On 13 Dec I went to a lecture at Garden Books (Guanghua Lu) where the authors introduced their book to a packed room.
Haihua (Helen) Zhang & Geoff Baker shared the following
• How Chinese view their own history
• Why Chinese are different – 5 core elements of Chinese thinking: Chinese language/philosophy, law of yin & yang, born connectedness, mid-stream living and mianzi (Face)
• “only tell people 1/3 of what’s on your mind” – how Chinese communicate
• “heroes think alike” – how Chinese live & work
• What to do
For me it was a “click” in my head – as I expected, because there was a reason for me to go there. They both signed the book I bought (RMB 220).
As so often, the 13th brings me luck.
I was thinking since long: about WHAT could I write. Too many books are published about China.
Through the many seminars I started to formulate some fresh concepts and promptly removed those from my seminar talks. Indeed – my approach in describing Chinese society and its many trends of today proved to be too controversial and complicated. Certainly for an audience that never had contact with this puzzling China. On the other hand, when I tested them with seasoned China experts and local Chinese friends, I got a very positive feedback. (I was pretty nervous during that first talk…)
Listening to Geoff and Helen brought relief: we have certainly a different angle to look at our Chinese friends (and foes). That is what I am looking for: a fresh insight.
So, this very Monday 15 December, I wrote the first draft pages of my first book. No name yet. Just a start of a long voyage.
But starting to write and having some direction is for me great progress. Enough procrastination.