Failed!

So it’s August already and I might as well say it now. I failed at Camp Nanowrimo. Me and the word “Nanowrimo” really don’t seem to jive very well. It’s sad.

But a part of me knows that I had sort of already declared myself defeated (internally) before it actually happened in real life. Funny thing is that I did try at first. Yet I kind of expected it. 

And when that distasteful blowup occurred with family lately (an incident that I suppose I should address to some degree of greater detail at some point), I guess I gave up keeping on with the writing. Because it all made me feel so lousy. Like, why bother doing it when I’m such a horrible person inside?

See, the thing about this family issue was that it hits at one of my core beliefs that family is everything, and a huge part of my heart is broken when I realise that sometimes the things I felt about my family weren’t always valued as much by the people on the other end. Also the glaring reality that family members still to this day do not really understand what I am all about nor seem to actually care that I have an avenue to express my feelings or be myself. 

Well, this is something that has been brewing under the surface for awhile now, so I guess it’s no wonder that an eruption would take place at some point.

Whatever it is, it feels like there’s a splinter that just got embedded on the inside of my heart. And although melancholy does sometimes help writing along, something of this magnitude isn’t something you’d want to hope to have even if it is for art’s sake.

Perhaps I have myself to blame? For all these unfinished writing endeavours. For even starting in the first place yet being halfhearted and torn about it all. Ironic too that the theme of my writing project had been imperfection. Oh yes. Seemed like a brilliant idea at the time.

And then there are all these relationships I’m supposed to have nurtured better. Which I am apparently not doing too well at either.

It’s never fun when things explode or implode in front of you. I feel like I just had both.

Nobody reads this

It's just a hunch, but I'm almost pretty sure that none of the people I know in real life are actually reading my blog. Or even know that I have this one out there.

I could do the narcissistic thing of posting about it on social media like what most people might do. In fact, I had done so in the past. But then it feels so much like asking for markah kesian from the school teacher. I'd rather people stumble upon the blog than me having to stuff it in front of their face and make them feel obliged to comment or do anything about it.

But this isn't saying I don't appreciate you, my random reader. If even one person out there reads any of this and derives something positive out of it, at least I can feel that this is all worth it.

Anyway, whatever the case may be, I'm still committed to writing here and keeping this blog alive. For now. Unless and until something tells me to stop. That moment hasn't come yet.

Time and again

Ironically enough, it's become extremely hard to write anything that I feel is heartfelt and of significant worth nowadays. I've been feeling so ever since I made writing my official career path, I think.

Funny, isn't it, since you'd think that because you're devoting more time perfecting your craft, you should be better at it and everything should come so much more naturally than it did in the past?

But this is how it's been. Regrettably too, might I add.

I revisited the old, first proper blog I ever wrote, Veritas Project, recently. It surprised me just how differently I used to write. So uninhibited. So candid.

In some ways, I wish I was back at that place and time of my life, and that I had utilised those moments more fully to revel in the emotions of that season more, to write more wholeheartedly. Because now that I am where I'm at in life, here in my 30's, there's a great difference in the things I'd write and how I'd write them.

Yet, of course, I'm not discounting the value of experience and where it has gotten me. I write now through the lens of someone who has seen more, who realises what she is capable of, and who now knows so many more precious things about the world and the seasons and rhythms of life.

Time and again, though, I keep returning to this point of contemplation that I need to put forward a more genuine version of myself whenever I write. Particularly when I blog for a wider audience, like I do here.

The difficulty here lies in the fact that having been a journalist in the not-so-distant past, my writing disciplines have been shaped to habitually involve the practice of self censorship. We do it all the time in the newsroom, although the reasons for doing so may differ each time. The words we allow to escape our keyboard are filtered: tapered down in its depth of feeling, politically correct, shifted and sorted to take on a supposedly neutral form, appealing to the average reader. Which is, in reality, probably no one.

Here in Blogdom, everyone is writing nowadays to garner as much Likes as possible. Building a band of followers that will faithfully swallow whatever you put out for them, just because they feel like you know them. You are like them.

For that is what is being peddled. Writers putting on a front of being an expert and knowing something special. Teasing readers with minimal prose, abandoning the art of it all, and replacing it with GIFs, memes, haphazardly compiled lists of things that nobody needs but everybody identifies with and wants to know about. A place where words are money, so make as much as you can, with as little beauty infused into those sentences. Because, what is the point in poetry? It is unnecessary and underappreciated.

Then there are those writers' circles, those exclusive associations formed amongst writers on social media platforms. Where writers rant and rave about the perils of the realms of publishing and lament the naivety of rookies seeking their way into the fellowship. Spouting advice like, "If your writing is rejected by publishers, it's because it's worthless. Please move along".

I somehow cannot fit into this landscape.

As it is, I already have trouble believing that I am a writer, and even more so calling myself one. And all this… this massive community of successful people before me; corporations who make profits from the words crafted by others; the formality of it all; the formatting of pages, columns, fonts; the rigours of being part of the publishing process… all of this feels stifling to me.

I want to go back to that spot where simplicity and freedom of expression were. That quiet corner in the middle of nowhere that I could sit at for as long as I needed to, use as many paragraphs and pages as I wanted, and express precisely how I feel without fear of judgment or ruthless editing.

