Creative Passion. Uncertainty

Am I a writer?

For a long time, I laughed at calling myself a writer. I didn’t believe I was good enough. But after a year of blogging here and pitching articles elsewhere, I recently realised that, yes, I’m a writer. I can do it. Write.

One creative little birdy abandoned on the abandoned creative road. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned.

One creative little birdy abandoned on the abandoned creative road. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned.

Or maybe “multicultural blogger” is a more accurate description of me. A term which I like a lot and it seems to be funkier and catchier than “writer”.

It’s always challenging going after that creative pursuit we’re passionate about, be it writing, making music, photography or painting. Many think we’re wasting our time and crazy for doing what we love because there’s no guarantee – so much uncertainty – we’ll make a living out of it. But it’s never usually about the money for us creative types.

Lately it has been difficult for me to write as I’ve been sick. A relapse of reflux left me literally lying on the bed for a month. There were a few weeks where I thought you wouldn’t see a new blog post on Thursdays. This didn’t happen and I think it’s because I love writing too much.

Not everyone will agree with and appreciate what we create, which is okay since we all have different tastes and perspectives. Sometimes there’ll be vocal naysayers but we need to be thick skinned, listen to constructive criticism and continue to believe in what we do. Last month people trolled my Relationship post, accusing me of being racist. It was an interesting experience moderating and responding to such opinionated comments, learning from those who don’t agree with me.

Then there are some of us creatives who work on our craft at the oddest of hours of the day when inspiration strikes us ever so often. Some baulk at our erratic “work” habits. Article ideas usually hit me late at night, so being unemployed currently is working in my favour. No early nights necessary. Just an earful from my mum to sleep early.

Unemployed. No income. Enjoying writing. Enjoying life.

Uncertainty is scary. But looking at it from different perspectives, uncertainty is also very liberating. During these couple of months job hunting, I’ve realised writing, be it writing for the blog or articles such as The “White” Ethnic Faces In The Australian Media, is something I want to do for the rest of my life, and make a living out of. I’ve also had time to set up a Facebook page and added Why The Blog and The Author pages to the blog, so check them out if you like.

Don’t know where I’m going with the blog and writing. But I’m so much more positive than last year and am hopeful things will fall into place. With hope, anything is possible.

Thank YOU for coming along with me for the ride so far 🙂

Why do you blog? Do you like being creative?

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31 thoughts on “Creative Passion. Uncertainty

  1. Nice write up and you are doing well in your way and style. Mine is more like a passion to share. It is always hard at first to start writing and many try’s till you find your right way or style. The other is, once you see more and more readers following and commenting and feedback, it does give you the inspiration to keep on writing and sharing. =)

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    • Thanks for your nice words. I think I still have a long way to go in making my stories and words more relatable, and like you, I write to share. It is always hard to start writing, be confident and brave to put your words out there. I believe if we persist with what we love doing, then people will notice us. Not that this means I’m – or you – attracted to fame and attention, it’s just that I like to make people happy with words. I love it when people comment because it gives me a chance to learn from them 🙂

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      • Understand your feeling. I had that too when I first started a year back. If you keep thinking of trying impressing your readers, you will not move far. Some will like your style and some won’t. So… you cant expect to make everyone read your blog.
        Just write it straight from your heart and mind, and most important… ENJOY!! You will get your reader eventually. =)

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        • Sometimes, starting out is the hardest part. We have doubts in our mind that we will make a fool of ourselves, do a bad job and give up what we (may) start even though we love it. But if we don’t try, we will never know how things will turn out. Yes, if we do things that we love straight from the heart and most importantly enjoy ourselves and learn along the way, we have nothing to loose and we will be confident in ourselves. As dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling says, “When you do what you love, people are drawn to you…if you really are true to yourself, you’re gonna be able to better share your gifts with the world” 🙂

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  2. Yes, you are most definitely a writer, and a very good one at that 🙂 Love the stuff you write, especially as it brings insight and makes me think of things a bit differently than I normally would have. The relationship post you wrote was stunning in the wide & wild range of responses you received…a testament to both your writing and reach.

