What Should I Write?

I’m stumped. Clueless.

No, no. It’s not that I don’t know what to write about for my multicultural-themed blog. I have a list of diversity-Asian-themed topics I plan to tackle, all listed out neatly and saved in a Notepad doc on my laptop.

No words. Blank. Uninspired. But opening up the notebook is always a start. Photo: Mabel Kwong

No words. Blank. Uninspired. But opening up the notebook is always a start. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Each week when I explore a certain topic on my blog, it feels right. Something, call it instincts or gut or six sense, tells me it’s time to write about this this week. The topic chooses me. Each week I’ll open up the Notepad doc and a topic will jump out at me.

Over the past month and a bit, I’ve hardly felt this feeling. It’s as if my whole body hit a brick wall hard and my writer’s six sense got knocked unconscious in the process. You can say I’m having a bout of writer’s block.

In the midst of this confusion, I’ve been reflecting on what this blog means to me. When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I made it my mission to post my take on diversity-related current affairs – documenting the latest Asian fads (Gangnam Style, K-pop etc.), reviews of multicultural events and commentary on racist incidents. My intention was to improve my writing skills and get my ideas out there, not caring what others thought. Blogging to me then, was all me, Me, ME.

It was around the time I got Freshly Pressed when I thought, “Hey, maybe there’s more to blogging”. I started getting comments of differing opinions on my blog, began checking out other blogs and fell in love with reading and learning from so many different genres of writing. It amazed me – and still does – how selflessly countless of bloggers share their stories and insights in return for nothing.

I’ve always wanted to write for something, and at this point it struck me, “Why not share what I believe about you and I?” Slipping into a rhythm of incorporating personal anecdotes in my posts has helped me do exactly this, adding emotional touches to my stories that fellow bloggers have warmed towards. Today my Asian-focused blog is no longer about me – it’s about sharing posts, inspiring others to see how all of us are different yet so similar in this colourful multicultural world.

So far I’ve had a wonderful time on WordPress, enjoying putting up posts and commenting on others’ each week. I intend to address “Why the blog” in a more detailed future post. But the time doesn’t feel right at the moment. Why do I feel disengaged from writing lately? Maybe it’s because I’m uninspired from working full time or tired from cramming too many activities into my schedule each week.

I’m always open to suggestions on blog topics. That doesn’t mean I’m a doormat and will say yes to every idea. Every writer has their own voice. I have my own voice and am very picky about the subjects I write, drawing inspiration from things around me – a scene on Bourke Street, a conversation with that fellow public transport commuter, YOU.

Should I share more personal stories on being Asian Australian? Or revert back to writing more of the some-can-say-boring analytical current affairs pieces – especially on racism – that I usually put on The Risky Shift? I’ve also thought about featuring interesting photos I’ve taken on my blog.

Perhaps I should start a series on customs, something like my posts titled, “Hi, I’m Asian…”? Write about and compare Eastern and West lifestyles? Melbourne? Noodles? Banana bread? Pokemon?

I don’t know.

What should I write about?

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18 thoughts on “What Should I Write?

    • A lot of the time when I see someone ask one of those micro-agression-esque questions, it’s hard to accuse them of being racist. I do get the feeling they don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk to someone of a different race, and so curiosity about culture leads them to ask “Where are you from” and “Do you speak Asian?”.

      To be honest, I personally think it’s not that often a person who is racist will actually ask these so-called inquisitive questions. Someone who is racist tends to feel strongly against another race and doesn’t want to be associated with them in any way, let alone get to know them better – they’ll want to keep their distance rather than make small talk.

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    • Carving out a good piece of writing needs structure and thought. Sometimes I struggle to say what I want to say in a coherent way. But good writing needs practice, so I WILL read, write and rewrite as much as I can. For the love of writing 🙂

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  1. Go out and meet a few people from cultures that are completely alien to you. Learn about their language, their food, their customs, what moves them, their spiritual beliefs; and let them learn about you in the process. Spend days with them. Understand what makes them tick. Tell their story through your prism.

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  2. You already know what to write, Mabel. This post proves it. When you share what’s on your mind, people respond. Mankind’s capacity for shared experiences around the globe astounds me every time.

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    • Not really, Jess. I’ve been having a blank head for a while in terms of posts, the direction of my blog (e.g. theme revamp, series posts) and writing in general. I seem to want to write for a living – I just love sharing stories, educating and inspiring others to embrace difference and be who they are. Thanks for your profound and wise words, as per usual 🙂

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    • That’s probably the fanciest pen I have. The balls still float around when I tilt the pen! Thanks for the encouragement, but really, there’s so much pressure to up a decent post each week. I am my worst critic 🙂

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  3. Hi Mabel, I sometimes have writers block, and so just decide I won’t write anything. I have done many posts while having writers block, and I didn’t really like it. Now I’ve decided that I’ll only blog if I have some kind of inspiration. I think if you just live your life, there are plenty of interesting things that you do, think each day that you suddenly think: I want to write about that. xxx

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    • Thanks, Sofia. That’s very good advice – why force ourselves to write when we don’t know what to write about? If we force ourselves to write, it’s against our own will and most likely we will produce a piece of writing drenched in negativity. But then again, to improve at writing and becoming a better writer, one has to constantly write. I think you’re right in saying that we need to live life in order to get inspiration. After all, 100% of the time we write about things based on what happens in real life 🙂

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