“I always imagine it like a whole load of plates spinning, and you’ve got the plan, the research and the plot, and you’ve got to kind of keep them spinning and constantly moving between one and the other.” What about you? What role does the subconscious play in your life, as a writer, reader, artist, gardener, mason, engineer, or whatever it is that you do? Do you ever take cues from your subconscious?
In my writing and in life, I’ve often found that I have to keep going even when (especially when) I reach a breaking point. Be it writing, swimming, household chores, hiking, research– the best part is after you climb that one seemingly insurmountable hill– the other side’s where that gorgeous sunrise is at, or that wonderful dizzy feeling of making your 10th lap (I learned swimming two years ago, so), or that shiny house or that nugget of information. In writing, especially, every time I’ve pushed harder to a more painful place, or to a higher word count, I have found something worth keeping.
Today, I’m very excited to welcome on this blog Suchen Christine Lim, one of Singapore’s best known authors and also a kind, cheerful personality when it comes to teaching creative writing. In October this year Suchen’s latest novel, The River’s Song was launched in Singapore (click here to watch Suchen read dramatic excerpts at the launch) and as part of the ongoing writer’s guest post series in this blog, she talks us today about the beginning of her writing journey.
Two days ago, I finished a course by Curtis Brown Agency, UK a three-day bootcamp for aspiring novelists in Singapore.
The Singapore National Arts Council flew down Anna Davis, an author of five novels and a Curtis Brown agent who runs Curtis Brown Creative; and bestselling author Jake Arnott, known for books like The Long Firm and The House of Rumor, to conduct this workshop.
In January this year Sarah’s debut novel Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love, was published by Picador in the UK. It has sold in 15 other countries, and was Book of the Week on Oprah.com when it was published by Penguin Press in the US in July.
Her journey towards publication with Picador is nothing short of a fairytale. If you’ve ever thought of giving up on your book, or finding an agent or a publisher– you should read what she has to say. (All emphases in the post below are mine).
This is so true when it comes to writing fiction. No matter what, showing up on the page is important. I did this scribble of colors on a blocked day, and it works as my reminder. Letting it go and expressing yourself is all you need on some days. Do you ever get blocked? Or…
I write often at a food court in one of the shopping malls in the neighbourhood. Today I have 600 words already under my belt when I set off, so I do not feel that fear which always accompanies an empty page. But I do have to start a chapter, and that is hard.
Sometimes the best way to write is just wait for it to come, and surround myself with the hum of conversation, with the clatter of cutlery thrown against ceramic plates, the muted screech of chairs drawn out from under the tables, the whir of the food processor as yet another milkshake is born.