I’ve been on a mini-writing hiatus of about (let’s see) four days now, and wanting to get back to typing, I thought about what I was going to write about. None immediately came to mind, so I checked my idea-bank (which I store in my twitter drafts place). It was empty. a little frazzled, but not to give up on myself, I asked myself, “what do people usually write about?”
I quick stroll through the Malaysian-published books in your local bookstore would suggest that the most popular thing to write about is love, followed closely by religion, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll concentrate on love being a topic people write about.
There have been novels upon novels with the word “cinta” on them for the majority of literary works produced by local authors throughout the years (this trend is currently being superseded by having “suamiku” in the titles) until at one point, I even asked myself if any author could get published if their book-titles were to be without that word, or similarly themed words such as “rindu”.
Of course, there are definitely a handful of books that go on to be pretty popular that are without those words in the title such as the works of Hlovate and Ramli Awang Mursyid, but they make the minority. Everybody seemed to want to write about love.
And upon looking back at my own blog, that theme is one of the themes that I touch very little on (at least in my non-fictional kind of writing). It’s a topic that I’ve seemed to always want to steer clear of, and that is the case because, firstly, I don’t like doing what everyone else is doing for the sake of doing it because everyone else is doing it (hipster teroxxx), but secondly, and more importantly, I don’t feel adept at explaining it.
So many people go around expressing their views about love as if their views of it is gospel and like there’s a one-size-fits-all solution to love and any problems you may have with it. I’m sure many of them learn new things as they go about their lives and end up changing their views about it several times throughout, which isn’t a bad thing at all, since we’re all humans and we make mistakes and growth doesn’t come without change. To that effect, any view that we have of the world is bound to evolve and change somehow, so it’s acceptable to not hold on to just one view for too long.
But I don’t talk about love (at least that ewwy mushy kind) because of cooties. No, I’m just kidding. It’s because I don’t see myself as any kind of authority in it. What I do know is that what works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others, and that’s basically a general rule for everything in life, not just love.
I do, however, believe that love is one of the most beautiful emotions bestowed upon us, and I only use the word “beautiful” to describe it because of the lack of a better word in my limited vocabulary. It is the emotion that every parent feels towards their children. It is the feeling we have towards our siblings (or at least the one I have for mine). It is the only word on your mind when we finally discover our soul-mates. It is what drives us through hard times. It is what makes us smile. It is what makes us cry. It is what makes us human. It is our common denominator.
I have written love stories before, for sure. A perusal of the fiction-section of my book would make that obvious. But to say I’ve figured love out? No. I have so much more to learn.