August 30, 2016 § Leave a comment
In the aftermath
I ask myself
“how long are these wounds
going to last?
Was it worth it, after all?”
Questions I should have thought of
before you had set in
to my skin like scars.
These days, my thought last
into the deep hours of the night
Tossing, turning – I am breathless.
My open wounds sting
like salt on my flesh.
In the mid-morning sun
I am heavy with sleep,
and I ask myself,
“how long ’til I heal?”
By evening, I have shrouded this persona.
Concealed all my scars ’til I’m skeletal –
no skin. No signs of you in me.
In the mirror I am bare –
On the inside, my scars
throb like my beating heart
that I cannot conceal.
I ask myself, “how long, how long?”
’til I’ve lost my voice
to the depths of the night,
but in the morning
you are slowly fading,
and I think,
“is it worth it, to lose you?”
August 19, 2016 § Leave a comment
I remember once, a few years ago, I told a friend about how disappointed I was that I had been getting no writing done. After all, it was the summer holidays, and while during the school term I had the excuse of y’know, homework, study, and exams, there was nothing to stop me from pursuing my writing over the three month long summer holidays.
My friend said to me that sometimes you get drained as a writer. And you need the time to actually dawdle and come back to it. At the time, I was much younger. I didn’t quite understand it. I was still adamantly annoyed at myself – at my lack of motivation and self-discipline. I’m sure I spent hours over my writing notebook trying to get the words out. Hours that would have probably been better spent elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you absolutely need to just sit down and write, no matter your lack of motivation or inspiration. Sometimes that’s just what necessary. But what my friend told me about being drained is also true. There are times where you just need to give yourself a pass, and take an extended break.
I’m telling you this because… you guessed it! I needed an extended break, because I was drained. I basically spent a month writing accessively. Not just working on a new project, but also doing collaborative and freelance work – along with my normal, everyday teaching job. Safe to say, afterwards I was wrecked, and I didn’t even really realise it.
This past while, I’ve been trying to take it slower. I’m working on some writing, but it’s been very unsteady. I do want to come back to this blog, because ever since I started it, I’ve always felt comfortable coming back here and writing – no matter how long I’ve left it (And I’ve left it for quite a while in a few instances!).
But in any case, this wasn’t just for me. I guess if you’re a writer too, or an artist of any kind, and you’ve been having a bit of a dry spell… don’t feel too disheartened. Take a deserved break and hopefully you’ll come back feeling much better.
June 6, 2016 § 2 Comments
Freedom was a taste on my lips
before gunpowder dreams
entangled with every crevice of my tongue.
Now, my eyelids heavy with nightmares
watch ahead to the dawn of the day,
the approach of a seashore bay
and my tongue feels heavy
with a language foreign,
with a future unknown.
May 30, 2016 § 2 Comments
I think for anybody who is an avid writer, the realisation that there is no instant gratification in writing is pretty obvious. There are no shortcuts in it, no matter how high and low you search for them. To have completed pieces of work in front of you, you need to sit down and actually write. And after that you need to edit. And then you probably need to re-write. Edit again. So on and so forth. There is nothing quick and easy about it.
So it can get a little bit frustrating when this exact skill of being a writer seems to completely fly over the heads of other people, no matter how much you try to explain this detail to them. People who expect novels to come out willy-nilly as if you can extract them out of thin air (I wish I could!), without a second thought.
When people talk about the “gifts” and “talents” required for things like writing or art… I feel they also indulge in this idea of instant gratification. Yes, there is such a thing as talent, but honing in talent also requires a lot of sweat, blood and tears; hours of hard work and concentration. I know people are trying to be supportive, which I appreciate, but it’s a bit difficult to be appreciative when people expect you to be producing work without encouraging you to actually put in the time.
Has anybody had similar experiences with people?
May 17, 2016 § 2 Comments
We spend a good deal of our lives waiting, like Adiba patiently did, after I agreed to write a guest post, then had so many other things commandeer my time.
Poetry doesn’t often make me wait, mostly I’m rushing to catch up: writing the last line I can remember, then working backwards line by line, pulling them back from the land of lost poetry , words that got away . . . all while I was looking for pen and paper.
Found phrases poetry works differently. I choose background paper and start flipping through magazines; the next words jump out, make themselves obvious, and I clip them. Maybe they’re next or maybe they’ll be a few lines later, but they’re “in.” Only seldom do I decide, “No, you’re not the right words after all, I’ll save you for another poem.”
I’ve known April as poetry month for a long time and was introduced to the concept of The National Poetry Writing Month Challenge #NaPoWriMo in 2015 when a friend challenged me to write 30 poems in 30 days. I wrote found phrase poems and haiku. This year I challenged myself, then caught walking pneumonia. I wrote some really bad poetry and a few I’m actually proud of. Next year I’ll be back to do it again. Meanwhile the pressure to produce is off and I’m back to writing poetry when inspiration compels me, not just the dawn of a new day.
This post, and subsequent poem, was very kindly contributed by Amy.
May 12, 2016 § Leave a comment
I remember when Pinterest first started becoming popular, and I decided to join the bandwagon, see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t last more than a few minutes, browsing around and trying to find the fascination that many had found within the website.
Years later, it’s actually developed into an incredibly useful tool for my own writing. Other than an amalgamation of different writing cheat sheets and tools that crop up when you type in anything writing related into Pinterest’s search bar, I have also begun using the website to build storyboards for my novels. This is helpful in the starting process of my writing, in order to develop some sort of a vision for what I’m looking for. It’s also helpful when I’m flabbergasted mid-novel as, again, it helps sort out your vision, perhaps in ways that you wouldn’t have imagined otherwise.
It may not be for everyone but it has been an ever-useful tool in my own writing process. Here’s a preview of a few of my storyboards:
Have you used Pinterest for your writing? Are there any other similar websites that you have found helpful?