Sewing workshop at Nubee

In the beginning of this semester I decided that in order not to get crazy with my university, engineering, thesis and other studies-related issues, I should do something completely different just for myself at least once a month! In October I’ve been volunteering at Filmteractive festival and learning about work in social media. On Wednesday 8/11 I had a chance to attend a 5-hours sewing workshop organized by the Polish clothing company called Nubee completely for free!

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What a pity that no man is ever interested in broadening his manual skills!

I needed to take a day-off from lectures, because the workshop took me most of the day. After one hour of theoretical introduction, some practical exercises with a sewing machine there was quite little time left for the final project, especially that – apart from the backpack – I also wanted to make a MacBook case, since I needed it a lot (recently I carry my laptop with me almost every day!).

 

I have had so much fun there! Well, okay, at some moments I thought that sewing is just another activity I am not talented in… For example when I miscalculated the size of my MacBook and a case was far too big. When I sewed the pocket on the wrong side of the material. Or when I cut my finger very very deeply with very very sharp scissors and I was bleeding A LOT. But I had so much fun there! And I am so proud of myself, the backpack I designed and made is actually cool and not that bad-looking, so I am definitely gonna wear it. And it’s a great topic for small talk xD

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I always admire my Mom for how talented she is. Being a doctor, she has surprisingly many hobbyhorse not-at-all connected to what she does. She has great taste for the interior design (I think I’ve posted how her apartment looks like), she can embroider, knit and sew (she saved so many of my clothes!), draws pretty well and has many many creative ideas.

 

Anyway – I am not as talented as my Mom, but still – PROUD of myself. And really happy about how I have spent this day. I needed some fresh air.

 

CREDITS FOR ALL THE PICTURES: Nubee Polska

Being on paper

I think I have shared this news some time ago already on Facebook, but I will do it again properly.

When I came back from Sweden, all the memories were still vivid in my head (still are). I didn’t want to just let it go, and in the same time wanted to earn some money on blog – at least to finance the domain.

Eating breakfast with my Dad (it’s always a bizarre situation – he is always super active since 5-6 AM, while you cannot talk to me until the first coffee), I asked him courteously what is he reading. It turned out that he subscribed for the Polish magazine about traveling in Scandinavia – Zew Północy (The Call of North in my translation). I immediately contacted them and asked if they do not want to start some kind of cooperation. They offered me to co-write an article about the matches (yes, matches!) production in Jonkoping, as it is its capital in Sweden!

Here you can read the article in Polish, while below I put the English translation.

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Matches Museum and not only

by Zuzanna Lisowska

For me – Biomedical Engineering student – Jonkoping was the symbol of my Erasmus programme dream coming true. City which grew up around the University – you can study there engineering, nursing, communication and teaching, or the courses in prestigious Jonkoping International Business School well-known worldwide. Multicultural and buzzing with student life. Additionally very well located – around 3h by car from Karlskrona, where the ferry from Gdynia arrives, with the beautiful landscapes and surroundings. Among the other attractions – one of the biggest lakes in Europe – Vattern, the Taberg hill, from where you can see the panorama of the whole Smaland region, or a quaint neighbouring village called Granna. It is famous from production of polkagris candies, because of which honey coming from this area is redish, as bees scavenge on the sweets left behind by kids.

Huskvarna is just nearby, together with its famous industry of chain sews and other electronics, but Jonkoping is still connected mainly to the matches industry. The buildings which used to accommodate Tandsticksfabriken – the factory producing the first safety matches in the world – are nowadays the cultural heart of the city. Restaurants, bars, art galleries, brewery (Idle beer is just delicious!), shops and workshops, but also a student club open every Wednesday – all this attracts both locals and tourists.

Tandsticksmuseet is still the main tourist attraction. It is apparently the only matches museum of this kind in the world!

– I guess there are some other museums presenting the history of matches… But as far as I know, we are the only museum specializing in this topic – Bo Levander, museum’s educator, shatters all the misconception about the Jonkoping Matches Museum.

The museum is open all year long, the entrance ticket costs 50 SEK (http://www.matchmuseum.se). What can you see there?

