When Writing is Like Shouting into the Void

I’m, unfortunately, the kind of person who’s easily discouraged.

I could get a brilliant idea in the shower, come from the steam and open the laptop to write, but there’s another open window with the Goodreads page open. I would see a successful author in my genre, then remember the mediocre reviews on my book, and there goes the urge to write.

This year is a year for changing. I’m at a crossroads, having to face the reality of writing. I have to decide if I want to keep it as a passion or if making money sounds like a priority. I don’t know yet, but I’m not hurried to find out.

I’m exploring new things, new genres I haven’t touched before. New formats, like the sort of creative non-fiction I’m writing these days.

Sometimes writing feels lonely. And then that’s all I can feel.

I was once in a writer’s discord group. It was lively for a while. They were the only writing friends I had, at least in recent years. We talked about nothing and everything, but in the end, I realize there was never a true connection.

I know what a true one feels like.

All the way back to elementary school, I used to threaten my friends to write so I can have something to read. I was writing a novel even then. I wanted them to be like me, because the writers were cool. A few of them did, but gave up two pages in.

They preferred to read. Pen on paper in a tiny notebook I got from the nearby convenience store. That tiny notebook got passed around the class under the teacher’s eyes.

Now I haven’t heard a single notification from the group in months. And I haven’t been in contact with any of my childhood friends in years.

Except one, who visited me last summer. By chance, I just got my author’s copy in the mail. I opened the package in front of her. She was pleasantly surprised and thought it was unbelievable.

We met again in Beijing a few months later. Us two, and another friend of ours agreed on a reunion. We sat around in the back of a boba shop in a busy mall, each with a drink in front of us.

She said something I don’t think I can ever forget.

“It’s great that you actually went out to complete your dream.”

She said it in an almost wistful way. It made me stop for a few seconds to think.

We were all lost youth. Didn’t she have a dream she has yet to complete? Plenty of time left.

Also, was publishing a book my dream? I never really treated it as such.

When I was a teenager, I made a bucket list and one of them was “publish a book”. But it was obligatory.

I never intended for it to be just one. To publish more, of course, you have to publish the first one. I wasn’t going to stop, the idea of such is ludicrous. I wasn’t going to stop at just one.

I want to keep writing as long as I’m still alive.

That’s, I guess, is why I’m also easily encouraged. Just writing this article is making me feel better. There’s no profound insight here, just a writer, venting.

I don’t know who invented the phrase “there’s no going back now”, but he sure was an idiot. That’s what heroes say at the start of the third act. That’s not real life.

There’s never a way of going back. Not now, not ever. We can only look forward. Sometimes forward is the void.

Sometimes the abyss stares back.

Why this website exists​

I had been entertaining the idea of starting an author website for years now. I started a few and practiced my web design skills by exploring WordPress and such. It was fun, but it was expensive. The hosting and the domains all costed money, and I had no reliable income at the time. I can’t keep a website and have nothing up.

Still, I recognize the need to have a website. I knew I would be published one day and I need to have a place to direct the readers to. Social media would work, but a website would be more formal and can contain things more than the size of a bite.

I can have things related to my books here. Deleted scene, worldbuilding, lore, sketches, art, maps, or my writing process. I write what I want to read, and I believe there are people out there who would be interested in seeing these.

Then I got into short stories. I think it had to do with the fact that there were so many ideas in my head and I couldn’t possibly write them all as novels, and also because not everything was that complicated. I wrote some snippets when I got a burst of inspiration. They were few-hundred-word pieces, going nowhere. I had the impression that a short story has to be 4000 words and literary-magazine-worthy, but I forgot how to write for myself.

Right now most of the posts on this site are around 1500 words. They are short, weird, but they are fun to write. I experienced a period of depression in the Fall of 2018, and I couldn’t work on any of my books, so I began to write short pieces and put them up on the blog. It really helped, even though some days I didn’t touch the keyboard at all.

I’m trying to keep this site alive. My debut novel is coming out soon, and I want to have things here. Not just life updates (my life isn’t that interesting), cat photos (I don’t own a cat, or any pets at the moment), coffee latte art ( I don’t go to cafés nearly enough), but also an extension of the world I’m creating. I hope it would be a good and casual place to hang out on this vast internet of ours.

Okay.