almost always lesser versions of information you can acquire from great books written on the subject. Moreover, the internet is full of writers who write mediocre posts that just remind or summarize what the great writers had written. Nobody needs another writer who churns out mediocre posts every week.

I don’t want to write posts that you are going to read as a guilty pleasure. I don’t want you to read what I have written as a procrastination device. I want to write things that will change how you see the world. I want to improve your understanding of the world and mine, solve your problems and mine, or just learn about a subject with you.  

I figured this out when I was trying to write an article for publishing today. Last week, I decided that I am going to write an essay about the principles of journalism to post today. I bet it was an easy enough subject to write within a few days, and it took me a couple of hours to write. Yet, that principles of journalism article weren’t saying anything new, so to make my post useful, I have decided to dive into the history of journalism and understand how these principles were formed. I thought I could do it since there were more than five days to the self-imposed deadline. I gathered my resources and started reading.

Unsurprisingly, most of the resources I had were about journalism in the US. Yet, I am from Turkey, and reading about US journalism made me wonder how journalism in Turkey differs from journalism in the US. That led me to the question; are the principles of journalism different or perceived differently between countries because of the historical differences in journalism’s growth. I started reading about the subject and taking extensive notes about it. I was on fire with curiosity.

The problem was that the article required a lot of research and reading, and I had a deadline, artificial or not, so I thought that I had to find something else to write about. I thought the subject that I can write about in such a short time would be “Why you should start your writing with a pitch.” I didn’t even start that article because my heart was still in the first one. I was deeply curious about it. This intense curiosity stopped me from writing the second one, and I started procrastinating.

As soon as I understood this, a bigger acceptance set in: I shouldn’t strive for publishing as much as I can; instead, I should aim for writing the best article I can write. Writing is different than painting. In painting, the small changes you can make to improve your piece improves your artistic skill and the image itself marginally. In writing, every rewrite, every draft is a huge learning opportunity. Every time you rewrite, every time you research for the article and improve your draft, you become a significantly better writer, and the piece improves significantly as well. I want to and will publish articles only when I can’t improve them further.

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Yigit Cakar