Craig-515 On Writing, Blogging, Getting People To Notice You, And Homemade Dinners In Japan!

Craig note- We discuss “making it” in writing, blogging, and Social Media! Plus, we feature some yummy, yummy, yummy home cooking! (Adapted and reprinted from my new eBook…)

Cover Art: Hannah Olinger@hannaholinger


On Living A Long Time In Japan

Expat life.

I did not think I would ever spend so many years living abroad. It often surprises people to learn I was unhappy to come to Japan. I believed I had completely failed in life when I “had to” come to Japan.

(Dude; make no mistake, I failed in America.)

There was something about seeing every single person I knew “make it in America.” And; yet, I could not. There is still a small part of me that laments coming to this island.

And, of course, I am not.

To be sure, I have worked hard to build a life for me and my loved ones here.

My existence while of little consequence to the universe, world, or Japan has been a happy one these last 13 plus years. I am blessed beyond all measure. But, there was no part of my life that I could 100% call mine.

And, that bothered me.

On Waiting Too Long For A Big Break

I kept waiting for a great opportunity to come my way in Japan. I write often in my books and on my blog about “being more.” And, I thought I was; at least, a “little somebody” in the world.

But, then, I turned 40.

I took stock of my life, and I was disappointed. Now, this is not like some bridge-jumping depression. I love being alive.


(Actually, that conversation eventually angered me enough that I nearly left Japan, my wife, and responsibilities.)

On Setting Out To Be Remembered In Life

I set out to see if I could not change my lot in life and reach the brass ring of success as an expat in Japan.

I wrote a novel.

It had been a bucket list sort of thing for me for years. Honestly, I was just happy to finish it. But; of course, nobody knew who I was, and my book stayed buried among the millions of books out there.

I didn’t care (too much).

And, I was not against making a living as a writer. But, I had realistic expectations. Quickly, I realized I had to get my name out there if I was to have any chance at tangible writing success.

Too, I posted content from a blog I had when I first arrived in Japan. And, I tweeted out tons of Japanese food pictures.

I thought I was on to something.

But, I wasn’t.

On The Reality Of Social Media Marketing

It would be wonderful to tell you that thousands of people read my blog, and I got millions of Twitter followers.

But, that would be a lie.

(Nobody cared.)

My day job and real life keeps me hopping. It seemed stupid to chase dreams past the age of 40 and write for eight followers.

But, I kept writing.

And, I wrote and wrote, and wrote, and I put together a solid effort.

Or so I thought.

On The People Who Get In The Way Of Your Dreams

The trolls had other ideas. I did not care that they did not like it. And, it did not bother me they trashed it essay-length reviews.

And, I kept writing.

On Finding Writing, Blogging, And Social Media Success

My blog passed 100, 200, 300, 400, and now 500 posts. I have written on Social Media, Japan, Japanese food, expat life, and life in general. No doubt, I have been relentless on Twitter.

And, it worked!

But, I keep writing.

This blog (and my book) is collection my thoughts, feelings, and musings about my life, life abroad, and the bigger picture of existence. It would rather egotistical of me to think you will love every post.

Oh; and, as for me, I’ll just keep:

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Bonus Food Picture And Blog Posts

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Got a Question for the Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin Mailbag? Send it to:

@craighoffman11 on Twitter

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”- E. L. Doctorow

Originally published at on October 31, 2018.



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Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”