Writing Up for People

“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.” E.B. White

Enter a child’s headspace and you will find a perpetually unfolding space for stories and beauty. Children are driven by wonder and endless curiosities. Yet children’s books rarely capture this spirit. They downsize big ideas—in E.B. White’s words: “writing down to children”—even though kids are the most inquisitive creatures who happily swallow mind-stretching topics and swing from one discipline to another like a natural interdisciplinary student.

Recently, we are seeing a reemergence of children’s stories that, like children themselves, galvanize on little mundane things in life, like mornings, a blue bird, or a city’s soundscape. I call them ‘children’s stories for adults’ for its quality that transcends age and time. Working as modernized and simplified fables, these children’s stories for adults mark the realization that adults, too, are still little children inside. Continue reading “Writing Up for People”

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Oh darkness my old friend

Apparently, melancholy was a dark fluid circling through our body. At least that was what the Greeks think. Besides melancholy, there was also joy, lethargy and sensitivity, and anger. The inherent dogma, that sadness is a hormonal imbalance in the body, persists throughout the modern age under various clinical depression names. Despite this truth, we are reluctant to admit sadness in our life, assuming it as the enemy in today’s obsession to a “fulfilling life”.

Just a few days ago, while lounging on a chic-tropical terrace of a Peruvian restaurant in the middle of Ubud, as the sunlight made its dramatic come down against the palm trees, the slow drag of sadness came unto me. Indeed there is something about afternoons that’s distinctively melancholic. I refused to look at my phone since noising out sadness gives more sadness. So as the sadness sits there in front of me, I thought, what should I do? And it occurred to me that we are never taught how to embrace sadness. Should I think, should I feel? That’s the first question. Then, should I stay silent or do something? Should I listen or should I speak? I froze on what to do. All while sadness sips black bitter tea next to me. Continue reading “Oh darkness my old friend”

Making the most out of your smartphone as writer

The magic of writing with two thumbs

Despite having multiple notebooks for different purposes, I am pretty convinced that I still write probably more on my phone. By phone I mean my Gmail, Monospace app, Evernote and Google Keep. And by write I mean from blurts of thoughts to stories of hundreds of words.

I use my phone quite religiously to record any thoughts that transit in my mind. Single lines of morning thoughts, jotting down ideas, ideas that are boiling in my head ready to be polished, plenty and plenty of awful first drafts. My phone, being almost literally one of the closest things to me, has turned into a candid recorder of my mind at its most tender, fresh, and raw state. And this is why my phone plays quite an important role in my writing life.

Our friendship started when I was still in college, stuck writing in Word doc when I then laid down lazily on college dorm bed and begin writing on my Blackberry. Surprisingly, I wrote probably 800 words uninterrupted within just 15 minutes and they actually flowed pretty well. I was surprised by this comical reaction from the mind as if it was just hiding this whole time and now excited to be found. Perhaps it’s the informal feeling of writing on the phone that makes the process itself less rigid. It could also because writing on phone has a slower pace than typing on a laptop, which permits our mind to explore ideas a little bit more. Whatever it is, I was pretty hooked by its impact. So whenever I began to feel stuck, I immediately switch to my phone to unlock more creativity.

Continue reading “Making the most out of your smartphone as writer”

Introducing The Time Series

I’m fascinated with Time. This thing that rules over our world and limits our life. It’s always a question whether it is relative or not.

Time is such a big word for me. To me, it encompasses, identity, memory, consciousness, god-likeness, collective consciousness, universal purpose, and even universal truth. It’s an enemy to us humans because it entraps us into this limited entity in both time and space, but it’s also a friend because it is the medium onto which ideas grow. “Only Time can tell.” It’s a living mystery that conceals or unveils the truth.

Time is also an especially fascinating subject when we relate it to memory and identity. The memories of the past are just remnants of what we assume happened. Our perceptions of ourselves in the past are skewed. The stories we tell ourselves speak more about who we want to be than who we actually are. So we perpetually walk on this ever-changing sense of identity and this often makes us feeling fussy.

So in this series, again, I wrote few things in fiction about time. Many of these were actually written years ago, yet in my head, they are very much about Time.

Enjoy.