Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To write or not to write

'Oh have you heard, the famous Hong Kong comedy king Stephen Chow, he used to sell vegetables in a market!' my mom-in-law chirped, her sudden revelation jolted me out of the disheartening monologue I was incessantly having with my down-trodden dream.

Unbeknownst to them, I catch more than I listen. I catch messages behind words spoken, looks exchanged, behaviours displayed, and habits repeated.

I turned to my husband and gave him a weak smile. 'I guess the fastest way to recognition, fame and riches is through the entertainment industry - because you get thrown in the public's eye through frequent and broad media coverage.'

I pondered if I should make a quick inroad into fame through other means or simply stay true to my inner desire: write.

I am at the crossroad of a very significant and eventful year coming to an end of its term and a brand new year of relatively bleak economic prospects. The present year has been significant because the journey to my undergraduate studies undertaken two years ago is coming to completion and I have been faring well; I toiled through a year of routine, manual and uninspiring work, no matter how I tried to vary my daily tasks and force-dosing myself with spurts of joy and gratitude; I desperately needed to shed some pounds and successfully turned myself into a fitnes junkie, jogging 5 times a week and swimming 4 times week, shedding 8 kilos in 6 months, and boosted my frailing self esteem; I developed closer friendships with wonderful people in church who have now become my constant suppy of love, joy, support and deep-bellied laughters, Jason's love so overwhelms me I could count with my 5 fingers the few occasions I cried painfully; and finally, a recent participation in a talentime competition got me and my 2 lovely girlfriends a measure of fame and recognition, such that we are now deciding if we should pursue our acoustic singing career seriously and professionally.

Remembering the many rags-to-riches and lousy-to-celebrity stories I hear and read so much about, I resolute to take a different path next year. Except that next year is only a month away. Which means my time is running short. I do not want to squirm around in mud and wallow in darkness no more.

Writing has always served as an objective outlet for me. Bottled up frustrations translate themselves into words that upon second and more reading, could potentially be useful as antidotes and encouragement to others in the form of autobiography upon publication.

Writing releases me to feel and express myself fully and easily, with no fear nor apprehension, because I let myself loose. Like an unbridled horse cut loose to run freely in the open plains, so is my being liberated on paper.

Yet many a times I find myself not knowing how to begin or where to begin writing.

Thus Joyce Carol Oates liberated my frustration, when I read this in her book, "The Faith of a Writer" (pp. 52):

"The writer, however battered a veteran, can't have any real faith, any absolute faith, in his stamina to get him through the ordeal of creating, to the plateau of creation. One is frequently asked whether the process becomes easier, with the passage of time, and the reply is obvious: Nothing gets easier with the passage of time, not even the passing of time.

The artist, perhaps more than most people, inhabits failure, degrees of failure and accommodation and compromise."

I am but human, and I am, as always, searching, for the right words.


JasonOng said...

In finding those words you'll see the light.

In seeing the light you'll have your brightest moments.

In your brightest moments the face of humanity will see the truth.

Keep the writing going larling! :)

Angeline Tan said...

Thanks larling. You are my beacon of hope and constant pillar of support, and I love you so! ;)