The Source of Creativity in Writers

I am a mix of things. A jumbled mess of emotions, oxy-moronic quirks and mismatched manners. People do not understand me and, most times, I don’t understand myself too. It’s a constant wonderment of “What do you want?” and in most cases, the person in front of me do not know what they want out of me.

The label “Insane Writer” seems to fit me well. In fact, there are those out there that think of me in exact terms.

“Oh, there goes that insane guy, who writes. He’s full of weird ideas. Dangerous ideas and always moody. Never listen to people’s advice or opinions and makes stupid decisions and all. He’s not only insane, he’s stupid,” the nay-sayers say.

What humans fail to explain and rationalize is always filed under “Something Crazy”, leaving it as something not worth their time to understand.

Isanity has always plague the writer. Suicide and depression are the writers cloak. Yet, what most people fear is exactly the source of a writers creativity.

It is not surprising that these mood disorders seem most at home in the artistic mind. “The cognitive style of manic-depression overlaps with the creative temperament,” Ms. Jamison said. Researchers have found that in a mildly manic state, subjects think more quickly, fluidly and originally. In a depressed state, subjects are self-critical and obsessive, an ideal frame of mind for revision and editing. “When we think of creative writers,” Ms. Jamison said, “we think of boldness, sensitivity, restlessness, discontent; this is the manic-depressive temperament.”

Full Article: Exploring The Links Between Depression, Writers and Suicide

Writers and artist seem to gravitate towards the insane and quirky side of life. They explore areas which no other human would go, then they report their findings. Most time, they fall prey to their own research.

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How to choose the RIGHT language to write a novel.

Let’s keep things simple. You want to write and you want to be published. So what language will you write in? It sounds like a dumb question and I can see some of you rolling your eyes and fidgeting in your seat; ready to flame my blog. But hear me out.

Language choice is a BIG decision, primarily because it can determine whether you would actually finish your novel/short story/article or love letter. Anyone can write, thats why we go to school. We learn to spell words and articulate our minds onto a medium called paper.

Yet, language will determine the feel of the story, the life of the story lies not in the writing itself (per say) but rather in the language used. Language determines the way the words are spoken by that invisible story teller, who sits in reading room of our mind and language moves us to think, to dream and to imagine.

Write in the language you think in.
If you think in Chinese, try writing in Chinese and so on so forth. Writing in the language you think creates flair in your stories. It just means, you have mastery over the language. By being a master of the language you can play with words and sentences and allow yourself to speak your mind. Remember, creative writing is about painting your mind onto a printed medium for people to read. Paint using the colors that you are sure of. Write in the language that you think in.

Now, there will come a time when you choose to write in a language you learnt..

Write in a foreign language if you want to reinvent yourself.
When I write in Bahasa Malaysia, my style changes. It becomes dead formal. My sentencing becomes rigid and it takes on an air of formality. Yet, when I do attempt to write in Bahasa Malaysia, I am not govern by the rules of the language because I don’t know them. My writing takes on a flair akin to a mad-man ranting away nonsenses. So, if I ever want to write in Bahasa Malaysia, it’ll probably be poetry or a compilation of short stories by inmates of the local asylum.

Write in the language you read in.
Writers are in part hugely influenced by what they read. We pick up a writer we love and in time our style matches them to a certain degree. We take on some of the way they sentence their words or speak their minds. My own style is (ironically) greatly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the Sherlock Holmes series, and lately by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Nicholas Sparks. These are the writers I read and they all write in English.

Write in the language you vocalize your stories in.
Writers need to be good story tellers. For example, imagine sitting in a coffee shop with your friends and it’s your turn to tell them your story. You need to grab their attention, keep them hooked, allow them to follow the story, allow them to experience the characters. This imagery is the one I keep in my mind when I write my short stories. I imagine I’m telling the story to a friend. This is what I deem the Voice of the Writer. Every writer has their own unique voice. It’s their fingerprint in the literacy world. We recognize each other by the way we speak on paper. So make it a point to try to translate how you vocalize your stories to people onto paper. Try to mimic the phrasing and sentencing onto paper and you’ll find that your writing has taken on a new dimension.

So why are you still reading this? Go write something.

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Train Man..sweet story

I just finished reading a book called Train Man. I bought it some time last year and only now I have gotten round to reading it and boy, did I miss something. It is a sweet, sweet book. It is a story that would make you smile and realize fairy tales do happen in the real world.

There is an online version of the story available here: http://www.rinji.tv/densha/

Densha Otoko, or ‘Train Man’ is the name of a very popular book published in Japan in early 2005, which tells the true story of a nerdy guy who falls in love with a girl who he saved from a drunk on a train. This entire story takes place on a Japanese bulletin board system called 2ch, or ‘ni-channel’, particularly in a thread called ‘Men Being Shot from Behind’, where single men get together and gripe about being single.

In typical Japanese fashion, after the tremendous success of the book, both a movie version and a TV drama series were released. ‘Densha Otoko’ is really the “it” book of 2005 for Japan. It’s a really great story and I hope that this translation helps you enjoy it, too.

I’ve heard of writers publishing their blog entries in the form of books but this is the first time I’ve come across a book that is comprise of forum postings. The replies from the other netizens are funny, ridiculous yet honest. It’s not scripted. Not plotted. Train Man is a simple story but what makes it special is the sense of community. You become part of the group, rooting for Train Man as he pursues his lady, Hermes. You are drawn into their discussions and at times you would disagree with them yet you see the fun side of things.

Give it a try and you’ll see why I am still smiling when I think of the book.

Random Thoughts can lead to great stories..

I’m obsessed with my hand-phone. It is an integral part of my life and one of the most useful things it does for me, is to keep my thoughts. I get random ideas as I go about my business in the day and my hand-phone captures these thoughts. Some thoughts make it into my writings while others sit idle, bidding their time. But importantly, this frees my mind to constantly churn out ideas, thoughts or just pure nonsense.

Give it a try, turn your hand-phone into the scribe that captures your thoughts. You never know, that captured idea could be the next great story you will tell.

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