Q1. Why do you write?
Answer: Let me begin with one of my favourite quotes from Og Mandino's The Gift of Acabar.
It is not necessary that you be wealthy or famous or a genius in order to fulfill your own destiny. All that is asked is that you use whatever gifts you have to the best of your ability. If your skill is with a hammer, build! If you have a knack with a hoe, plant! If you are happy on the water, fish! If a pen does your bidding, write!
The pen does my bidding. My imagination is very active. In my head, scenes and verses play a game of house. Sometimes they play tag, or a round of hide-and-seek. Sometimes they jump rope. I join in those games through daydream. I enjoy the game, and I enjoy filling those thought bubbles with a world that I create. A lot of the time, the same scenes and verses keep popping up like recurring dreams and nightmares. I write to set them free.
While people can paint pictures with colour pallets, some with thread, I know I've been blessed with the ability to use words to colour my canvas. My paint pallets and spools of thread are all made up of words. The difference between my canvas and that of a painter's or an embroiderer's, is that my canvas is alive. In my canvas, the brook is not still. The brook in my canvas is a constant traveller. It has a voice that can whisper sweet nothings to the wind. It runs, it leaps, it swirls, it falls.
I write to create a world where someone can escape and see life from the perspective of another. I want people to see that a mere brook is not just a small stream of water. I want them to see the brook as nature's tears of joy. The blood that pumps life in the earth's veins.
I write to stir emotions, because we need to learn how to empathise to really know what it is to be human. I want readers to witness interactions and relationships that might not possible in their world. I want to challenge them not want to limit reality within the constraints of their environment
I write to create people whom the most isolated person can meet. Even for a short period of time, they have stepped over their boundaries in the company of my characters.
I write to share my thoughts and creations, because there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that my words have reached someone from places I've never imagined. While there are people reading what I've written, my thoughts and imagination remain alive. When someone picks up and reads a poem, story, or article, I know they take something with them. Whatever they take, it is a part of me. I remain alive.
I write because a writer is immortal. That's what I want to be. Immortal.
Q2. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Answer: Getting mentally isolated. I am most productive and prolific when I am alone, away from distractions. With distractions, the ideas in my head become incoherent. The scenes can't manifest themselves in chronological form. Distractions can be demotivating.
Q3. Where do you get your inspiration?
Answer: Inspiration can come from everywhere, but I'll try to be less vague as possible.
In writing romance or chicklit, I find infatuation as a good driving force and inspiration to create a story that has little snippets of scenes one would have loved to experience in real life.
Nature and interaction with people and life itself can be an inspiration as well. I celebrate that relationship through writing.
Angsts, frustrations, anger, joy, ecstasy, and all other melange of emotions can fuel creativity. It can be what drives the story, what motivates a character, what stirs a poem. It's like a bullet. When the firing pin hits the primer, it will ignite the powder charge that will fire the bullet. These emotions are my primers. The world is filled with stimuli that will hit those primers, and will send the creative juices in an exhilarating trajectory.
Q4. Do you ever get writer's block and how do you get over it?
Answer: Writer's block is a mental illness that plagues many, many, many writers...No, I'm kidding! I made that up–about it being a mental illness, that is. Anyway, writer's block–there are people out there who say it does not exist, but I beg to differ. It is very real, and it does not discriminate. Some have said that what people think as "writer's block" is just a situation where there is a lack of "inspiration". But that's exactly it. If we are not inspired, how do we think of ideas? How do we create? How do we move on with a current work? If we are unable to come up with ideas to create or move forward with what we are working on, that is the block.
So, yes, I do get writer's block. In fact, I had writer's block for 12 years prior to me resuming my writing. I resumed writing for about a year or 2 prior to joining Wattpad.
I think, what helped motivate me to snap out of that block was finding my old manuscripts. My initial reaction was, "bloody hell, that's crap! I wrote these?" I knew I had the potential to do better. The words, nor the ideas, didn't flow back in instantly. I tried to write something, but a lot of the time I stared at the blinking curser. The bits and pieces of imagination of scenes were there, but to make more out of it, or even express it eloquently in words was difficult.
One of the things that helped me was reading anything and everything. You cannot write if you don't read! Many writers will say this over and over again. I took out my music CDs and cassette tapes...Yes, cassette tapes! I listened to music, mostly instrumental. That's how Poems for a Piano Player came about.
Through poetry, inspiration started to come back. With more reading, more music, more interaction, a story came into mind. Now, I had to harness the technical skill to write narratives. I wrote anyway, as editing and revising can come later. To be able to refresh myself with techniques, I had to read some more. With e-books coming out, I wanted to be able to access other stories out there, which leads us to the next question...
Q5. How did you discover Wattpad?
Answer: I searched for sites where I can read books for free. I was looking for e-book versions of paperbacks I wanted to read. Wattpad was one of the sites that Google spewed out. I clicked on the link and signed up. It took me a while to realise that Wattpad was a place where amateur writers can also upload their stories. Now, don't be offended when I say "amateur". Some have the thinking that an amateur is a beginner. No. An amateur does what she or he does for the love of it, rather than as a profession or for financial benefit. In short, they do it for free. I am very thankful for meeting wonderful people who share the same love for writing as I do.
The more I learned how Wattpad worked, the more I wanted to share my work. I was initially writing Losing Cinderella for a publisher. When I decided to upload it, I had the opportunity to take control of how it was going. No more counting pages or words. No following formulas to satisfy the target market. Stuff the publishers' rules! My story. My rules. I write because it's what I love to do, and my goal is to keep what I write alive by sharing it.
Q6. What's your favorite quote?
Answer: In puddles and rivers, pebbles hit bull's-eyes before targets are drawn.
Bonus question added. This option was offered to everyone.
#5Qi - August 6th, 2015