Of How Maybe Everything Came Into Existence

It felt like it hasn’t been that long since I released a new book. And quite understandably so, too, since I just released Unspoken Words back in January. Yet here I am, writing a blog post about how my third book came into existence. It feels almost surreal, because just one year ago, I would’ve never dreamed of producing two new books in such a short time.

Have you ever fallen in love so hard, you couldn’t help but see everything through a rose-tinted glass?

Even as I am writing this post right now, I find it hard to pour everything on the pages, because just like with 3 (Tiga) and Unspoken Words, Maybe Everything is also a very personal project for me—one that I never intended to publish when I was still in the process of writing it. Continue reading

My Writing Playlist: Maybe Everything

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The Cardigans – After All

Aoi Teshima – Lullaby of Birdland

Anggun – Fly My Eagle

I wrote the majority of Maybe Everything when I was heartbroken. So quite naturally, the songs featured in this writing playlist are the songs I used to listen to during the moments when I couldn’t stop thinking about my romantic interest. Even now, I still recall the evenings I spent during my commute just listening to the songs and staring out the window—wishing fervently for the pain to end.
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Growing Up with “Failures”

The good thing about growing up, I think, is that we become more and more accustomed to failure than we were during our pubescent or childhood. Just hours ago, for example. I was in a small room with 4 others; 2 of whom could literally decide the fate of my professional career.

Yes, I was in a meeting. It’s a very laughable situation where I had to present a proposal I’ve been meticulously preparing for weeks to a member of the board, only to have this person point out every single mistake I’ve made, even denoting that “I haven’t done a thing worth mentioning” in regards to the proposal.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The meeting itself was cut short, as you might have predicted. The end result? A humiliating rejection from the board member, and some dissatisfying remarks I will probably carry with me for the rest of my professional career. This includes unpleasant vocabularies such as “worthless”, “mistaken”, “unneeded”, etc.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel disappointed. As a matter of fact, I knew I could get a much better outcome than just a plain rejection. I knew for sure that I’ve already prepared all I could, and even rehearsed the presentation because that’s just how paranoid I can be.

But still, this thing called “failure” stalks from outside the window; bidding its time until it finds an opening to creep in. And despite your best efforts to prevent it from happening, it always catches you off-guard.  Continue reading

Bon Voyage

There’s just something about marriage that excites people. The other day, when Felicia—my friend of 8 years and counting—announced her marriage, I couldn’t be happier. I genuinely wanted to congratulate her from the bottom of my heart, because I was truly happy for her.

But at the same time, there is this lingering, quaint loneliness in the corner of my heart, whispering the advent of a certain end. Continue reading

My Favorite Writing Spots

The idea that a writer ought to write in a coffee shop of some kind has been quite prevalent in this modern society, don’t you think? Whenever we picture an author in our mind, for example, the very idea of them typing away in the nook of one dusty cafe might show up in our mind unassumingly.

I, for one, am an example of those stereotypical writer. Although I might add that I don’t think writing in coffee shops is particularly cool or on trend, I want to emphasize that most writers, based on my experience, do like writing in coffee shops the best. Discounting the most comfortable writing space which is our own bedrooms, of course. But I digress.

And it doesn’t even end at coffee shops. Us writers write almost everywhere. I’ve watched a Youtube video of a group of writers who spent their vacation writing in an old castle. How amazing is that? Often times, the “writing spot” doesn’t even have to be grand or obvious like coffee shops and vintage castles. More often than not, you can find these lovely places in your neighborhood! Continue reading

For Adventurers Clad in Long Robes

I have always been fascinated by the idea of being a valedictorian. You know; standing in front of people, delivering a speech that will hopefully change the world—or simply waste a few minutes of people’s lives.

The very foundation of using your own words and voice to instill a drop of water in the bucket we call “our generation” is a peculiarly foreign thing to me, and thus, fascinating.

Unfortunately, even though I believe I have the passion to deliver these words, I did not have the qualifications to do so in my graduation ceremony. That day, I sat in the middle row of the great hall with shame and listened halfheartedly to the valedictorian’s speech.

I must say, the speech itself felt so fabricated with all those subliminal advertisements of our university it even made me sick. But the person who spoke in front of us seemed like your typical good kid. I even wondered seriously whether this person we call the valedictorian actually enjoyed his campus life.

Judging that he had less fun experience during university just because he was smarter than everyone else was, of course, not a fair thing to do. But as I sat there and pondered about all these explosive train of thoughts, I began to truly wonder whether this person, this valedictorian, at the very least, really wanted to deliver the speech. Continue reading

Getting Back into Writing

Recently, it feels so hard convincing myself to write something new. You know, be it a novel, a short story, or even a short poetry. There’s always this inexplicable part of my heart that just wouldn’t listen, no matter how hard I try to tell myself to write. Something is clearly holding me back, and I don’t know how to fight it.

Maybe the cause of such phenomenon was my fear of expectations. Of living up to a certain standard. Of not disappointing anyone with lousy, uninspiring prose. I’m constantly haunted by a phantom of failure—a projected hallucination of all the walls around me crumbling, should I fail to live up to everyone’s, and my own, expectations.

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