QLRS Forum
QLRS Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Welcome to the QLRS Forum!
 Why do you want to be a writer?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Send Topic to a Friend
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  


31 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2004 :  01:00:03  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Dear Friends,

Would be glad to hear from you as to why you want to be a writer.

On my part, I speak with this piece of writing:


Are you a writer? When is one a writer? Or, what does it take to be a writer? Why write at all for that matter? In a broad sense, a person who writes is a writer and he may be writing out of a strong , if not compelling, need to write per se. Some of us write because we tend to think more than speak.

Having said that, there is, in truth, a writer in all of us in the sense that all of us have something to say or a story to tell. The difference between a writer and a non-writer is that the former had put it down in writing and, consequently, had been absolved from being merely a thinker and orator. Won't you write from now onwards if not already doing so? (And, hey, nobody says that it has to be a full-time arrangement.)

Written words offer a certain permanence (at least in print if not in our minds as time marches on) whereas spoken words are half a dime a dozen --- make that a truckload full! In writing one has the time and induced discipline to polish the words and sentences for good flow and grammar. Spoken words, on the other hand, often come after a moment of thought and may be labeled as off-the-cuff, so to speak. Could there be any truth in that some can speak faster than thought as in lightning flashes before thunder claps?

Writing allows me to pour out my thoughts, emptying natural memory space. The thoughts and ideas can then find a certain permanence outside of me. Otherwise, my mind will remain bogged down by too many dated thoughts, stifling the germination of new vistas.

In writing one's thoughts are refined, that is, made more coherent and concise. One can then understand the original intent or meaning in a fuller sense. At the same time the writing process in itself allows us to develop our ideas more deeply. Or take the argument in jest that, anatomically-speaking, the distance from the brain is longer for the hand than the mouth. What is written would in a sense take a 'longer' time to firm up and would arguably be more cogent. (Arguable because speech, in fact, has the absolute advantage of accompanying body language in a face-to-face situation and the comparative advantage of an emotionally-tainted tone.)

Many things spoken are best forgotten with few exceptions as in a good sermon or speech. May it never be said though that any of our written words have been superfluous. Aahhh, my head feels lighter and clearer now and I am inspired to summarise thus…


I have a story to tell
So have you.
Why not write them down
Yours and mine
And contribute to our society ?
'High society?' you ask.
No, just "society"; "community" for avoidance of doubt ---
Where each will find his place:
Mainstream, marginalised, highly esteemed,
Full-steam, half-steam, poor-steam
--- whatever.

God knoweth
Who you are;
What you stand for,
Not just where you stand
In the eyes of man.
Our response is to live it up
To write our singular life story.
And write it full well, we must.

*** THE END ***

Nicholas Liu

59 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2004 :  23:26:31  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Ouch. You make me want to stop writing.
Go to Top of Page


31 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2004 :  07:57:35  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Welcome back to QLRS' Forum. It certainly hasn't been the same without your input.

Be a sport and share on why you want to be a writer.

Go to Top of Page


31 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2004 :  00:47:46  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Some years back, I had read a short story from a magazine about the look of somebody's eye as he pulled a con job off an insurance agent. The front-page described the story as 'Loafing In The City'.

That's simply not true. Creative writing is not an indulgence or an incidental pastime for want of something better to do.

I did not choose to write. Writing chose me, so to speak, when I was enthralled some years back by the delightful prose, stories, screenplays and poems as contained in several issues of Literary Calvacade, a magazine published by Scholastic Inc., which I had read from cover to cover at the National Libraries in Bedok and Stamford Road.

It's now vital for my wellbeing to create some space, spring forth ideas and, in so doing, connect with readers, and (hopefully) make life a little better for having written and being read.

Each of us, when still or at a certain stage in life, will hear a growing and certain drumbeat to pursue a humdinger without sacrificing what is sacrosanct for a life well lived.

To me, a writer's life is the good thing. Write, I must, to discover and unravel the depths and core of my being.

Ruby Bayan of OurSimpleJoys.com said, "Write from the heart about things that matters to other people, too." Even if we don't aspire to write, we can share good writings with others. Remember Lila and DeWitt Wallace? They were the two avid readers who put together the best articles they could find and started a new magazine called Reader's Digest in 1922, bringing us stories about life and advice about living.

Creative writing is serious business. One might say that it's no less a profession than the others. You need a good grasp of language, writing skills, perseverance, and some creative talent and imagination. Then, there is the ongoing process of learning new things (research) and honing new skills (technique), and plus the requirement for keeping to good conduct and ethical practices as a professional writer.

But to the un-initiated, writing does appear to be a cinch (and that writer of best-sellers had it easy for so little work). Why is this so? In "How to Plot a Novel" by Patricia McGerr, an article in The Writer's Digest Guide to Good Writing, she said, 'The hardest writing, it's often said, makes the easiest reading. Comparably, the main object of these elaborate preparations is to make it seem to the reader that the novel wrote itself.'

Reading and writing are the front and back wheels of the bicycle in a writer’s life. It would be fulfilling and delightful to be able to write fiction well by touching the audience with a good yarn.

