Back in Singapore! A quick note – I think I’ve decided to make blogging at least a bimonthly thing. It’s something to ground my anxieties, to chart my progress, to keep track of my thoughts. And after all it’s kind of therapeutic to just rant/blog once in a while. Not everything has to be a poem.
Very fortunate and blessed to have had my manuscript selected by the Judges, Koh Tai Ann, Aaron Maniam and Conchitina Cruz!
I mentioned last update that I started to hate my work a little after having had to criticise and work with it for months. That’s true to some extent, but for the longest time (since January, anyway) I was always suffering from a bit of Imposter Syndrome – like, who am I to be writing anyway? Bad thoughts like that.
That sense of being undeserving alleviated a little last month. You see, my exchange programme in Dublin had just ended and I was starting my month-long solo trip / farewell to Europe. Throughout the course of that journey, I had my trusty yellow journal with me.
I had been given that journal at the end of my first year of University for being an ‘outstanding’ member of one of my clubs at NUS Law – specially the Law Students’ International Relations Committee (or club, for some) – and since then I’ve been using it as my writing journal. I bring it to all my events and workshops, I get autographs in there, I jot down whatever seems interesting. In the midst of a months-long writer’s block, I flipped through the book and then I saw the title of my manuscript on the very first page – then I realised. I had been working on this manuscript for years, not months, just not in the way I foresaw it.
After all, I had given up the last edition, deeming my work too weak to submit. But have I not been working on those pieces since then? Have I not been seeking opportunities to better myself, to better my writing? And isn’t getting in now a sign that some of that effort has paid off?
Granted, while that realisation gave me some modicum of confidence, it would be far from me saying that I had rid myself of the imposter syndrome. Maybe it’s something we all have to live with. I’ve been suffering from a writer’s block this past month. Not just because I couldn’t write, but I felt like I couldn’t write pieces of quality – but now I’m thinking who’s to say what’s the proper ‘quality’ I need? My pride? My self-esteem? My fear?
I’m still trying to better myself, both as a person and as a writer. But I think if there’s been any takeaway from all of this, it’s that I’m slowly coming to terms with my flaws. I’m having coffee with them at a cafe on the Seine, I’m eating gelato with them after dark. I’m interviewing them and publishing all their gaffes and slip-ups. I’m bringing them to bed.