We were alone outside a hallway and a teacher disappointedly said to me;
“if you don’t get your act together, you will fail English”.
I hate writing.
When I was younger, I found writing to be a tedious chore.
Ironically, after school my sibling and I would often hang around the library. I found myself becoming a voracious reader and escaped into the many mythical adventures.
I followed the stories of Hercules and watched him save the unfortunate. I felt sorry for Venus. While she continuously gave out love willing, it felt like love always escaped her. My all time fave Greek God was Athena. She was a warrior of wisdom who popped out of Zeus’ head.
I read Animal Farm by George Orwell, the essential themes stayed with me and overlapped on to my adulthood. There are many references today that aligned to the people and power we know. Within us all there are animalistic instincts that need to be balanced. Still, be wary of power, it can darken and corrupt us all. As you can see I loved reading but I still hate writing.
ASL? xCusE moi aZ i Rip Diz Out.
I remember waiting for the sound of the 56K modem to finishing its zinging and telling us we were connected online. I’d be hanging around on mIRC and chat with my friends about how stupid high school was. My nickname was “SuZiEeE_WuZiEeE”, I thought I was real cool by writing in abbreviated shorthand with alternative caps lock. It was great as grammar wasn’t an issue.
Throughout my adult life, I would cringe at my own grammatical and typo errors. I was scared that no one would understand what I had written or judge me for those minor details.
Now I just delete and retype it out.
“The world is the house where the mortals dwell” ~Heidegger
I love learning philosophy, I thought Martin Heidegger was a genius regarding the idea of ‘locus loci’ – simply; only when we are capable of dwelling are we capable of building. The pains of writing an essay freaked me out. I worked hard and my philosophy tutor gave me a Distinction. That’s pretty good considering my English in high school was a low C average.
Thinking back, I once read Girl With The Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, art was one of the central themes. The book revolves around the relationship between Johannes Vemeer and his maid. Despite having having the aesthetic eye, being a woman she is limited by society’s expectations and ends up being a butcher’s wife.
As an artist and story collector, I love stories and how it connects people. Stories have the special ability to cut through everything: race, age, gender, time – everything! Which is why I would go around and introduce myself as a story collector, I like how it quickly opens a doorway to one’s heart.
I once hated writing but lately, I don’t mind seeing words on paper.
Last year, I was fortunate to be part of the 4A’s and Playwriting workshop, Lotus Playwriting. An initiative to help develop the playwriting skillset for Asian Australians. After all, there’s more to Australia than Anglo saxon. I find it strange that, as a country we are promoted as being blonde blue eyed beach babes. We are far more colourful than that, there are many who speak a second language and have different stories beyond eating vegemite. I admit, I do like eating a sliced of buttered up thick toast with vegemite. I enjoyed what I learnt, they helped break the structures of a good story and emphasised the writer’s voice. Having actors read my little mock up scene was thrilling. I felt the little tingle of shiver going up my spine. There’s a part of me that wants to write a banana story that goes the venting scope. I want to scream and say: I have a Asian Australian story for you. Or do I simply want to create an Australian experience?
Through blood, sweat and tears, I think effort became my dear friend. I became less fearful of making mistakes and enjoy the process of sudden clarity. In reality, I have to thank many of editor-friends. They hide behind the background, they add their own comments and question things like “why did you write that”. One in particular would offer options and show how my grammar/typos were incorrect. But what he did was to show WHY I erred.
Through writing, I’ve discovered an earnest kind of habit. Regular blog-writing allows me to experiment and find my ‘voice’. In the last last two years, I feel like I’ve improved on my writing. Though, when someone labels me as a writer, I automatically revert back to sense of denial and say “No, No. I’m not a writer. I’m a thinker or I just like stories.”
Lately, I feel like I’ve picked up a habit of writing. It’s been cathartic to see my musings and misery come out. I sometimes wonder, did that just come out of me?
Oh really, I lied.
I don’t hate writing.
Well, I think I kinda like writing.