So you say you want to be a writer, eh?

As you may or may not know, I’m writing a book these days. I’ve written two manuscripts before, one that will probably never see the light of day (beyond this blog), and the other that I really want to have published one day.

But I’ve started working on a third, hoping that third time’s the charm. I don’t want to harp about my previous struggles too much, since I’ve already blogged about them here. But my previous insecurities have obviously come rushing back since I’ve started writing again.

Despite having two unpublished manuscripts on my belt (and on my hard drive), this time feels different. This time feels harder.

Maybe its because last time I was a lot younger (15 for the first!) so the words flowed out easier. Maybe I wasn’t as disenchanted with the (publishing) world back then. Maybe I still had a bit of magic left in me from my childhood.

I feel older now and grumpier. I tell myself that I should write everyday, no matter what. But the inner demon lashes out at my morning, noon, and night, asking me what’s the point? In an age of Harry Potter, Twilight, the Hunger Games, and so many more, there isn’t much that hasn’t already been done. Nothing feels original.

Before when I used to write, my characters would tell me where the story was going. They had life of their own, and sometimes I felt like I was just writing down what they were doing, as if I was the one being tugged along. The story just flowed; I had no trouble trying to think of conflicts, climaxes, or conclusions. They all just happened.

These pesky, controlling characters might be why one manuscript is 157,000 words and the other is 140,000 words. They aren’t manuscripts but anvils that could kill someone if dropped on the head.

In attempts to prevent similar tragedies from happening, I’ve tried to tone the word count down. This involves not letting my characters take control of the story, and instead think very carefully of what the plot is, when certain events will take place, and how it will all conclude. This makes for very hard work, yo. Instead of letting the characters’ conversations flow naturally, I have to control them to ensure that they develop in certain ways to make certain plot points plausible. My head hurts sometimes from all the scheming

Last week, I was feeling so blocked and was wasting so much time on Facebook and on the internet in general. I tried asking myself what the problem was the and very quickly the answer came: location.

My room is rather stuffy and for some reason distracts me beyond reason. Its really cluttered in there and I can’t seem to focus, so I decided to move downstairs to the family room and to my favourite chaise.

Boom. Instant fix! I had 6000 words done by dinner time, and ideas for the next 6000 in my head. Okay, I lied. It wasn’t as easy as that. Unfortunately.

But it did make a dramatic difference, as I stopped perusing Facebook (darn you Facebook!) and instead spent more time on my Word document. I felt a lot better.

Even though the family room is distracting at times of the day (like when my parents have their evening chai), I do get some writing done in the day time, when the room is sunny and filled with light, which helps me concentrate better.

I can’t hope that every time I get blocked, there’ll be an easy fix like location, but I do know that sometimes there are external factors influencing me. Because now I know: an author is a writer who never gave up.

Oops, I gotta get back to writing! While I’m gone, check out this song. It makes me happy. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

‘Till next time,


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  1. Natalie says:

    Your writing is beautiful! Even from this blog post you can tell what an amazing writer you are! Don’t give up! The fact that you have already written two (even if they aren’t published) is such an achievement in itself! I can’t even begin to count the number of stories I’ve started and never finished! I’ve had a book idea floating around in my head for a couple of years now but due to my lack of initiative it will probably never get written. Good luck 🙂

    • Ikhlas says:

      Nooooooo, you must write! I have so many ideas floating, no, BOUNCING around in my head, but I just take one at a time and try to develop it.

      You mustn’t give up!

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