Reminisce

Back when I was a new Mum, I started a blog with a friend about our early days in motherhood. It was great, but sadly, it didn’t last for very long.

I’ve often thought of reviving it since having my second son, but have been delaying it because the site does kind of need some kind of sprucing up, and just as with every other project I hope to embark on, I am always hoping to devote enough time till I am satisfied with the result before making it public/known.

But aargh. Will it ever happen? Or will it be like almost every other motherhood related project I’ve ever dreamed up: Never executed, only to have my child grow up. Pfft.

I intended to recruit a bigger pool of writers this time, and to maybe extend the content contribution to go beyond just writing to maybe even art forms or any other kind of expression that can properly encapsulate the journey of motherhood.

So far, I’ve only mentioned these intentions to the original friend whom I started the blog with and another Mum friend. Heh. I wonder will I be creating unnecessary expectations that I can’t meet. I seem to be always doing that.

Anyway, it was kind of quaint to revisit those old blog posts and to briefly remember what it was like in Jamie’s first year of life. Oh how well I wrote back then. How I pen words these days seems to be but a shadow of my past writer self.

I can’t stay for long at the moment (isn’t that always the case nowadays?) but I’m glad I popped in.

Dear reader, I hope you are well. I certainly haven’t blogged as frequently as I had hoped (again, normal behaviour by my standards, isn’t it?) but I hope you’re still hanging on every word. Rest assured that whenever I am not posting something here I am actually endlessly thinking of what is worth writing about here. But self censorship prevails way too often, unfortunately.

Well, the morning’s coming so I’ll catch you later.

Oh, here we are

It’s 2019 and I have been absent from the blogging scene for quite some time now. And regrettably so, too. So much has happened, and it could have been stuff I blogged about and shared with you. But I didn’t.

Everything always feels so haphazard here. All these disconnected thoughts and ideas. The good intentions that remain just that.

Maybe it’s like this for me because on the Internet, everyone’s got their public profile so carefully polished such that it makes me feel that whatever I have to offer is so meagre and pointless. Like nobody is going to read it or care about it.

But every time those kind of sentiments engulf me, I ask myself again, why do I keep a blog? Is it just to collect thousands upon thousands of followers? Do I write to inspire? Am I doing so to make myself feel good or to solicit some form of validation from others to convince myself that my writing is legit and of sound quality?

It’s hard to write blog posts, perhaps, because writing is my trade. If I let a typo slip through the cracks, it feels like it completely blots out my credibility as a writer. So I keep putting off posting anything till I feel I have something worthwhile to say and the time and space to put it down in proper words.

Thanks to this ridiculous tendency to self-censor what I write though, I end up not posting ANYTHING most of the time. And that’s terribly sad.

I’d like to try blogging more often. I would like to say once a day, at least, whatever the content might be, but that feels like it’s a goal I’m going to break within less than a week. I don’t know. I feel like such an indisciplined bum.

I need to write to improve. I also perhaps need an outlet to say stuff that I feel matters.

I don’t really have any Insta-worthy pics to put up though. And no revolutionary topics to bring to the fore. I only have these tiny thoughts that bubble up from inside me. And this desire to bring cheer and encouragement to someone else who needs it.

I’m into my 30’s and I do realise that probably almost half of my life may have already passed me by. I don’t know how much impact I can have, neither do I know whether the rest of the years I have left will be enough for me to get good at all those things I should have worked on earlier in my life.

But perhaps, this year, I will try a bit harder to keep this blogging habit alive. No promises though.

Blog buddy

I am happy to note that a friend of mine has recently joined the WordPress community. 

It’s becoming a rare thing indeed these days to have friends who blogs. I miss the time when nearly everyone was blogging and it was customary to include the links of your friends’ blogs in the sidebar of your own blog. Having friends leave comments in your posts was really fulfilling. At least you know they had read all that you had written. 

Well, those days are long gone. 

So you can imagine my glee whenever someone I know decides to start a blog of their own. 

MY is a churchmate and a most talented cook. She writes of her AIP journey, kitchen capers and other miscellaneous adventures at The Food Quarters. Do drop by to check it out. 

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.

Difficult

It is difficult to write these days, even more so to blog. I am still trying to figure out why.

Perhaps it’s because of a lack of enchantment over day-to-day events (as compared to the past foolish excitement experienced while blogging during adolescence)? Or overwhelmingly stringent principles of self-editing that were previously non-existent? Maybe it’s due to the fear of sounding silly or trivial? Or, just the evidence a creative mind turned dull thanks to being seared by routine?

I came across an interesting blog today called Life For Beginners, which has been set up by another Malaysian writer who also blogs. I find his short posts quite captivating, and in response, I once again beat myself up mentally for not trying harder to at least put up blog posts more regularly or to write about more fascinating subject matter.

It’s funny how my creative writing abilities have gone downhill since I started writing for a living. Something seriously needs to be done.