– Tandsticksmuseet shows how Jonkoping and Sweden in generally, were gaining its industrial character. We have stories of the workers and about how their lives looked like. On the ground floor you can see traditional workers room, which shows their every day life. We display the films about the greatest machinery, which throughout the years revolutionized the production process. We also have many animated movies, showing how it worked. We tell the story of the King of Matches – Ivar Kreuger, who popularized this business worldwide. In the museum you can see hundreds of matchboxes, labels and many other exhibits – encourages Bo Levander.

– And the machines which we have in Tandsticksmuseet are the first of this kind of machinery in the worls, and surely they are unique! – he adds.

Zuzanna Lisowska – a traveler, who has visited over 30 countries, a blogger (http://www.suzanaindiana.com), a student of International Faculty of Engineering at Lodz University of Technology, participant of Erasmus programme in Sweden, where she has spent half a year. She got contracted with passion for Scandinacia by her Dad – an engineer and traveler.

 

I am very grateful towards Zew Północy team for the work we have done together. It was a pleasure and an honour! And what is more – we do not stop here. I am soon about to write another article, which is gonna be published on Spring… Stay tuned!

Being a woman in 21st century

I am sure you have noticed the wave of Me too (or Ja też, Moi aussi, Yo tambien…) on your Facebook walls some time ago… What was it all about?

#MeToo
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
#JaTeż
Jeśli wszystkie kobiety, które były kiedyś molestowane seksualnie napisały “Ja też” w statusie, być może pokazalibyśmy ludziom jaką skalę ma to zjawisko (więc kopiuj i wklej).

Writing a couple of words about the feminist book I’ve read and recommended recently, as well as after Paullajna’s comment on one of my posts (Infinite problem when a strong woman is being called a b**ch. Don’t stop Zuza, be a tough b**ch), I felt an urgent need to express some of my opinions concerning 50% of us. How is it to be a woman (after India I should say – white woman) in 21st century?

Firstly, the quote from ‘I LOVE DICK’ by Chris Kraus again:

Female monsters take things as personally as they really are. They study facts. Even if rejection makes them feel like the girl who’s not invited to the party, they have to understand the reason why.

Yes, if a woman is strong and independent, she is very often treated as a monster. Or a tough b**ch. Or a terminator with no feelings. She must be a terrible partner, mother, daughter, just a good friend because for sure she is interested in football and cars, but than maybe she is planning to take over your boyfriend? Bullsh*t.

That is why I enjoyed so much my stay in Sweden – one of the countries where gender equality is very strongly developed. You can see as many mothers as fathers with children in the restaurants or on the playgrounds. Typically ‘manly’ jobs like bus driver or technician are widely practiced by women. LGBTQIA+ people live their lives in peace and are rarely stared at. It has its price, tough, and I felt sometimes kind of lost.

I come from the conservative and often very sexist country, but no matter how much it sucks – I like when the man lets me pass first in the door, helps me carry the bag (but a shopping bag, not the girly one!)… But it is not because I am weaker, but to show me kindness and respect. I can also let the guy pass in the door first if he carries something heavy. It makes my confused – where is the border of sexism and good traditional manners?

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(c) Bence Fejes

Another confusing and sad fact about me is that I haven’t felt attractive until the time when I started to have sex with men. Before that I was so engulfed under the complexes about my body! And my parents did not make it easier for me, saying in the same time that every body is beautiful, I am gorgeous and smart, but also that I should lose some kilograms. Not until I was 17 or 18 I’ve figured out that at some point of contact, it really DOES not matter how you look like. Everyone just looks great and natural.

The facts are clear – women still earn less than men, their work is diminished (staying at home, cooking and taking care of children is hard work too! And I think it should be paid), their opinion does not matter. During one lecture on my exchange, in course of Swedish Language, Culture and Society, my professor (Ylva Lindberg) told us a ridiculous story about the conference she participated in: its topic was connected with women’s rights, and she – Ylva – was the only female speaker among 10 men… It seems to be relevant to artists, directors, critics, politicians too… Well, not musicians… Female singer is made to show boobs on stage! When it comes to art, another good quote from ‘I LOVE DICK’.

