Q and A

Hello friends πŸ™‚

So I recently received some questions from a reader of the blog, so I’d thought I’d do a post to answer them, since they’re interesting topics on their own.

The lovely reader ‘Kesheroo’ asked me to talk a bit about being a writer, and the writing process. Truth is, I think more about writing than I actually do it. I daydream a lot about the writing process, and about my writing being published, which then naturally turns into a fantasy of me attending a movie premiere of one of my book’s adaptations. I guess it’s not such a good thing that I fantasize more about writing than actually doing it, but given the sporadic nature of my schedule these days (the grocery gig, as you called it), I just can’t seem to get into the mind frame to piece together a scene or two.

I know people write (award-winning) books in a matter of few months, all while doing everything else, and sometimes I get angry at myself for not being able to do the same. But the more pressure I put on myself, the more blocked I get, so lately I’ve beenΒ trying not to think about it, and hoping that the ideas will somehow come to me and I’ll somehow finish my work in progress in a few sleepless nights. It hasn’t happened yet…

I actually quit my grocery store job recently so I could focus on my writing, so this is a big deal for me. I was just so tired and miserable at the end of each day that I didn’t feel like doing anything, let alone wrestling with my brain to develop a book. At the same time, I found myself daydreaming a lot more about my characters and their stories, and in turn falling in love with them even more, as they were surely better company that the customers who I dealt with on a daily basis.

The second part to Kesheroo’s question was about how I being Muslim affects my writing (if it does), especially writing about love scenes (lol). Being Muslim definitely affects my dream of being a writer, since there’s some subjects I wouldn’t broach with a ten foot pole. Just sayin’.

For my previous two stories, I wrote about non-Muslims and about stories in which religion really didn’t have a place. The first (a Cinderella rewrite) was pretty much a girlish fantasy, and didn’t really contain much depth to it at all. The second took place in the Victorian era and was very far from Islam or about Muslims, since I naturally wrote what I wanted to read, and at 15 years old, I didn’t really want to read about Muslims or brown people, since we obviously weren’t as interesting as the British in the Victorian era. Duh.

While my first two stories were based on girlish fantasies, the third is based on my life and my own experience with being Muslim. I’m much more comfortable talking about my own experiences now, and instead of shying away from it, am using it to fuel the characters and plot in this story, since I finally realised that I’m not that boring after all.

That’s not to say that I won’t go back to writing about characters who aren’t Muslim anymore, but this is the story that’s captivated me for now, and it’s one that I won’t let go of until it’s done.

Kesheroo also asked about my ‘quarter life crisis’, which really deserved a blog post on it’s own. One that I’ve actually tried to write about in mopey poems, but never ended up posting.

I suppose I’m feeling the post-university blues (if there is such a thing, and if there isn’t, I’m inventing it now!), which is just a fancy way of saying that school is over and life sucks.

Unlike common belief (or my high school teachers’ rants), university doesn’t completely give you the tools for a successful career, at least not unless you go into a specified field like business or engineering. If you follow your passions, like I did by studying English and History of Religions, there isn’t much you can do, other than become a teacher. So currently, I’m stuck trying to figure out if I should continue to follow my passions, or grow up and try to force myself into something I’m not sure I’ll like. Obviously, the path isn’t just two-pronged, but that’s the gist of it, without getting too messy.

I hope I’ve answered your questions, Kesheroo and thanks so much for reading my blog and asking them! πŸ™‚

If anyone else has any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or reply at the bottom of this post.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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2 comments

  1. Kesheroo says:

    This post was so keepin’ it real. I loved it. I even linked it to my sister who said you had a great “voice”. KEEP WRITING. I am also alarmed by the idea of reducing blog entries in order to, potentially, increase overall writing.

    I’m a chronic daydreamer too and think it impairs my everyday living. So, I feel ya.

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