Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Rule is No Rule

I just found an interesting quote, it suddenly appeared at the side bar of my wordpress page:

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
-W. Somerset Maugham-

Words of a genius! Make me feel a lot better after reading various novels and wondering afterwards on how people can create such amazing works. And whether there is any rule in creating one. 🙂

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Filed under Quotes, Writing Process

The So-called Personal Obsession(s)

There are so many things that I have been obsessed with throughout my life. I sometime think of them as plain white rooms with doors, packed next to each other to form a big maze, like the one used in laboratory experiment. An innocent mouse wanders around the rooms trying to find an escape only to find later that the door leads to another almost-identical room.

I would really like to think myself as that mouse, a mere victim of circumstances that is not spared by life, but I am not that gullible. In my case, I’m guilty as charged because the rooms in my maze are my own creations, usually built with one purpose only, which is to distract me from the real activity that I should really be doing. This act of avoidance comes from either laziness, in which I prefer to slump on the couch and watch television forever, or cowardice in facing the unknown. So far, the later dominates and plays a major role in my creative process of inventing obsessions.

Once, I was obsessed with dancing. I took two private lessons per week that costed me a fortune, and went as far as sacrificing my lunch hour at work, plus another two extra hours each time to sneak out/in from/to the office and to catch up eating in front of my computer. After doing that for months and getting more and more tortured by the almost-silent whisper of my conscience, I finally admitted that I was just scared of the possibility of being confronted by my own thought about resigning from the job. At that time, the work load in the office was not the usual high and that could actually give me time to contemplate and think about the priority in my life. To that, my brain responded by transmitting pulses that made my body craved for dancing.

The other one that happened recently was my obsession with books. Whenever I saw online booktore ad, I would visit the store and it rarely resulted in empty shopping bag. Real bookstore was no less a culprit – the texture of those yellowish papers of hardcover novels and the feel of it at the tip of my fingers was just too much to resist. Of course, there is no harm in buying excessive books, except that my cash was tight and I already had books enough to keep me reading for a year. Still, I always found excuses to delay reading them and chosed to buy more.

Finally, after rearranging my books, I found out that I had unknowingly bought three titles twice, and only then did I start to think seriously. Or at least, pretended to, since deep down I have always known the problem all along. It was just a funny ‘co-incidence’ that this compulsive behavior started after I quited my job to concentrate on becoming a writer. It was even funnier that after I had all the times in the world, I did not have time to read, and most importantly, the root of all this, to write.

After I gathered all my remaining guts to admit my fear of facing this new and unknown world of writing, I suddenly lost interest in buying books and started to read whatever was in my bookshelf. I probably still need extra guts to actually gather myself to write, but at least I know that I’m going that way. After all, they say when a problem is acknowledged, ninety percent of it is solved, and I choose to believe it.

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Filed under Contemplation, Writing Process



In ignorance,
Love vaporizes
Replaced by specles of dust

In emptiness,
sweet turns to sour
And bitter cannot be distinguished
For it becomes the tongue

In silence,
Thirst is excruciating
More eternal than death

-jakarta, 02/12/11-

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Filed under Contemplation, Poem