Wednesday, 29 February 2012

If You Want to Write

Being a writer is one the biggest decision a person can make. I don't mean writing as in writing letters, shopping lists, or reports for work. Or even a thesis for a Master or PhD programme. A writer is a person who writes whatever, whenever, and doesn't care about other people's acceptance or admiration.

That last quality is what separates real writers from people who write because they can. A writer, a real one, must have courage. Almost all writers start out badly. Only the courageous ones venture forth, brushing aside criticism and negativities along the way.

I faced the same problem when started this blog. I was filled with enthusiasm when I wrote the first few entries. After that, fear began to flood my mind. I thought I was not good enough, and I was too clever for my own good. My readers were bored of me. Nobody will come here again after their first visit. The list of things I worried about was nearly endless.

At my good friend's encouragement, I took some time away from writing anything on this blog and thought about the good things I've gained since I started the whole thing. I was nowhere near as good as I wanted to be, but I know, I'm certain, I am getting there. My editing skills improved. My typing speed increased. Most importantly, I met several wonderful people, fellow bloggers and readers, who are also writers-in-training.

This is certainly what this book encourages, to write without fear or the need to impress. In fact, the author believe the same is true for all kinds of art. The 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, she told, was once in London to study. He looked out from his windows at the streets one evening and wrote to his brother in Holland, "It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks." He pulled out a piece of paper and began sketching the scene.

Today, someone with the same eyes might turn on a camera or cameraphone and began snapping and emailing or Bluetoothing pictures to someone who cares. (Obviously I'm not referring to people who pass by roadside accidents and record what they saw and uploading it.)

For someone who long believed that they're writers or at least believe in the power of writing, this book will tell nothing new. But it will remind them of important lessons about being a writer, and about the long journey a person must embark on if he or she decides to become one. 


nahmy said...

me too still got the enthusiastic feeling in becoming a writer, still has. have written 20 a-4 size pages 4 years ago and today there's no changes on the number! bila nak siap tak tahu la plak..

r.o.l. said...

That's good, nahmy. Write without any pressure or feeling to impress other people. Slowly, you'll get to the end. Lagi pun, ilmu perlu ditulis untuk dikongsi.

Sharifah said...

Good post. I think we are lucky to have blogging today, as it enables us to practice and improve our writing, and also to share our thoughts and ideas with others.

r.o.l. said...

Thank you, Sharifah. Your compliment means a lot, coming from an actual published and experienced writer :-) This blog is my sandbox, where I punch keys and organise my thoughts, hoping to write something worth reading.

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