Big Life - Chapter 20

“Canned Food?”

Somii frowned and warily squinted at Jaegun.

The random remark from Jaegun made no sense.

“Do you not know the term. The writer’s canned food…”

Jaegun slurred his words and asked with his eyes.

After staring blankly and meeting each other glances, Somii could think of the term “canned food” from a dinner spot

“Are you talking about… that canned food?”

Even a newcomer employee like Somii knew what canned food meant.

Canned food was a term that meant caging a writer in a specific place and forcing him to write.

It was basically squeezing words out of writers who were struggling to write and their deadline was up ahead.

Either they were lazy and liked playing around, they were having too much thoughts about their project, or their mentality is floored because they are suffering from bad reviews. It wasn’t one or two so it was hard to figure out.

Jaegun, before his debut, laughed when he heard that term. He didn’t feel that since it was a work that all people do, they wouldn’t completely force someone to write like that.

But it was real.

It was during his 2nd series.

Jaegun was struggling because of the lack of sales so he was holding on to the 3rd book in the series for 2 months. And during that time, he got a call from the still head editor at that time, Tewon.

“Writer Ha, the writing isn’t going well, right? The weather is good so you should have lunch with me to change your mood. Wear something comfortable.

Tewon said in his usual tender tone of voice.

It was weird that he asked for comfortable clothes, but Jaegun brushed it off and went to the meeting place. And as soon as he got on Tewon’s car, he got dragged to the publisher’s office and ate lunch with fried rice.

“Have a smoke on the roof.”

They were Tewon’s words to Jaegun who finished eating. He wasn’t telling him to go home. He was telling him to smoke and come back.

Feeling weird, Jaegun’s eyes slowly saw the office corner’s scenery.

It was a rectangular shaped room with a thin and long dimension.

In the room was a computer, a table, and a small bed. The walls were half glass so the outside could see the inside.

Called the canned food jail.

It was the moment that he saw the reality.

Jaegun lived there for a week since that day.

The 3 meals of each day was solved by the editors that delivered food. After the employee’s left, he went to the public restroom, locked it, connected a hose, and took a shower there.

When he wasn’t eating or sleeping, he invested everything into writing. Since the only method of escape was through finishing his work, he put all his effort into it.

Then Jaegun realized.

Words could be written if they were squeezed hard enough.

He couldn’t stand the employee’s glances without writing anything. When he couldn’t think of anything, he recited the national anthem from 1st verse to the 4th and stood strong. Therefore, Jaegun could finish it in just a week and went home dejected.

“I have to write something fast right now. There’s no writer who would ask canned food, so this may be weird, but when you’re around, it feels like I can think and write better.”

Jaegun blocked Somii and laid out his words.

The only excuse he could think of was this.

He was sharing her emotions through Rika. If she leaves, then he can’t finish Oh Sumin’s dialogue perfectly.

“Do you understand?”

“Ye-? Yes, writer…. I understand.”

Somii confusedly bit her lips.

Jaegun continued as his heart was burning with urgency.

“I won’t ask you to stay long. Just please stay until your remaining time. I feel like I need a editor next to me so I can write fast.”

“But with your Ranking series, that seems fast enough.”

“That was actually written before.”

Jaegun cut her off.

Somii hesitant looked at her feet. Then she checked her phone and looked up.

“About 2 hours to 3 hours…”


Jaegun opened his wides wide. It was way longer than he expected. Somii nodded her head awkwardly smiling .

“I have time because I finished my work early. I don’t need to return to my office after I finish, so I was thinking to go to a cafe and edit there.”

“Do it here, the wifi is great.”

“Can I do that?”

“Of course, use the desk here, there’s coke, juice and cookies in the refrigerator so take them as you want.

Jaegun quickly set up a workplace for Somii.

Somii modestly sat in front of the desk and opened her bag. She had her laptop everywhere so she could work anytime.

‘A very strange person.’

Somii thought as she took out her notebook.

Asking for canned food to an editor who came to give a present.

It wasn’t long since she started her job as an editor, but a writer like this was a first. And it looked like there wouldn’t be another one.

But strangely a laugh came.

A man like Jaegun who randomly asked for canned food didn’t bother her at all. The room that she had never seen looked like a comfortable space that she had been to many times before.

Tap! Tap! Taptaptap! Tap!

Jaegun was already concentrating and typing.

With the energetic typing, Somii also started her editing work with new found energy.

‘Yeah, this is good, the first conservation is done. Next is at the convenience store date.

Jaegun with Somii’s help wrote Oh Sumin’s dialogue.

He had lost the power to write 10,000 words per hour, but this moment was inspiring. The wrote continuously kept filling the screen.

Beep! Beep!

Jaegun’s phone that was on the bed vibrated.

It was between the bed, and Jaegun was concentrating on his work, thus he didn’t hear it.

“There, Writer.”

It was after 2 hours, Somii said.

“Yes, go ahead.”

“Editor Tewon sent a message. There’s a StarBooks writer meeting next week, Writer Ha has to come this time.”

“Writer metting… sure.”

Jaegun didn’t think long before he accepted. His two eyes were stuck on the screen.

In the past, Tewon asked him to go to writer meetings. But he never answered. Because he was a writer that didn’t sell well. When he thought that he would be between the selling writers, He just started drinking again and again, he didn’t want to attend at all.

“Tell him I’m totally going.”

Jaegun added.

Now the situation was completely different. Now he was a dark horse and a new selling writer, so there was no reason to not attend.

“Wow, I’m hungry, Somii, do you want to eat?”

Jaegun asked as he turned around in his chair. He didn’t eat anything from morning so he was starving.

“Ah, I am a bit hungry. Should I order something from the chinese restaurant?”

“That is convenient, but I never ordered before…”

“I’ll search it up, hm, there’s a lot of them, what’s should I order.”

“I’ll take the black bean noodles, you can order something expensive. I’m buying.”

“OK. I’ll get something very expensive.”

Somii, smiling, called the restaurant. The expensive thing that she ordered was the black bean noodles, same as Jaegun. After she said the address, she cut off.

“It’ll take about 10 minutes.”

“The chinese restaurants are fast.”

Jaegun answered and stood up to pour coffee.

It was about 1 minute since he turned on the coffee pot and boil the water. As he was pouring the boiling water, the doorbell rang.

“This is so fast? Do they make these before?”

Jaegun went to the door and opened the door. But the person who was in front of the door wasn’t the deliveryman with the metal bag.

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