It was not in my nature to be an assertive person. I was used to looking to others for guidance, for influence, sometimes for the most basic cues of life. And yet writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself. Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me.
—Jhumpa Lahiri, Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship: The New Yorker (via bookmania)
at the request of a dearest, old friend - who remembered this when i had completely forgotten. from my first blog, dated 4 Feb 2004.
in one of my better moments. dedicated to all you, all us, bloggers.
why i write.
i write to exert some sort of illusionary control over my life. i write to solve. i write to satisfy. i write by accident, even though this is by no means accidental. i write to preserve the paltry scraps of my memory i would otherwise forget and am afraid to lose. i write as a catharsis. i write to make sense of a world that seems to be losing all semblence of it. i write to make sense of my quirks. i write as an expresssion of my selfhood. i write to capture the moment. i write for you. i write for me. i write as a witness to the things i see. i write as a witness to my imagination. i write to articulate the mumbo jumbo that is my thoughts. i write for confirmation. i write to contradict. i write to remember. i write to forget. i write as if i am chanelling something bigger than myself. i write to shed light on darkness. i write knowing that my words will always fall short. i write to procrastinate. i write out of curiosity. i write to quell it. i write like a child playing on an empty beach. i write to detach. i write to attach. i write so that i may have a voice. i write to remember who i was. i write to clarify who i am. i write as if i am walking on a frozen river beginning to melt.
why do you write?
I listened to ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ 3 times over in the car on the way to work this morning. Happy Birthday uncle Bob!
Leann Grimes’ take on Kings of Convenience’s of Mrs Cold, a perennial favourite. It’s pretty sweet - makes me schmile. Get his entire album for free from his website (linked over his name!)
I booked a trip to Siem Reap to be alone but that ended up not being the case (a mistake on my big mouth’s part), but came back to Singapore to an empty office because all project teams are offsite this week (and mine is on vacay).
Breakfast was coffee and croissants, it’s starting to rain outside and it’s quiet, peaceful and perfect.
A young Sting and a young Jeremy Irons
Jude Law and Matt Damon
Solo in Siem Reap in 2 weeks - 3 days to temple myself out, cycle through rural villages, browse at the markets and visit a gallery or two. And eat summa that cambodian curry. Already shitting myself thinking about the 20km sunrise ride i’ve signed up for.
My initial thought was Laos and India by year’s end, the big blowout trip being North India for some r&r. In Gangtok, to be exact. And segwaying into Tibet because I think I’ll leave Nepal and Bhutan for another time. And Laos oh Laos! Sailing up the Mekong to Luang Prabang, and then the rural areas to visit AB’s schools.
Am slowly starting to realise that every destination I’ve chosen for the year is temple-y and spiritual. OD much?! Maybe I’ll throw London in the mix but London in winter is so… uninspiring. And it’s a graveyard at Christmas.
Whatever the case, time to start saving.
Today I transfered a fairly large sum of money to the wrong guy (and a random, one-off, year-old person-on-my-list-of-transferees) and had to write a mortifying email asking for it back starting with “oh hi do you remember me?”
And then tonight I went to Guardian pharmacy and left my $25 worth of toiletries at the counter. Only realised I had to endure another day of toothpastelessness upon pulling into my driveway.
Is this my mind failing my consciousness?
It would be nice to find something to blame. I can’t even come up with a good one.
Kevin Kelly cites these classic Marshall McLuhan quotes:
“Products are becoming services.” (1966)
“The future of the future is the present.” (1968)
“The global village is nosy busibodies writ large.” (1968)
Then points out:
“Quotes like these are McLuhan at his best. But he arrived at them because he allowed himself to say a lot of foolish stuff as well. He was an unleashed, uninhibited masher-upper of ideas, and from his habit of churning up stuff that he only half-believed himself, he produced sparks of genius.”