If women have failed to make ‘universal’ art because we’re trapped within the ‘personal’, why not universalize the ‘personal’ and make it the subject of our art?

I am far from being able to call myself an artist, but I think that my writing is very universal AND personal in the same time. Well, I am a valuable person so why my PERSONAL opinions wouldn’t be UNIVERSAL for the readers? Especially that most of them can identify themselves with me – I am quite a typical representative and voice of my generation – studying, traveling, fearing to miss out, with boisterous social life, postponing family life for sake of career.

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(c) Bence Fejes

On the same lecture, Ylva showed us the results of the survey she conducted among engineering students a couple of years back. It was adjectives describing boys by boys and girls and girls by boys and girls. Stereotypical woman was obviously weaker, more stupid, acting under emotions, while the man was decisive, critical and his opinion mattered the most. And it was just a couple of years ago, in Sweden!

One Swedish guy I dated back in Jonkoping was a total feminist and I loved it about him. I felt absolutely equal, respected and supported independently of gender. I was in a relation where we were two humans willing to cooperate and spend time together. Unlike my first relationship (still the biggest one!) with a guy from conservative (both in terms of religion and culture) background, which costed me a lot of nerves and undermined me as a human being.

Nevertheless, maybe it is the last thing which should be written in my feminist statement, but there are just a few moments in life when I feel like a real woman, and none of them is feministic. When I wear high-heels and gorgeous dress, walk in to the bar with a drink in my hand, all eyes on me… In the trustful mood after sex, cuddling a man and being hugged to his chest…

The other moments of power I experience are more related to being a great human being then a woman: when I speak up for a group cause everyone else was scared or too shy, when I ran a successful presentation and my audience is really interested, when I show off with being a good driver or a good cook… I really don’t understand myself and hope that I will figure it out soon enough.

I’ve once heard that 30yo is the best age for the woman – still young and gorgeous, but not making mistakes of a 20-ish yo. Maybe then? Or when I am in a good relationship basing on mutual respect and partnership? Or when I have a baby? No, I don’t want having a baby to be a moment defining me as a woman, as from what my Mom taught me – being a woman does not mean that I need to be a mother.

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(c) Bence Fejes

Anyway, most of the things I want from life are pretty uni-sex: to travel the world, have a great job, never stop learning, make my constantly popping-up dreams come true, spend my life with an appropriate person, do us much for other people as for myself… And be happy.

FILMTERACTIVE Festival 2017

As I spend 90% of my time at my technical university or doing things connected to engineering, most of my friends are also engineers, I even talk about engineering with my Dad while eating breakfast… I felt a strong need to do something from out of this bubble and promised myself to involve myself in some extra activities which can help me develop in different areas than what I do professionally.

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I have noticed the add of Filmteractive Festival somewhere on Facebook quite long time ago, I think I was still in India when I filled in the application form to become a volunteer. I almost forgot about it and was quite surprised when I got an e-mail inviting me to work for them.

FILMTERACTIVE FESTIVAL IS AN EVENT THAT WILL TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT MARKETING COMMUNICATION.

It was created as an answer to the needs of evolving market and new challenges related to building a marketing message. It is a platform which brings together business and creativity. This confrontation results in interesting discussions, new possibilities and out-of-the-box ideas.

Content of the Future | Filmteractive Łódź was also the right place to meet the right people and to network in friendly atmosphere of Lodz Film School (full of interesting beautiful people).

The whole event was basically pitch/stand-up/lectures of the inspiring people connected to film business, producers, marketing managers and computer scientists working with production and virtual reality.

My top-3?

Joe Krawczyk’s (founder of IndaHash) speaking about the impact of the online influencers on customer’s choice, power of Instagram as a marketing tool and presenting your ideas in visually attractive way.

