Monday, May 4, 2015

#Writers : Do You Believe in Shitty First Drafts? #amwriting

Hemingway famously said: The first draft of anything is shit.

This speaks to me, because most times the first drafts of my short stories are indeed shitty. The first draft of my novel was even more so.

But when it comes to flash fiction, some of my best work happens in the first draft. I keep tweaking and moving words even as I write, and one sentence moves me to the next one, and the next. I rarely do rewrites of flash pieces-- most take a few tweaks and off they go for submission.

This leads me to believe that there are two ways of writing: 1) puking it all out on to the page, then revising and 2) spitting and polishing each sentence as you write. I suppose I do a bit of both-- depending on the length of story I'm writing.

I guess I need a lot of writing practice before I can carry the voice for longer than a flash piece. For now, I would have to settle for being a shitty first drafter-- because that's what seems to work for longer pieces.

Here's an excerpt from an article  I came across recently (which is worth a read, in case you're interested in the writing process): 

In fact, I cannot even allow myself to write a shitty first sentence, let alone immediately follow the first with another few hundred shitty sentences. This does not mean that what flows from my brain through my fingertips through the keyboard and onto the monitor’s screen is exactly what I want it to be. In fact, I am a ruthless reviser, an eager re-writer. 

So dear writers, are you a shitty-first drafter, or eager re-writer?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Do You Make Your Own Rainbow?

I've been offline the past weeks, traveling, writing, reading. It has been one of the more relaxing, happy phases of my life, and as you can see from my picture below-- I've taken charge of making my own rainbow. Or, in this case, spotting one, in Penang, Malaysia.

What have you been up to? Made or spotted any rainbows lately?
Rainbow-spotting: Reading, Writing, Traveling

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do you #write Inwards or Outwards? #amwriting

The last month or so, I've been trying to juggle life-stuff and writing, and blogging has slipped through the cracks.

Though I've technically surfaced from my self-imposed hibernation, the writer in me has gone into a cave again: all I want to do with the limited time I have on my hands these days is to write, edit, fix stories.

It is a peculiar thing, writing a story-- it is being someone else, getting into their skins, thinking their thoughts. It is feeling the weight of their flesh on your own bones, the bloat in their stomachs from their heavy lunches, the dizziness from their alcohol or drug trips, their helplessness in the face of death, their joy at winning a race, the adrenalin coursing through your veins as much as theirs. So many lives wrapped up in the world of stories, and through them so much understanding of what success and failure, joy and hurt, giving and accepting, mean.

I'm loth to stir out and about. When out with others, I still have my eyes gazing inward, because of these many lives I've created within me and the constant reminder: to each I must give a voice, an existence.

Haven't been blog-visiting these past months, not as much as I used to. I miss you all, sometimes, as if from within a torpor. Feel like I've fallen into an alternate universe, where imaginary people look more 'real' than the real and online people in my life.

I'm sure I'll wake up from this drowsy-dreamlike world, but until I do, here's a wave and a hug from my world spinning parallel to yours.

Have you ever had a similar experience of being in a faraway world of your imagination? Does reading or writing ever put you in this inward spiral? Do you write Inwards or Outwards?


Friday, February 27, 2015

What are you #reading?

I've been on a hiatus, more about it on my other blog, here and here. Long story short, I was in Yangon, Myanmar, last week with no book to read.

I walked out on the pavements, and also to the Bagan Bookshop (a rather interesting little place with loads of books discarded by foreign tourists selling for a dollar or two each).

Pictured below are the books I found: all of them printed in the 1970's, other than Orwell's book. I read Gore Vidal, and have microwaved all the books now that I'm back: don't want any tiny critters invading my shelves.

What about you? What have you read this new year? What books would you recommend?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How Old is your #Blog ?

Does age matter?

Tomorrow, this blog would turn seven.

Not that it feels any different from when I started this blog : I did it then because every once in a while I felt the need for community, a sounding board, a support group.

When I blog today, I blog for the same reasons.

If anything, my hope for this blog is to write less, read more. There are far too many excellent blogs to read, and I don't do them nearly enough justice.

What about you? Why do you blog? How old is your blog? When visiting a blog, does its age matter to you?

Monday, December 22, 2014

What joys will your #Christmas Bring?

This Christmas, I'm going to take a reading break.

That Christmas tree you see to the left? It is two stories tall, and it is made entirely of books. (It's bringing in the festive season at the Singapore National Library, from where I borrowed no less than eight books.)

This week, I'll gather me those books, order me some food, curl up on the sofa and read. What with all the traveling, the work, and the writing, I've been having withdrawal symptoms-- I crave days of uninterrupted reading.

Luckily, my family doesn't mind my nerdy habits. 

What about you? Prayer, Goodwill, Friends, Food, Family? Downtime? 

Wherever you are, and whatever it is you're planning for Christmas, I hope you have a good one. See you in the New Year!