Introversion and the Writer

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always commented on how quiet I was at home, when in the social circle I can be very involve. It is as if, I turn off the moment I reach home.

In fact, I really do turn off once I settle into my security bubble.

For many years, I’ve had this thought that something was wrong with me. That I was living life in hypocrisy. Socially engaging but private in nature. And this conflict within my personality has been a point of stress for me.

This was the case until I discovered and accepted the fact that I am an Introvert and an extreme one at that.

I’m an Introvert, who is expected to be an Extravert in an Extraverted world.

But of late, I have learnt to accept myself for who I am. This is just the way my brain is hardwired to handle the world. And I am not ashamed neither afraid to tell people that I am an Introvert. That my silence at meetings and seemingly aloof nature is expected. It is my natural response to the world.

And my Introversion is what makes me the writer that I am. It is in fact, the strength behind my writing.

A key trait for an Introvert is the ability to “think before we speak” and we do this naturally. And I have this trait in spades. The ability to reflect and ponder and think things true is something an Introvert is born with. It is instinctive for any Introvert to draw back into their own mind when confronted with decisions, arguments and issues. And Introverts think with their fingers. They write their thoughts out, work well with diagrams, charts and images that reflect the ideas they have within their heads.

Doesn’t the above reflect the traits needed to be a Writer?

So if you feel that you are an Introvert, consider trying out writing as a means for you to communicate with the world.

Advertisements

Mind your Prose – the voice in creative writing.

I often find myself telling those wishing to embark on creative writing to find their “voice” and often times they think it means to find their own style in writing. This is true to a certain degree because it is always good (or better) to have your own distinct style. But what I am referring to is something called Prose.

Prose comes from the Latin prosa which translates to “straight-forward”. Prose in creative writing points to the telling of the story. The narrative voice of the writer. The use of words, the structuring of words in a sentence and the conveying of ideas in the most straight forward of means.

To find your own unique prose or “voice”, take time to listen to how you converse with people. Take note of how you convey your point to those that you talk to. Listen to the use of your words and sentencing. The way you pause your sentence and stress a word or play down an emphasis. Now, take that and put it to paper. That is your prose, your voice in a literal setting.

It will take practice and the tussle between proper writing conventions and keeping your own distinct style will always linger in your mind. Yet, choose to stick to what makes you sound authentic as a writer.

Creative writing as oppose to technical or poetry is less formal. The fact that you can run away from formal conventions makes it creative.

Listen to your speech and adopt that as your prose, your voice as you put to words what dances upon the stage of your creative mind.

Emo-centric writer at heart.

My friends laugh cause I take up my day, listening to “emo-songs” and posting my findings on FaceBook. It helps my writing. Stephen King listens to heavy metal when he writes and Mitch Albom plays in a band. Writers express themselves through their writings but draw strength and inspiration from the things they love. For me, it’s emotional Indonesian or Korean love songs. I love the music videos that accompany these songs cause it tells the story and they are great sources for stories.

What these songs do is generate the “What if?” questions and these questions spark the quest for an answer and the telling of a story. Stories and plots can be driven by the quest for an answer and I see this pattern in Paulo Coelho’s books.

So it could be horror movies, baking cakes, eating burgers by the roadside or just listening to big-band music. If it’s inspires you to write the stories you enjoy writing, so be it. Whatever that inspires you to write use it to your advantage and make it your strength.

Happy writing!

The Bicycle book cover

thebicycle.gif

The book should be out this week (Christmas week) and priced at RM12 for Peninsula Malaysia and RM15 for Sabah & Sarawak . I love the simplicity of the cover.

For Ryan

For Ryan
by Maclean Patrick

Within the walls of silence,
I hear the voice of the void,
Within the reach of the speechless,
The cold touch to avoid,

Pass the door of despair,
I hear the reason of the fallen,
Within the glance of the innocent,
Deep calls upon deep; for time stolen,

Not the voice of the crowd,
Nor the voice of the righteous,
But the whisper of prayer said,
Eyes to heaven, voice of the gracious,

Tears to stumbling man,
Comfort in the darkest storm,
Push turn to shove; he’ll turn away,
Heart call to heart; he’ll come home.