    Agree that the flow of writing (or in my case photography) is just getting out there and getting lost in it…not much else matters. We do it for the love of what we do that makes us feel free, and thus happy. Best wishes as we move on into Spring. Cheers.

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    • Thanks, Randall. I do think I have a lot to learn still about the world of written words, and even more to learn about how to make my writing more engaging and drawing in people to share their stories, ideas and experiences on my blog. I think maybe my shy personality in real life translates over to this blog and some people don’t like shy!

      The relationship post was a very odd one. Never expected it to be big and all. It’s probably the topic that drew people in. Looking back, I wouldn’t have written it any other way. I have a few cultural topics lined up, but what would you like to see on this blog?

      Yes, we just..get lost in what we love doing 🙂 I love your photos – they always seem to capture and convey emotions based on what you’ve seen, heard and done. Hope you enjoy Spring. Here in Melbourne, we’re heading into Autumn, a tad cooler.

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      • Interesting, I actually think your writing is engaging because of a certain honesty that comes with shyness, although I view it not as shyness but interest/curiosity without wanting to disturb things, if that makes sense. 🙂

        I revisited your relationship post a few times, and was really stunned by how people took your words (or words of other commenters)…you brought out something deep in people which was brilliant. What interests me in such debates, I like the comparisons/contrast of cultures and ideas: TV Shows, the fervor towards nature & the outdoors, diet, and changes of global thinking are changing some horribly outdated biases 🙂

        Enjoy the coming Autumn, I know almost everyone in the States is yearning big-time for the Spring. Cheers.

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        • I’ve never equated shyness with honesty, because when I think of shy people, my head assumes shy people don’t speak/say anything, so we never know what they think. Maybe I’m just thinking of myself 🙂 I think some cultures are more shy than others for various reasons, and I hope to write about this sometime.

          It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly many people react the way they reacted to my Relationship post. Maybe it’s my words, maybe it’s our backgrounds, culture, education…that brought out very different comments on the topic and connecting to other topics, issues and history as well. Some of these comments are personally and unglamourously directed at me and other commentors unfortunately. Rarely do I get offended by them as I’m here to learn through blogging and yes, as you said, these debates are lively and gets us thinking.

          I just noticed: you sign off with “Cheers”. Not everyone does that…maybe I shall write a post on that 🙂

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          • That is a good point, shyness does at times come off as someone who sets themselves off from others (I have that same fault ~ or positive character trait, not quite sure…). That would be a great post topic…I think a lot of people feel similar. Funny you mention “Cheers” I started using it almost 15 years ago working with Brits & Australians, it was very easy going in they way they used it, flowed pretty naturally 🙂

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  3. I think you are an excellent writer, Mabel and a superb communicator. To me, writing is all about communicating whether it be information, an idea, an emotion, or just a whimsical introspection about a passing moment. I like to tell stories and being able to combine story telling and photography (which I also think is a powerful form of communication) all come together in blogging. I enjoy you blog and hope to learn more about you and your perspectives in future posts. Cheers!

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    • What a compliment, thanks so much, Kongo 🙂 I feel I need to work on making my posts more engaging and pulling in people to read them, and putting more emotion into them, though. I’m always ready to learn. You’re so right about writing, and I think this applies to other creative activities as well, such as photography (which you are so good at and I’m just starting out!). Photos definitely tell stories and sometimes they add so much depth to the words we write, and also help us express the emotions we want to express but sometimes can’t with words. Hope to see you around!

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  4. For what it’s worth, there’s a difference between knowing how to write, knowing how to connect with an audience, and knowing who’s willing to pay for it. It sounds to me like you’re still figuring some of that out.

    I blog partly because I know whatever I’m blogging about isn’t worth much to anyone. Besides, monetising a blog to pay the mortgage is a *lot* of work.

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    • I’m still figuring out all three of them. It’s only been a year and a half since I’ve started writing regularly, and I’ve got so much to learn. I blog because it’s a place where I can practice writing, share my ideas and in turn hope others will find it interesting, share their thoughts and I learn from them. Yes, making money from blogging takes a lot of effort and time. Making a living out of freelancing is probably also as challenging.

      I like your blog. Great photos.

