Tuesday, November 26, 2013


"I wrote this record while 30,000 feet in the air," Hol' Up by Kendrick Lamar.

So at this point I have just finished reading Khaled Hosseini's And The Mountains Echoed after lugging the book around for almost two weeks. As usual, I updated my GoodReads account, wrote a review on the book and thought "update pi lah blog pun", but not to review the book lah of course.

You see, one of my not-so-recent ambitions is to write fiction. Short stories, novels, doesn't really matter. I just want to be able to tell stories through writing. I marvel at and envy people who are able to do this well, Khaled Hosseini being one of them. He became a doctor before actually publishing his first book when he was 38. It took him some time, but in the end he pulled through and ended up being super-successful too. But I digress.

I follow a few writer-help-twitter-accounts on twitter and one of them tweeted something that sounded like this: "There's no such thing as an aspiring writer. You either write or you don't." And it hit me quite hard in my brain's figurative nuts. I am merely a wannabe-but-never-gonna-be.

I've always had this thought that one day, I'm going to be a writer. One day, I'll publish books. One day, one day. But I never actually wrote anything. I barely write on my blog as it is. I write assignments out of sheer force. Heck, I barely even write shopping lists.

And I have the gall to say that I'm going to be a writer? You may laugh that off immediately.

Macklemore says in his song Ten Thousand Hours "the greats weren't great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they painted a lot." I can't depend on this inner-feeling that I have that says that I'll be a writer someday. Why can't that someday be today? Why can't I be a writer now?

I give myself a lot of excuses as to why I can't write right now. Because I don't have a great idea yet. Because I haven't read enough books yet. Because I'm too busy, too tired, too occupied with other things to write. 

I have a friend who writes lots. He's a law students. He says he doesn't really read that many books. Not fictional ones anyway. He takes the attitude of "I write what I want to write. Whether you like it or not is not my problem". He also shared a quote on twitter the other day that goes "a writer is not judged by how well he writes; only by how badly he wants to write". And in that sense, I suppose I don't really have enough desire to write, judging from the multiple excuses I give myself to run away from actually writing. Because I'm afraid that I'll suck?

I shouldn't be afraid of sucking because I most definitely AM going to suck. No doubt about it. I most definitely AM going to produce shit-quality material. But that's irrelevant. The reality is 1 shit piece of writing is one step ahead and above no piece of writing at all. And, anakpakman, you're only kidding yourself when you say that you'll only be able to produce the same quality material for the rest of your life. You're only kidding yourself when you say that you won't improve after writing 100 shit-stories. You're only kidding yourself when you say you can't do it.

The fact of the matter is, you'll become a better writer as you write. So write, anakpakman, write now. Not tomorrow. Now.

May peace be upon you.



Unknown said...

All the best. You actually inspires me with your so called "shit" stories. Keep on writting and never stop writting ya... looking forward for your next writting. Assalamualaikum

Anonymous said...

Yes! Do it for YOU. Write because you want to. Write so that you can read it again. Don't bother about the outcome yet.

It doesn't matter NOW if there will be readers in the future. You can't please everyone. But eventually, you will find that there ARE readers who will appreciate your writings and benefit from them. Us readers, for example.

It's usually the first step that is the most challenging. So challenge yourself! JUST START. And then take one step at a time.

You are blessed with skills in language and writing, so use it! :) You'll be fine insyaAllah.

sakilah said...

good luck! find ur own satisfactions then u will surprise how good ur materials are :)
if they come out bad, at least u have found ur own satisfactions haha *joke ;p

nanadhoi said...

"the greats weren't great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they painted a lot."

okay terasa bersemangat sekejap.

arifah said...

Never read this one but it's on my list.
You should read the other Khaled's work. The Kite Runner.It's awesome. and INSPIRING :)

Lady Dearie said...

You took the words right out of my head(coining the "term you took the words out of my mouth", because i don't plan on ever speaking of such things out loud)!

I could absolutely relate. I've always enjoyed writing stories when I was in high school. But then I stopped and i blamed my parents and my current situation for losing a habit or hobby that happens to be quite wonderful if not, therapeutic for me.

I want to be a writer, but i was put on a different path instead. And i hated it, so i complained, and whined and the anger just kept on building. It is frustrating.

But this post, thanks to this post, the aggravation has dissipated a little bit. I feel like writing again. So thank you. Despite of what you may think of yourself, you ARE inspiring.

I hope you could motivate yourself as much as had motivated me. bye!

PS Hope the following "essay" had not 'creeped' you out. I do that sometimes. I can't stop writing once i started.