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Eve-Marine Joly from Day For Night Productions, France, about their ongoing project realized in virtual reality technique (I had a chance to talk to her during the afterparty, lovely person with a strong mind!). Their organization – apart from many other projects – is strongly supported by the French government in production of films promoting the human rights protection. What Eve-Marine presented during the pitching session of Filmteractive Market (start-ups could present their ideas and win the prize to found their development) was the VR film dedicated for museums and educational institutions in which you can observe and get involved into the life-stories of prostitutes. My first thought was ‘Wtf, only perverts who are not brave enough to do it in real life will go for it’, but Eve-Marine clearly pointed out that there is no pornography involved and no matter how controversial it looks like, it is just supposed to open our eyes to the facts behind the prostitution. Did you know that most of these girls were raped or sexually abused from very early age?

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The guys from World of VR on their project supporting people with authism in the involvment in every-day life of society. Their short video in which you can put yourself into shoes of Marek – authistic guy trying to find his place in the office – was a masterpiece and I was surprised that I haven’t seen it anywhere before. I was disappointed that this project did not win the main prize… Everyone just loved it. And I would really like content like this to go more viral – among all the bullsh*t you can find online, I would be glad if people come across something more valuable from time to time.

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It was my second time to work with Deloitte Digital and hopefully not the last. I’ve met the team during FOTOFESTIWAL in Łódź, 2 or 3 years ago, and it was great to work with them again.

What was my job? Together with the 6 other volunteers we were basically emergency team fixing all the unpredicted situations. I was registering guests, printing their badges, making tea, explaining the setup of the event thousand times, carrying chairs to the stage, bringing food to people too lazy to get it themself, giving an interview for Martin Percy’s promotion material.

What made me really happy about this job was the chance to develop in what interests me recently the most – digital marketing (so far from Biomedical Engineering again!). As the only volunteer ready and brave enough to do it, I was supporting the Social Media Manager in producing the SM live commentary from the event. Kasia would need 5 hands to deal with all the apps and websites at ones, so I was super happy to take over the event’s Instagram account and I think I’ve done well. We even talked about the possibilities of working for them in the nearest future… That’s called networking!

For one day I succeeded to forget about the engineering world and have a lot of fun and inspiration from creative people. At the end of the day I was super tired but also happy to party with the other volunteers. Unfortunately my organism does not like the intensity of my lifestyle and today I woke up very sick. Yes, THAT sick that I even decided to stay at home, work a bit on what I can do online (BSc thesis for example, finally!) and just have a day for myself to take a rest.

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Sex and The City – my lesson of being a woman

Yes, I tend to watch too many TV series… Especially now, in the era of Netflix, streaming and torrents (nope, I still don’t know how to use the latter ones). Some of them are just time-fillers – I don’t think there is much more to Friends or Weeds than being a background for doing my high school homeworks. Other type of series are the ones, which I started watching cause everyone was already watching them: Breaking Bad, Homeland, House of Cards, Game of Thrones… And the people where right, I really liked all of them.

My forever-number-one is Black Mirror, but I should devote a separate post to this masterpiece. For now – another important series: not really ambitious, not the best quality or screenplay, but the one I probably learnt a lot from. Living in a big city, following your passions, planning an ambitious career, living a high-class lifestyle, being a happy single or a happy person in relationship, staying a good friend… Being yourself!

In the city which moves that fast that they give you a Sunday newspaper on Saturday, how any of us would now how much time we have left? There are so many things I have never done…

That is how my life looks like right now.

Welcome to the age of uninnocence. No one has breakfasts at Tiffany’s and no one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfasts at 7AM and the affairs we try to forget.

Well, yeah. Like this too… And I guess it is partially the sickness of our generation. We do not really care about things and bonds, we just run forward, live with constant fear of missing out, want more and more…

The primitive Greeks clung desperately to myths to explain the random hopelessness of their miserable lives. Do modern day singles need modern day myths just to help us get through our random and sometimes miserable relationships?

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I feel the same way about being a bridesmaid as you feel about Botox. Painful and unnecessary.

That is how I feel now about my friends getting engaged (at least 4 people this year, while I was away!), while I am just getting drunk, having random ‘boyfriends’ and living from one travel to another.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.

And I feel it and I love it.