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  5. Mabel, I just read “Understanding The Asian-Girl-White-Guy Relationship”. Nicely done. I disagree with the viewpoint that your comments are racist. You haven’t guessed or assumed anything or pigeonheld Asian girls or Caucasian men to any preconceived thinking or behaviour. You’ve covered to full spectrum, and opined on only what is observed truth. Racist beliefe and writing is the opposite of all of these things.

    As for your last two questions; I am a visual artist, who also likes to write, making a bit of a living off of my output. Professional or not, I HAVE TO be creative EVERY DAY. I don’t understand other creative people who can just pack that part of themselves away because it seems frivolous and impractical. The arts are not impractical, they’re necessary.

    I blog because it’s a creative extension of my visual art; a way to interact with those who look at and even invest in my work.

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    • Thanks for the nice words, Mofman. It’s nice to hear that you are making some sort of living off what you love doing, good on you. I wish I can do that someday. Only time will tell. Yes, I get what you mean when you say you have to, you must, be creative every single day. Some days I’ve spent all day at monotonous work, come home and feel so tired. But I’ve always managed to muster up energy to write a paragraph or two. If it’s not writing, it’s plucking the ukulele or playing around with some photos I’ve taken. It’s as if my body says I MUST to do something creative so I can go to sleep happy.

      I like your blog so far. Looking to see more of it 🙂

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  6. Yes, you are a writer, Mabel. I know you like the term “multicultural blogger,” but I’ve actually wondered at times what you would write about if you *didn’t* focus on the cultural thing. What is it that makes you tick? I think you might find it freeing if you wrote about other things, too, that weren’t necessarily about culture. Of course… I have no doubt that if you did that, the cultural thing would find its way back in. Culture is everywhere.

    None of what I just said was intended as a criticism. I LOVE your work and it has been a pleasure to watch you grow as a writer since I first found your blog. I too have learned a lot from blogging and the different perspectives people have shared… On a side note, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better, but so sorry you’ve been sick!

    I write because I would die if I didn’t. Blogging helps me breathe.

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    • That, is such an interesting question. “What would I write about if I didn’t write about culture?” It’s funny. It does seem like I’ve pigeonholed myself into writing about culture and traditions, and I think you’ve picked up on that. I’ve written this week’s blog post already and it was so hard to write. Now looking back at it after I’ve read your comment, the whole point of this particular article isn’t about culture and I guess that’s why it was a struggle. It’s more life-themed. Culture DOES creep in briefly but yeah, it’s not the focus of the post.

      To answer your question, I would write about places and reviews. I recently did two such articles, and am almost certain I will be doing more in the near future – not on this blog though, but elsewhere. I also have a soft spot writing about community events. I find it exciting to write about different topics, it’s refreshing.

      As for what makes me tick in regards to writing? I write to share and inspire others. What did you think I would write about if not for culture? 😛

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      • I’m sorry I’m so behind on your posts and comments, Mabel. The next few weeks are going to be very busy for me, and I am going to get even further behind than I am now. I finally found an apartment, and I’ll be flying to Tennessee and driving across the country all next week. So things are crazy!

        I think you’ve chosen a theme for your blog, and that that’s a good thing! My blog’s a little bit all over the place, and sometimes that bothers me… And you like writing about community events? Sounds like you should be a reporter!

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        • That’s okay, Jess. No pressure. Whenever you comment, you say so many insightful things that make me pause and think about life.

          It sounds exciting what life has in store for you! Moving to a new town, and perhaps meeting new people too. I’m sure you’re having a blast nonetheless, and I look forward to reading about your adventures. As random as your blog may seem, your writing always brings home the most important and touching messages about life. Good on you and I look up to you for that 🙂

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  7. Sorry to hear about your health condition my friend!!!
    in my hometown, soursop it’s the cure for gerd reflux, sounds terribly wrong, totally wrong when my dad tell me that, but i guess it’s work for me (actually my thesis stress driving me into gerd)
    well, to answer your question, i’m blogging because i want to share, it is that simple….

