November has been a slow writing month for me. I think it’s a lot to do with a few changes in my life including me finally getting a job. I got a job. Can you believe it?
And believe it or not, it was only after getting this job that I started getting calls for interviews and shortlisted for another job. Life is funny, isn’t it? The less you expect something to come to you, the more that they would come.
But just like how I never expected to get a job soon after I started this blog, I didn’t expect that I would commit to writing.
Before I made a leap with this blog, I signed up for a writing competition, organised by “The Write Practice”—a writer’s community site—and “Short Break Fiction”—a literary magazine. (If you’ll be so kind, you can read it here)
And can I just say that any writer’s community (even in WordPress!) are the kindest and most genuine people whom I’ve virtually met? The coolest thing about this competition is that your story can be critiqued by fellow competitors to help you improve your story! Isn’t that just encouraging?
(I am not endorsing them; I just love what they do)
Entering a writing competition as an adult really brings back some memories from school.
My first writing competition was in school for a national magazine but in Malay language and won a third place for it. But I don’t recall that I appreciated that win—at least not as much as I do now. I don’t even remember what I wrote about—I really wish I do—and I’ve lost the magazine (Well done, Syaza…).
Then there’s a vague memory of me writing for paper contest related to the oil and gas industry.
I also remember taking a trip to a local newspaper company with a couple of friends and our English teacher to write on behalf of our school.
All of those experiences seem distant back then to me while I was doing it but it seems a lot closer to me now that I’ve started writing again.
It was just too bad that I didn’t take all of these as serious as I could’ve had.
But for the record, I insisted on taking English literature as our optional subject but because there were just 4 of us that the school had to withhold the subject as part of the curriculum. I ended up taking accounting—a subject that I just couldn’t stand.
This is hilarious to me because I ended up doing something that I used to hate.
The irony of my choices are so strong right now as I am literally doing what I never thought I would as a job. The only difference now is that I get to do what I love, too.
And for that, I can only say one thing: adult life is hilarious.
You’ve planned so much with your life but sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out that you imagined it to be. You can have goals attached to your mind and dreams written in paper. You can give in so much of your time to something but it ended up shattering you or make you forget about why you’ve done it in the first place.
No matter how smooth you thought it would be, somewhere along that road would be bumpy. Then you ended up on a road less travelled because that is your last choice—that is your only hope. Maybe it took you that much struggle to reach a place where you’re supposed to be right now.
It’s definitely a struggle. It’s a place with a lot of uncertainties and a place where one would have the tendency to fall.
But you’d do it anyway, because it makes you feel wholesome.
You plan so many things in life but in the end, it usually ends up being totally opposite to what you hoped for.
I mean is that why I keep coming back to writing?
It took me that much uncertainties, doubts and some struggles—just as we all do—to realise what it is that I am meant to do in the end. I ignored it the first time. Then it came back. I ignored it twice, then it came hitting me back with the urge—the obsession at transforming a simple life event into a story.
Obviously, all of these have been my choices anyway. Some were forced on me—a desperate measure to a dead end—but all of them are my choices no matter how reluctant I was in the first place.
And all of these, for a good reason.
And I couldn’t have any of the struggles and exhaustion in any other way but this way.