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A blog about writing January 11, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in On Writing.
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So, why a blog about writing?

I always enjoyed writing, but I was never the avid reader that I should have been.  I’d read about things I was interested about at the time.  Sports.  UFOs.  The Occult.  Anything that caught my attention.  But I was always too lazy to write – to express myself.  I did other things.  I wrote a lame horror novel, about 120 written pages when I was about 13 or 14.  Reading it now would make me cringe.  It doesn’t even make sense, but there were some scenes that had potential.  I even drew comics.  But there wasn’t anything I was doing for more than just self-indulgence.

A Fantasy Novel?

About seven years ago, when I was studying in Japan, I got an idea for a fantasy novel.  I hadn’t even finished reading The Lord of the Rings at the time (though I tried, but kept getting stuck at Tom Bombadil – I did eventually finish the books before the first film came out), but I had played a lot of RPG video games.  That’s probably where it started from.  I started writing it, without much planning.  It felt good.  In fact, it felt great.  I was going through some tough times and it helped me get through it.

For some reason or another, I left the project behind.  It was always on the back of my mind, and every now and then I would write a little bit, here or there, but it never came together.  I graduated from university, and became a lawyer at a top-tier law firm.  I don’t know why, but I just kind of fell into it.  It was either law or business, and I found law slightly less dreadful than business.

The stresses of work

And thus began the long hours and stress.  I was working like a madman, and my health suffered.  On the bright side, I started reading more, mostly on the train.  Then the itch came back.  I started writing again.  I returned to the fantasy novel.  I started planning, fleshing out the plot, designing the characters.  It was great.  The train ride to work (and sometimes from, if I finished early enough) became the most enjoyable part of my day.

The problem was, I just kept planning.  And planning.  And planning.  I’d change things here and there, but it was always just planning.  I was afraid to start writing.  I would make excuses not to write.  I was too busy at work.  I had to spend time with my girlfriend.  I wanted to play basketball or video games.  Actually writing the novel was thrown to the bottom of the pile.

A Great Leap Forward

Then about a year ago, I took a big step.  I signed up for a writing course.  4 weeks, one night a week, 3 hours per session.  It was one of the best things I’d ever done in my life.  It was nerve-wracking.  I had to read out the stuff I wrote, either in class or at home.  But I loved it.  It taught me certain tools.  I learnt that writing is an art.  It is an art that can be worked on, improved, but never perfected.  And the fact is, the more you write, the better you become.  The more creative you get.  I became inspired.  I was determined to finish my novel.

But despite all of that, I didn’t write enough after the course ended.  I was getting married, and I was going on a leave of absence from work – I was going to do a Masters in Law in the UK.  It was the perfect opportunity to take a break from work, which was already riving me insane after only 3 years.  Whilst on honeymoon, I bought this writing program called New Novelist (which I will do a review on in the future).  It helped me organise all my thoughts and my ridiculously expansive planning.

Finally, I was done planning.  I started writing about a month ago.  For real.

Blog Origins

Last night, I saw a post from a friend on Facebook.  He was moving to Mumbai indefinitely to pursue his dreams.  He was always the type that moved around from job to job, venture to venture, in search of his dreams.  It inspired me to do something with my own life.  Then this morning, I spoke to a friend back home, also on Facebook (great application, huh?).  The guy is a serial blogger, and I always found his blogs entertaining.  He left his job in tax and now part of his job involves blogging.  He encouraged me to start blogging – really helps your writing, he tells me.

So here I am, writing my first post (that other one doesn’t count).  I’ll blog about the progress of my novel, about writing techniques, about things in respect of writing that interest me or help other aspiring writers.  But I’ll also write about other things.  Movies.  Books.  Basketball.  Food.  It doesn’t matter.  Writing really is a release.  And even as I finish typing the last words of this post, I feel much better already.

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Comments»

1. Matthew Ho - January 12, 2009

nice blog dude. serial blogger? hahaha

glad that u started writing. u just have to keep writing about anything.


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