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    • Thanks, Dedy! I’m much better now. Just have to be careful of food – no chocolate, no chillies, tomatoes 😛 I vaguely remember someone mentioning soupsop helps cure reflux, but I dare not try it because it’s so sour.

      I blog to share too. It’s so nice to share, isn’t it? Sharing makes people happy. I like reading your recipes and seeing the dishes you cook – they always look amazing and healthy. Good luck with your thesis. I wish I could write one one day!

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  8. Creative passion. First of all I do it for myself. For fun, for relaxation. Only recently did someone encourage me to start a blog and share – this is only a secondary consideration for me, Would I want to make my living from it? Nice work if you can get, but then the fun element might die, so I’ll stick to my day job.

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    • I love your blog, can definitely see your passion for photography shine through. It also seems like you have a lot of fun with photography too. Definitely agree that there is a big fun element in creative passion. I’ve always wondered what making money out of creative passion is like. As you mentioned, the fun element might die – due to deadline, industry and peer pressures – and you might fall out of love with it. On the positive side, there’s no reason why it can’t be a one non-stop fun roller coaster ride 🙂

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  9. I started blogging mainly to have a place where I can share my pictures with longer narratives or thoughts (than say if I were to do it on Facebook), and to keep in touch with family and friends back home. As time passed, blogging also became an exercise to practise writing something that is personal, rather than yet another press release. Then I ‘met’ like-minded folks online and it’s like a treasure trove with so many interesting people and ideas (just got to sift through the even greater volume of information that doesn’t interest me)… 🙂

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    • A lot of us seem to blog for multiple reasons, and I think that is what makes blogging fun. I really like the sharing aspect of it all – it’s always nice to see people’s reactions towards what you share and you can learn from them. Like you, I blog too to practise my writing. It’s also an opportunity to put my thoughts down on paper and organise them, and when I do I get to think more deeply about issues and my experiences. So long as blogging is fun, I think we will continue doing it, continue sharing and meeting like-minded people, who, you never know, may change your world 🙂

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  10. Hello Mabel! The creative types, ones with true passion (even if not yet realized), can’t be held back. I remember getting a weird feeling inside me that was a constant discomfort if I wasn’t in an environment where my thoughts and ideas could be openly expressed and taken into action. It almost feels like an intellectual prison when the creatives are held to mundane rituals that clearly don’t lead to a significant purpose that could positively affect the world, if not at least the community around us. We’re internally driven to express ourselves in some form or fashion that doesn’t flow with the status quo. For us, a mundane job with a nice paycheck doesn’t cut it. We got to feel what we do, and believe in what we do. Creativity comes in all shapes and forms, and usually we don’t fit well into anything else. But it’s OK, with the coolest creative ones, others will mold themselves to adapt and work with your shape. Just look at all the followers and regular readers you have now 🙂

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    • Very nice to hear from you, BLT. “…an intellectual prison when the creatives are held to mundane rituals…” I think you’re spot on in describing how creative types feel when they are made to do something repetitive and mundane, like stacking clothes or entering data into a system. It’s always hard explaining to those who don’t mind doing the mundane, those who call creatives’ works as a “hobby”. This has happened to me multiple times. I’m sure they mean well but it really is amusing how some people don’t take what we do seriously. Yes, we don’t fit the mould and should never be ashamed of this. If we don’t believe in ourselves, who will? I don’t think others will mold to adapt and think to what we have to offer – I think creative forms and art are something they don’t come across too often, and they will show their appreciation by saying something.

      Your words remind me of a book I read earlier this year: “How To Live With A Creative Mind”. It’s a good read, my recommendation 🙂

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  11. Well… you know what… your posts are much better than mine… I mean you have a great sense of writing posts and conveying your ideas to others… I’ve never seen such a writer who conveys the ideas to people so easily and quickly… You simply rock in writing posts…!!! You can be a very great and successful writer if you showcase your lovely talent more and more by publishing your thoughts and promoting it in large scales… I have a gut feeling that you’ll beat each and every writer and be the #1 writer in the world…!!! My day doesn’t start and end without reading your posts… it’s becoming my habbit now… Anyways… at last I would say that you rock miss beautiful and please continue posting your awesome posts… It’s become My “NEED” now….!!!! 

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