Depression and this Writer

I never thought I would fall into this state of mind but it happened. I was depressed and this was the reason I had turned cold towards my writing. I did not know it was depression and instead blamed other factors such as work, commitments and people as the reason to why I couldn’t sit down long enough to write a sentence. Yes, within the period of depressive foggy-ness, I did managed to churn out several short stories (most appearing on this blog) but my main project merely sat on the sideline.

Depression hits for no reason and your mind just fogs over and your motivation to do the things you love just evaporates, leaving you with this perpetual sense of emptiness. In the end, you feel as if you are merely a shell and life has ebbed it’s way to the twilight zone. Nothing seems right, you become sensitive and needy. Needy for attention or someone to understand but you full well know no-one can fully understand the state of mind of a depressive person. My mind and heart were locked in a bind of negativity. Nothing seemed positive and optimism became a curse word.

There were evenings I spent walking in my backyard, devoid of thoughts and merely walking. I viewed things with an emptiness, a detachment from what was real or fantasy. In this state, plants looked alive and the world just seemed a shade of gray. It was bad.

Yet, I knew all this and I am glad I had friends I could just talk to. People I could open up to and vent. And I also had my writing. I realized the most passionate of my writings were done when I was in this state of clawing myself out of my emotional black-hole. The stories were real and the emotions raw. Sometimes our very weakness is the source of our greatest strength. Our insanity is the root of our creativity, the source of the logic for which we write about and our readers get transported to.

In my depression, I wrote about the need for love, the strength of hope and the desperation of one who has reached their end. Maybe it’s good for me to walk in that dark alley called depression, if only to gain the stories but not to dwell in it.

Am I out of my depression? I don’t know because its a part of me, yet I know I can keep it in check and continue to write with passion due to it.

Technorati : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Del.icio.us : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Zooomr : , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Flickr : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My short depressive state of mind

I’m going through a bout of depression. Just feeling “blue” over some incidences that happened last week. But it has given me cause to read up on the whole matter of Depression and it really is an interesting subject. I can clearly see why so many people with chronic depression choose to commit suicide. It is a really bad state of mind to be in. I realized, I’ve learnt to cope with this trait of mine in my late teens so I am able to function better now as an adult.

I think it was due to the fact I changed my thinking pattern and embarked on a quest for self-discovery at the age of 18. I came across Edward d Bono’s book – Lateral Thinking and it changed the way I thought about things. This coupled with the fact I took up meditating on Bible verses could have been the reason for my ability to cope with depression.

Being depress is not a good thing and no-one can really understand how it is, unless you are also a sufferer. For me things just become very slow and mundane. I do not enjoy doing the things I like and I end up sitting in a chair pondering or sleeping. I have since learnt to slow down my thoughts and to enjoy the simple things in life. To not take everything seriously and to know that life is worth living. Depression robs you of the joy for living and creates an unrealistic world where nothing is right and everything is wrong.

Yet, in this state of gray paint; I have found emotions to write. I find it easy to write about someone down on his luck and about living for hope or someone entertaining the thought of suicide. These emotions and thoughts are real to me and I merely chronicle them down onto paper for an audience to read. It can be said that my depressive state of mind is also the well spring from which my inspiration flows from.

My insanity is the cradle of my creativity.

So folks, our (perceived) weaknesses may in fact be our greatest strength as long as we learn to harness it to its full potential and shape it into the form for which we like. There is nothing wrong in being depressive as long as you can turn it into the reason why you love life with full zest.

Technorati : , , , , ,
Del.icio.us : , , , , ,
Zooomr : , , , , ,
Flickr : , , , , ,