A Secret Unlocked

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I came across this quote the other day, and it instantly resonated with me. Here was the secret to overcoming all the struggles and frustrations I’ve had with my writing over the years. For the longest time, I believed there was no point in attempting to write if I didn’t feel inspired. I would know if inspiration was paying me a visit because writing wouldn’t be an effort. The words would simply flow, and my fingers would fly over the keyboard.

This belief meant I wasted many years waiting for a creative spark that never came. Not being able to write like I once had was upsetting- writing is the one thing that’s always defined me, and losing that ability felt like I’d lost myself.

There is nothing better than when the words do come readily, because it’s clear then that you’ve tapped into some source of inspiration, and such creative energy is a wonderful feeling for any artist to experience. But I guess I needed to learn that writing isn’t always that easy. Yet, funnily enough, when I finally realised that, all of a sudden, writing didn’t seem to be so hard anymore.

I think, as a teen, I had a somewhat romanticised notion of the writing process. But as I’ve grown older, and learnt more about how the world works, I’ve realised that in order to experience success with my writing, it must be approached in the same way as anything that you might invest your love and time and energy into. Like with any relationship, or friendship, or career, you need to show a daily commitment and dedication. That’s the hard part.

Now that writing has become a habit, I am filled with an abundance of ideas. I see stories in everything. Inspiration, actually, is all around. Travelling is what brought on this realisation at first. But the everyday is equally as inspiring- the quiet moments, the simple things. When you write about your experiences, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The important thing is that you try.

Just write.

One Month

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Today marks one month since I started An Evolution of Adventure. I am immensely proud of the fact that I have been writing every day since then. It was a goal I hoped to achieve, but one that I was not entirely confident I would. I thought it would be too hard.

As it’s turned out, it’s been easy. Writing has simply become part of my daily routine, and the best thing is, I haven’t forced it to be. That’s made all the difference, because it means that now, I look forward to writing, instead of regarding it as something that has to be done, like a chore on a to-do list. And of course, when you enjoy something, it gives you joy. Writing is now a source of personal satisfaction rather than frustration.

The reason why writing has suddenly become easier for me is because I’ve learnt that it is only as difficult as I choose to make it. Simplicity is best, but we are so used to life being complicated that we tend to forget this. Sure, there are still times when I sit and deliberate over words. The creative process has a mind of its own, and sometimes it wants to transform a simple idea into something bigger than Ben Hur. When it all starts to get too much, I know, now, to get back to basics. Or rather, I apply this knowledge, because deep down, I think I always knew. The key to achieving success in writing, for me, is to stop overthinking things and focus on what it is that I want to say. Essentially, it all comes down to that wise philosophy to keep it simple, stupid.

I’m delighted that the year has got off to such a great start, creatively, and I can’t wait to continue writing. After all, if writing is a form of alchemy, I’ll be in for a magical year.

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, folks!!! I hope you are blessed with love, laughter, health and happiness. And many amazing adventures, of course! I am so excited for a new year of realising some of my travel dreams.

One of my goals this year is to document my travels on this blog, both new and old. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. As a child and as a teen, I used to write all the time. It came so naturally to me then. My world was full of words.

And then one day, I lost my way. Years went by but inspiration’s visits were always fleeting. For that is what I blamed for the disappearance of my ability to write like I once had. A lack of inspiration. And I grieved that loss dearly.

Teaching and travel came to define my 20s. But it was writing that defined the essence of my being, long before I was a teacher or had the means to travel. I missed it. I have no special talents in life but I’d always felt like writing was my strength. And now I wasn’t good at the one thing I’d thought I was good at.

Over the years, I started three different blogs but quickly lost the motivation to maintain them. As I pondered these failures, it slowly dawned on me that inspiration was not the cause of my problems. Rather, I was seriously overthinking the whole writing process.

So this year, I’m going back to basics. I don’t want to sit and deliberate over every single word, I just want to tell the story. There’s no need to take myself so seriously. I’m not bloody Shakespeare and never will be! I just want to write as freely as I breathe. Because that creative energy, and that amazing feeling you experience when you realise you’re painting images with words, is intoxicating. When words flow like water, I feel so alive. It’s sad to think I’ve deprived myself of that joy just because I felt like my ‘style’ wasn’t good enough.

It’s not about inspiration, it’s about dedication. Because, the truth is, inspiration is everywhere. Travelling has made me realise that real life is full of stories, just waiting for the opportunity to be told. Travel is my inspiration.