Yi Xiang

A Young Writer in Search of His Voice

About Me

As a Writer

I’m a young writer who doesn’t know what to do with his life or what he wants to write about. So in my process of figuring out, I’ll just write about whatever interests me in this blog.

I have two blogs in Chinese that I used to update regularly. But I have switched to writing English in 2015 and found that I enjoy it.

I love reading. That’s how I learned English. I read mostly non-fiction books to help me solve my problems. Some of the topics that I enjoy or enjoyed are occultism, psychology, programming, PUA, dating and relationship, self-help, and making money online.

I’ve read so many books that it’s hard for me to say which ones I enjoy most. But the following ideas have helped me tremendously:

  • Take responsibility and stop blaming.
  • Live with less stuffs.
  • Push your limits.
  • Face your fears.
  • Instead of finding a perfect lover, recognize and satisfy your own emotional needs. (Mainly from No More Mr. Nice Guy)
  • Conflicts in relationships are often about unrecognized emotions expressed in violent ways. (I realized this by reading Non-Violent Communication and reflecting on my own experiences)
  • It’s very worth it to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gains.
  • You are always part of the relationship problems you experience. It’s never totally someone else’s fault. (From Mark Manson, my favorite writer for now)
  • Passion is mundane. Do something you already enjoy to make money.
  • Making money blogging is hard. Making money freelancing is far easier.

I also happen to enjoy Japanese visual novels. It’s a weird hobby but I love it. The Japanese language could expresses emotions in a way that is subtle, indirect, beautiful, pure and powerful. You couldn’t find that in English or Chinese. Or maybe it’s just that I read too few Chinese books (despite being a Chinese).

As a Freelance Web Developer

I make money by doing web development gigs. I’m most experienced with C# but I hate it. I prefer PHP or Node.JS.

I enjoy learning new things, and it has wasted me much time. I got really excited about Python when I first heard it, thinking it’s a brilliant idea to mark code blocks with indentation. But it turns out I hate it. I tried CoffeeScript and hated it too. Strangely, I like Stylus pretty much.

Becoming a freelance web developer isn’t my original plan. I’ve been trying to make money online for several years without much success. I’ve built blogs, written eBooks, sold physical books, did freelance translations. Yet I could stick to nothing.

Finally I realized three things:

  • I need to do something I already enjoy.
  • Working on your own ideas usually doesn’t work, and when it does, it takes time.
  • Being broke sucks.

That means making money by freelancing, despite being an idea far less sexy than blogging, is far more viable, and will likely make more money. Faster too. (I learned this from 30 Days to X)

So I became a freelance web developer, and solved my money problem.

As a (Retired) Tarot Reader

Most people either swear by or despise everything that has anything to do with divination, spirits, new age, or religion. Sadly, I could see the validity of both sides’ arguments. I understand the value of rational thinking as well as the value of symbols and riddles.

I’ve been asking the questions about life’s meaning for a long time. Being a Chinese, growing up, I’ve always been told that these questions are nonsense. So once I learned that there are alternative views, I dived right in, read a whole bunch of books, searching for the answers I want.

During this process I’ve became a Tarot reader. I’ve built two blogs and written two Chinese and one English books on Tarot. I’ve also learned many different ideas about why we exist, whether there is a God, and whether only physical things are real.

Among all these ideas, I like those of Carl Jung and Golden Dawn the most. The former is a psychologist with brilliant ideas understood by few, the latter is an occult order of magicians.

So I’ve learned to read cards, interpret dreams, and perform magic rituals to banish evil spirits pretend I could speak Hebrew.

But that’s not important.

What’s important is that I have learned to respect dreams and inner experiences. There are trends in the outside world that we couldn’t control. There are also great forces inside of us that we couldn’t say no to. Writers’ undying desire to write is one example. People’s strong emotional reaction is another. These forces will shape our actions and overthrow our decisions. They can ruin our lives, and they can lead us to our greatest achievements.

I have come to know and accept that I do not have as much free will as I think, that  circumstances and inner urges shape my decisions and my destiny more than my own will, and that I do not choose who I am but can choose to hide it or reveal it to the world around me.

This however, doesn’t mean that we are not responsible for our own actions. For example, we may not choose when to have the urge to shit, but we can choose to resist it if needed.

As to the question whether there is a God. Well, it depends on what you believe. Like many things in life, there is no absolute truth. When people are talking about how there must or must not be a God, they’re talking about but their own convictions. If you do believe in God, you will feel its power, and it will be as real as anything in the real world. Just like love, you can argue for or against its existence, but your reasons ain’t why you believe, your convictions are. Whether it’s because you’re convinced that it feels so real, or because it’s so real that you’re convinced, nobody knows. It still feels real either way.

About life’s meaning though, I still don’t have an answer.


yixiangblog (at) gmail.com