Where it was just me and you, my darling reader.

I still want to tell my story. But (and this may be hard to believe, coming from a person with a history like mine) I am having trouble finding the right words.

Camp Nanowrimo, day #3

Precisely what it says.

It has begun. 

Based on my past track record, especially with Nanowrimo, I have not ever finished what I started before. So, it doesn’t bode well for me. But hopefully this time around, something will change and I’ll actually make it to complete my goal. I’ve set myself a very low one this time: Write 31 pages in July, with a spotlight on creative writing. 

I’ve managed to keep up to target so far with an average of a page a day. What would be great is if I can write ahead of time and complete a few pages at once so I have some buffer to spare when I start falling behind (which will almost certainly happen at some point). 

Should I share what I have penned down on this blog? I’m not sure yet. Would it bore you to read 31 days of random, unrefined writing? Let me think about it a bit more before I decide. Perhaps I’ll just share the link to the Google Doc version or something.

Anyway, just a brief description about my Camp Nano project: It’s called Imperfect: A Creative Project and is based around the said theme. I don’t intend for it to become too melancholic, although for the time being, it seems a bit slanted towards that based on what I already wrote. I intend for it to be more of a hope giving, mindset busting kind of thing, but let’s see if I can actually achieve that. Will need to inject some sunshine and humour into it on the next page I write. Hehe. 

Meanwhile, it’s awfully late (isn’t it always?) and I’ve got work commitments. See you later. 

Camp Nanowrimo 

Find out more here
Okay, so I decided on a whim to do this. Yes, this bum of a writer will finally take on a creative mini project. 

Great news is that you can set your own goals for Camp Nanowrimo, rather than the daunting word count require of the usual Nanowrimo held every November (which I had always failed to achieve on all the years I joined bleh). 

This time, I’m keeping it short and simple. So hopefully I’ll make it this time. 

My project has been christened as Imperfect: A creative project. I’ll share more when July arrives. Meanwhile, I’ll need to put some thought into planning this first. Stay tuned! 

This is me (Re-introduction)

Hello world, it’s been awhile. 

And I’m not the person I used to be. 

I’m perhaps a bit wiser, but also a lot more jaded, humbled and reclusive. And self censoring has become such a reflex action that it’s hard to blog candidly as I used to. Also, having a free WordPress site as opposed to a paid hosting service (a relic of the past) has made me even less disciplined in updating this space. 

But I still harbour this love for words. And I still hope to tell you, in full honesty, all about my life, in the false belief that you will not judge me for it. 

I still bubble beneath the surface with whimsical tales and fantasies of a better home, a softer personality, a bolder outlook and a prettier face. (Not to mention, straighter, tamer hair too). 

Sometimes, I feel like wiping clean the entire archives of this blog and starting over. 

But that would not be a real picture of my journey over time. It would just be that idealistic, perfectionistic part of me wanting everything to be just right. 

However, as my Mum has reminded me countless times, life isn’t perfect and things don’t come to us packed in neat, little boxes. Real life is messy and hard to make sense of. But it is beautiful and it has just as much silver linings as it does its share of dark clouds and overcast skies. 

So maybe I should just trudge forward, and not look back on what I used to write. Let this spot on the Web be a testament of my long, painful journey to write something worthwhile. And in your company, dear strange and unknown reader, I may, someday, find my writing voice as I should. And be courageous enough to tell the tales that I thought were ordinary but were special all along. 

This is me. 

The one who loves being home. Who would rather opt for a book than a movie. A soul that comes alive with music, poetry, fictional tales of epic proportions, and arts and crafts of all sizes and shapes. The hopeless romantic. The emotional one. The dreamer. A simple girl. 

I still want to be here. And I’d like you to know my story. 

To be, or not

Just the other day, I had someone contact me on LinkedIn with a possible freelance gig. And then I think I more or less ruined my chances by responding to the said person’s message with a typo in my reply. Hahaha. How becoming of a writer. 

I never heard from that person afterwards. But of course, who would want to consider hiring a person who can’t spell properly? Except that it wasn’t that I can’t spell, but that I hit the wrong command on my Bluetooth keyboard by accident. 

Alas, but total strangers can only judge you based on first impressions. So this HR personnel/recruiter will probably not ever get round to reading any of the good copy I have penned in the past. 

But perhaps it doesn’t matter to me as much right now. 

Perhaps I’m being lazy. Or maybe I’m realising that I should instead be focussing more attention on spending time with my son (which is why I’m stuck in this situation of needing to peddle my wares as a freelancer in the first place when I could really just be in stable, full time employment doing stuff that I’m confident that I can excel in). 

It’s kind of easy to get restless or to fall back into a familiar rut: To jump at every  work opportunity that comes my way, only to realise, sometimes only in restrospect, that it was a bad idea to begin with. 

I still think more money does not equal more happiness. 

Yet maybe there’ll come a day when I’ll regret not being more prompt in responding to job offers. Or failing to promise clients better service. Trying harder, pushing further for the sake of my career. 

But that day is not today. 

*.    *.    *

Small note: Sooo I’m up early on the pretext of wanting to get on top of my mountain of chores. Hence, I need to sign off now. But I hope to be back soon enough. TTFN.