I’m currently writing a book about the end of World War II in Austria and Germany. One of the topics of the book are the war crimes of the Allies against German and Austrian civilians. By clicking the following link you can access factual material for my book: Violence against civilians in US-occupied territories
Do you believe that hard work is the single most important ingredient to the success of a writer?
Is it hard for you to actually sit down and write regularly?
Then read on. I have a similar problem and we two may have a solution for each other.
I’m writing my first novel and sometimes I can’t force myself to write even though I have time. On the other hand, I can work more or less productively for 40+ hours per week in my day job. Like writing, it’s an intellectually challenging job (programming). Unlike writing, I can work productively almost every day, including days when I’m not motivated (sad, depressed, etc.).
I thought “What’s the difference between writing and programming?” Part of the answer is this: peer pressure. At work I am surrounded by people who work, hence it is harder for me to be lazy. When you are surrounded by working people, the herd instinct forces you to work as well.
What if we could use the same instinct for building our writing careers?
It would work like this:
We agree on a certain date and time.
At the specified time, both of us go online and say “hello” to each other in an instant message.
Then we work for 1-3 hours.
Why may it work better than doing it on your own?
Because the cost of not sticking to your promise is higher. Imagine you tell yourself that you will work for 2 hours on your writing tomorrow. The next day, for some reason, you don’t want to write. If you give in and don’t write, you only break promise to yourself. You aren’t letting down any other people.
Now imagine that you promised another person you will be writing at a certain point in time. If you don’t show up this time, you let down not only yourself, but also the other person because he or she needs your social pressure as well.
Does this idea sound good to you?
Then look at the image below. During the last week I’ve been writing from Monday through Friday, from 04:00 through 08:00, Central European Time. Depending on where you live, you may want to write at the same time as I do.
If you want to give this idea a try, please write me an e-mail with a text like this:
I want to do a writing Zazen with you on YYYY-MM-DD at HH:MM TZ.
YYYY-MM-DD is the day,
HH:MM is the time, and
TZ is the time zone.
I will most likely reply within 24 hours.
Terms and conditions
I’m looking for people who believe that hard work leads to better literature and want to practice this belief as often as possible. That’s the most important thing.
Work is obligatory, socializing (chatting, talking) is optional. We may talk, if both of us want to and if time remains. Note that I go to my day job after those morning sessions, therefore I won’t be able to talk with you for a long time.
I don’t care what exactly you write (fiction or non-fiction, subject, genre etc.).
I don’t care about your personal background like age, race, gender, political orientation, religion etc.
It is free (actually not — you and I spend our time).
What makes the whole matter even more tragic is that German rapes of Polish and Soviet women, probably on an even larger scale and definitely preceding these Soviet rapes, are ignored by nearly all Western historians. Although probably millions of Soviet citizens, primarily women and girls, became rape victims, the topic has been grossly understudied.
Even in spite of their official military and racial laws and rules, Germans of the Wehrmacht, the SS, the police, the civilian administration and their allies engaged in mass rape, including gang rape on an enormous and routine scale, in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Poland. The victims were Jews as well as gentiles; women and girls as well as men and boys; and victims were from the youngest of ages. There are examples of a 90-year old female rape victim as well as nine- or eight-year-old girls.
“After the war, it was easier to talk about the Red Army raping women,” says Gerhardt, than to challenge the collective memory of the western Allies in 1945 as liberators. Stereotypes from the First World War of uncivilized Russians from the East, and Nazi-era propaganda about the Red Army also played their role, explains the author of the book, called “When the Soldiers Came.”
While spreading stories of “uncivilized” and “brutal” Russian soldiers, many Western historians have remained silent on the massive casualties sustained by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. While the war claimed the lives of 418,000 Americans, 600,000 French nationals and 450,000 Britons, the USSR’s casualties amounted to 27 million. On Soviet territory, Nazi soldiers committed hideous atrocities on a scale that could hardly be imagined by the West, such as the hanging and burning alive of peaceful civilians, including women and children.
While trigger-happy partisans often proved long on enthusiasm and short on actual fighting ability, too many American officers ignored their real value and adopted the views of one infantry lieutenant who called the French Forces of the Interior the “damndest bunch of clowns I ever saw in my life…Foolish French Idiots we used to call them.”
David W. Hogan, Jr., “US Army Special Operations in World War II”
French Forces of the Interior (FFI) were French resistance fighters who, according to official mythology, helped a great deal to liberate France from the Nazis.
Other historians (see this YouTube video) claim that the French resistance fought more with one another rather than with Germans. Allegedly, at the end of World War II there was a serious threat of civil war breaking out in France between competing factions.
In Lenggries the US soldiers smash in the window frame of a farm with rifle butts. They enter the bedroom of the couple, threaten the man with a weapon and rape his wife. She is pregnant in the fourth mounth.
You can find more information about the violence of American troops against civilians in Europe here.