Flew to Bali over the weekend for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Had wanted to check out this event since it started as a small local event but for some reasons (or perhaps excuses I conjure), I never made the trip. It is now a successfully run festival well-known in the region. There are participants from all ages and nationalities.
A few close friends asked why I would choose to spend my time and money on a few writing workshops which are unrelated to my profession. Being a banker, our requisite to write is minimum and meant to be kept concise; the key word to business writing after all is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
I am glad I went. The workshops exposed me to several useful writing techniques. Different lecturers pass on different writing tips depending on the topic of the workshop and also depending on their background. An author gives a different view of the literary world from a publisher. Among the many interesting tips and insights shared, the most interesting take-away is that writing is less about talent than practice. I suppose excluding the exceptionally talented few, the rest of the writers simply have to keep writing away and perfecting the skill in time.
It is both inspiring and intimidating to be surrounded by so many aspiring writers. I felt inadequate to many who have been writing for a while and words seem to just flow from their thoughts. I decided this time I will no longer let fear stop me from writing. I am privileged enough that I am not writing for a living. I write because I like to write. Hence, there is no justification for my irrational fear of writing except for fear of bruising my ego. The constant worry that I cannot write well has kept me from even starting.
Some day, writing will come to me naturally. Until such time, I will chip away word by word, paragraph by paragraph. I will continue to tweet, blog and scribble and let words carry me away.