May these words from Story by Robert McKee spurs us on: “A beautifully told story is a symphonic unity in which structure, setting, character, genre, and idea meld seamlessly. To find their harmony, the writer must study the elements of story as if they were instruments of an orchestra – first separately, then in concert.”
Go to Top of Page


31 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2004 :  17:25:57  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
To interested writers, perhaps you would find some resonance with the following take:

"Writers write for two reasons. One is that they have something they want to say. The other, equally compelling motive is that they have something they want to find out. Writing is a mode of exploration. Through stories we can examine and come to terms with our own ideas, insights, and experiences. In the process of writing a story, we achieve a little better understanding of our world, our fellows, and ourselves. When someone reads what we write, we can share a bit of that understanding." -- Margaret Lucke
Go to Top of Page


1 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2005 :  14:23:29  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote

Well I can agree with all of the above, but as for me, writing is a way to express myself in a way, if someone were to really look hard into them, they might be able to uncover some truth... but that's not truly why I write. No, I love writing, I love creating, having these characters to manipulate, and change, and argue with each other. And at the end of it there is always something to learn from them, or understand about them if you were reading right. I mean, it's just the control you have over these things, that I like. It's fun and enlightening in a way... every minute I play some scene in my head and wait to put it down, I can't stop thinking, creating and it's all i know to do well enough and enjoy doing. It's just great to do what we do, ain't it?
Go to Top of Page


5 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2005 :  01:37:47  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by M.Chu

Dear Friends,

Would be glad to hear from you as to why you want to be a writer.

In my case, writing is a form of escape. It started with reading when I was young - all those Hardy Boys books - and I thought, well, if reading takes me away from the world, writing would do it as well. That was when I was a kid.

But now that I've passed my third decade, I guess writing as a form of escape is still one reason why I still do it. But more importantly, I think, is that when I look around at what other people are doing, and these are people I know whose lives, values and personalities are shaped entirely by practicalities, I'm glad that I have writing as something I do simply for myself. Let it be an activity that I pursue regardless of material rewards.

At the end of the day, I just want to be able to say to myself that, yes, I've done a lot of things (and am still doing them) simply for the sake of making a living, right from when I had to study subjects in school I really hate. (Statistics. Ugh.) But more than that, writing is about creating a personal space, about making up my own rules, a utopia, if you like, where I'm free to pick and choose and maybe create my own rules. I cld choose to learn from other writers - or not. There's no exam I must take and no one to grade me except myself.

Do I want to win a literary prize, if so, would I be happy at the prospect of following rules of "good" writing? If the answer is yes, then at least let that be an honest yes, and hope that I can negotiate these rules to my own satisfaction. Or if I say no, then I'll blame no one for not winning that prize, and it's an honest no.

Maybe I'll be judged as a lousy writer, but hey, so what. For all I know I'm making rules that ultimately lead to bad writing. At the end of it all, I write because I hope to be able to say that this is something I choose to do willingly, without any external pressure. Nobody says to me, hey, I'm giving you a deadline, you must finish that poem by the end of the month or you'll be retrenched and you won't be able to pay that bill and your wife and kids will starve. If I procrastinate, that's fine too, so long as I'm not bitter at the guy (Cyril and Alfian, that's you) who is more talented and who has got more books published than me. I hope to look back at my writing, published, unpublished, half-done or otherwise, and say to myself that it's a job well done. That would be enough.

Also, taking writing (or any other activity, but for me, it's writing) seriously changes you. Bit by bit, be it an essay or a poem or a piece of literary criticism or a short story, I discover a little bit more about the open-ended nature of the world, and how we pigeonhole and cage ourselves into neat categories. He's a financial planner, therefore he is like this and like that. She's a poet, and thus she is like this and that.

Through writing, I could be one person at one time, and another kind of person at another. Something happened today that bothered me and I write it out as a short story and in the process discover something I hadn't known before. I guess at the end of it, to work on one's writing (or at any art/craft) is to work on oneself. I've learnt to trust and think through writing. I like Socrates' idea that the unexamined life is not worth living. For me, writing is about examining myself.

And the best part about writing is, if you're not happy with what you wrote or if you've changed your mind about something, you can always go back and revise. Writing means being open to revision and being aware that even if you're sure now of what you're saying, it is always subject to revision. Mistakes are welcome. It teaches me humility, I guess, and reminds me that my deepest held convictions may be subject to change.

I look back at stuff I wrote and published and sometimes I'm absolutely embarrassed but hey, I can always write in order to revise. It's not like I'm building a bridge that may collapse in 2 weeks' time. Nothing is at stake. Yet everything is at stake - the best part about being embarrassed at something you wrote in the past is the knowledge that you've grown. It's about not taking yourself so seriously. It's about taking yourself seriously. That, I guess, is why I write.

Then again, all these, of course, is subject to revision. Like write now (ok, bad pun, but I'll leave it unrevised), I'm wondering why I'm writing about writing (and not just writing) and wondering if I'm being a tad narcissistic by trying to be witty. So wheaty I'm a maize. Okay. I should stop.
Go to Top of Page


31 Posts

Posted - 10 Apr 2005 :  23:07:04  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
agree with Pandora that writing is fun and enlightening; great stuff. inspired by eddietay, am persuaded to say that it can be a rather a-maize-zing pursuit, as well.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Send Topic to a Friend
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
QLRS Forum © QLRS & Contributors Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.09 seconds. Powered by Snitz Forums 2000