They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.

Everything is fine until it is not. I experienced it badly before, got over it and than experienced it again. I am still not fine, but I gonna be. Time heals all wounds. It’s okay, baby, only words bleed.

My dream jobs

Post for the symbolical first day of academic year 2017/2018 (well, I am not in school yet, but that is a different story).

My choice of the career path was quite random. After I graduated from high school at the age of 18, I did not have much idea what to do with my life (and ended up with depression just when the university was about to start… I made it through anyway!). It is not that popular in Poland to take a gap year, go to work or travel… Maybe because we are not such a rich country. Most of my friends went to the university directly after graduating from high school and were exactly as confused as I was.

The only good point about that decision was that I was sure I wanna do some kind of engineering. I could not imagine myself in any humanistic studies! I was considering medicine too, but I decided that I don’t want to spend at least 10 more years in school, start earning with a shitty salary of resident doctor and have to deal with many overwhelming cases. On the other hand – my Mom is a doctor, radiologist to be precise, she works at oncology department of one of major hospitals in my cities. This specialisation is quite comfy – shorter working hours due to the increased level of exposion to X-ray radiation, not much contact with physical patients – just their photos… There is a lot to complain about too, like salary – in public hospitals it is miserable and the doctors need to work extra hours in private clinics to do this decent money they deserve for saving lifes.

So I wanted to do engineering… But what exactly? My Grandfather was an Electrical Engineer, my Dad graduated from Textile Engineering but works more like Mechanical, Electronics or Industrial Engineer. I was thinking of Civil Engineering, but again – did not want to spend many more years after graduation learning for the national tests and passing the crucial certifications.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

Here I am – in a couple of months graduating from Biomedical Engineering. It seemed interesting, I went for it and after many struggles – I LOVED it. It is exactly the chimera between medicine and engineering! Although I am still more -engineer that bio- (since ALWAYS, my biology classes were never on a decent level). I can see myself working in my field, I find it fascinating and very promising in next decades, although not developing in miserable Poland yet, that’s why I am moving out of the country.

But what if…? What if I was brave enough not to follow my common sense? What if I followed my passions?

Event planning and management. Oh for Christ’s sake, I would love it! I am a natural planner, I like attending events too 😀 I was in a student commitee in high school, co-organized two huge club parties (one more, second less succesful), many internal events, coordinated groups of people. I also like doing planning for others – if I HAVE TO work in a group (I hate it), I am the one responsible for documentation, schedule, details… I am also a party girl, have quite a good taste for music, food and decorations, understand people well. I can’t wait to organize my friends’ bachelor and hen parties (yes, bisexual person can do both! Don’t tell me NO!), help them with weddings and baby showers… I was also an official ‘party manager’ in my last job in Germany, while it was summer and I organized company bbq’s almost every second week. I am born for it.

Translator. As you can see, I am pretty good with languages. Native Polish, almost bilingual with English – currently I speak those two languages on equal level of proficiency, read Polish faster but write English better. I think in both languages, count mostly in Polish. I do not have Polish accent while speaking English, people mostly confuse me with Dutch, German or Scandinavian. My Spanish is quite good. I do not learn it anymore (2 years of classes and 3 months of living there seem to be enough for now), but I enjoy practicing with native speakers when I have a chance to. I already gave up with French, although some time ago wanted to learn it due to love reasons. I understand and can read quite a lot, though. After half a year in Sweden it would be a sin not to learn any Swedish. So I did! I can order a coffe, ask for a time, pick up a guy, be polite in many sitations. Now German is my goal, as I am hopefully moving there next year. Italian is my fantasy, for me it is a language of passion, love, sex, food, art and culture, and I will definitely find some time in my life to learn it properly. Hindi would be useful for the reasons of understanding my new religion fully. Not to mention the fact that I understand quite a lot of Russian, Ukrainian, Czech and Slovak… I love languages and talking to people, I write quite well… I guess I would be a good translator.

Writer. I see myself there too! Only if I had more practice… And more background in any humanistic studies! Maybe English or Roman philology? Psychology? Sociology? International Relations? It all seems so interesting. And seems a good point to start. But that is not a direction I wanna go professionaly into, it is just a hobby and I would be over the moon if I even am able to make any money on it. Thanks to my writing I talk more to other writers, subconsciously interview people while talking to them, make a lot of notes and voice memos, share a lot more on Facebook. I also learn Digital Marketing, some coding, auto-promotion… And now I wanna make my step into creative writing, that is why I joined the Story Is A State Of Mind school & community started by Sarah Selecky. Let’s see where it ends up…

DJ or photographer. I consider myself a creative person. Maybe not particularly talented in any artistical sense, but creative. I talk a lot, I have many good idea, I am curious and like exploring. When I was 14, I used to win many photography competitions and take really good pictures… I didn’t think that it is possible until it happened – it IS possible to lose a talent. Now I have to go into cooperations with other photographers (always genius: Ana Estrada, Bence Fejes, and one is to come soon) to provide good content for a blog.
I like good music too. A lot of Polish alternative, Swedish electronic, some indie… Apart from pop and latin music which I sing for fun, I would like to be skilled and talented enough to make my own music!

Restaurant manager. And finally the thing which all of us love – food. I do not work well enough under pressure to be a chef, but I would love to own a restaurant (small italian place in Rome? Coffeshop with pedigree food in Amsterdam?), manage it, take care of supplies and interior design, do selection of staff and guests… Just a little dream. Why not? I used to have a teacher on my Anatomy & Physiology course, he was (still is) Italian, spoke perfect Polish and apart from teaching at Medical University, owned an Italian restaurant and during his cigarette breaks was giving us recipes for tiramisu. Again – why not?

Dreams are as close as you keep them.

Depths of Internet vol.1

I am not The New York Times, but I have a taste.

Many of other bloggers I follow and respect, even look up to, have a custom to write from time to time a post collecting all the valuable content we can find among all the rubbish on the internet. I decided to do the same, as there are so many profound, or at least entertaining, things out there! And what can be more inspiring than other authors, artists, voices of the generation, online marketing experts, social media addicts who DO know how to do it?

First of all – the bloggers I follow.

One and only, genius red-head, 30 years old strong independent woman living in London. Infinite source of inspiration, good taste, psychology, big city lifestyle, career planning, reaching better and higher every day – Marta Kaczyńska RIENNAHERA (PL)

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My friend from uni, really smart and ambitious, one of the best students, fitness and sport junkie, vegetarian, life fighter, Polish Blair Waldorf, full of charm and class, on her journey to become a happier personPaulina Wyrwas PAULLAJNA (ENG)

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Super-tall basketball player, medicine student, friend of a friend of a friend, we met a couple of times on the parties in my hometown. I follow him for some years already, but didn’t have a chance to talk to him as a blogger yet. Very mature for his age. This guys helps me preserve the thought that there are still some young, decent, emotionally sensitive men out there – Adam Bartkiewicz (PL)

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But I am a lot into art too… Modern art museums are the only ones I visit while travelling, apart from wandering around and noticing street art.

Met this guy here, in India, and fell in love with his photographs, even if I really got to know him on his last evening in Manipal. He is still a source of pictures for my posts, with full credits of course. I wish I hadn’t dropped photography a few years back, and I really admire his talent – Bence Fejes

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A modern Indian guy I met on one of the parties in my hostel, when I sneaked into the boy’s floor… We talked a lot, he surprised me almost as much as I surprised him with my stories, gave me a lot of laughs too – Rumit Dalal

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For the last couple of days I really have life of a professional writer. I do not work, as my supervisor is on the sick leave, so I go for yoga at 7AM, come back having a healthy shake on my way home, take a nap or watch Netflix for an hour, do some writing, exchange emails, settle my life plans and little organisational issues, do shopping, do some more writing, meet friends for lunch, complete my duties outside, come back for yoga at 5pm, shower, go for dinners and parties. I do not think I could do it longterm – I am far too lazy, wouldn’t be able to motivate myself enough if permanently working from home. Plus I expect I am really far from making money on writing…