week 48/day 15

ENG 273N is finally over. I feel a little overwhelmed with the sad feeling that we won’t see each other anymore, yet a sense of relief that it’s over. I know I am not a good writer, but I am glad that I met so many creative people who shared their stories with integrity.

I think writing begins when one puts thought on paper, but the thought is just a thought if it ends there. Without the chance of being communicated, a thought will forever only be a thought and never complete what it’s capable of doing, its call to action.

It’s really up to the person what she wants to do with her idea, so why do you want to have yourself heard or share your thoughts with the rest of the world?

The teacher never answers the question, but I guess it’s really a personal preference, like there are people who want to be heard and who couldn’t care less, and there are people who are good at expressing themselves and those who are not. Then there are those who keep trying.

In that sense, I feel it’s okay to give up my ambition to become a professional (?) writer because I know I will always be trying — trying to be clear and to share because it’s what makes me human.

week 47/day 10

Every good piece of writing reveals a truth about the writer, whereas great writing reveal a truth about the world. A story shows us its author’s picture of the world, whereas creative nonfiction is like an author’s self-portrait.

I am collecting data of my writing progress by using the writing tracker from the book “diy MFA”. Since I am not good at time management, it’s a good idea for me to record and analyze my progress so I can be more effective. I guess the desire to write not only for oneself should be what separates a good writer and a lazy one.

It’s been windy with light showers recently. I slept from about 1 am and got up around 10:30 am today. I need to go to sleep early because if I don’t sleep early, my body and my mind don’t recover from sleeping late. Today I couldn’t stick to the cleaning plan as I usually do on Saturdays.

I feel anxious about writing after I bought many good books on writing yesterday. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know were to start. Then I suddenly realized that I’d better start reading first and then pick up what I need to do along the way.

Sometimes I feel like giving up on writing, but I also feel like working hard to become a good writer when I am upset about something. Perhaps now I know how writing helps me to release negative energy and transform the energy into something constructive.

I’ve learned from my experiences that the emotions at the subconscious level have a big influence on one’s actions. Since such emotions are hidden, one’s actions can’t be explained until you try to understand what’s buried under one’s consciousness by looking at the big picture.

Writing is a way for me to find my own truth. My writing style is to present the facts (the situation and the actions taken) and let the readers decide who the character is and what they can learn from her experience.

week 46/day 1

Eventually I started to think that I should give up writing because I realize that I live in my head most of the time. I feel this way so much so that I can’t describe what’s surrounding me and what I write are mostly thoughts. I really don’t have the ability to see things and describe them and show them, and I don’t know if I care to show them or not.

But the good thing is I think I have found out what I wanted to say in my story. It’s what I once read in the astrology reading: “Sometimes the ego cannot win.” The unconscious is powerful and it explains human behavior. I want to acknowledge its presence and the force of the unconscious with my story.

My problem is that my writing doesn’t have the kind of things that good writings require and I doubt if I will ever have it because of my personality. But in any case, I find the effort in trying to share one’s knowledge to be a rewarding learning experience.

week 18/day 11

P is here. What can I say? I am happy to see him. He has responsibility in working for his company and he needs to make money for us. Although now we live separately, I am thankful to have moved back here.

I appreciate Hawaii more now. Today I stared at the color of the clouds and a mountain in front of it through my windshield while waiting at a red light: a giant white cottoncandy-like cloud contrasted with a green mountain under the blue sky were picture perfect. Perhaps the air makes it so. Everything looks unreal because the color of everything is so vivid under the sun. The thought that everything looks like it’s from a postcard didn’t move me 14 years ago: my reaction was more like a “So what?” It makes me think that becoming older could be a good thing.

The climate, the people, the sweet air: everything is different here. What I like the most about Hawaii is that I feel nobody really cares about what anybody else does, but there is this togetherness in how people appreciate their experience living on this small island of Oahu.

week 18/day 10

I am getting used to my new lifestyle here. I get up between 5:30 to 6:00, make lunch and breakfast for the kids, drive them to school from 7:40, return home, do the washing-up and housekeeping, then plan for the day and write from 9:00. I am so hungry right now and I feel my stomach is going to roar.

Last night I began to read the used book I bought this Saturday. It’s called “Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction” by Perl and Schwartz. I am so glad that I’ve found the book because I think creative non-fiction is the genre that I have been writing under. I am not writing in an academic way, or fictional; I felt out of place in writing children’s stories. Although my writing is about my experiences of everyday lives, it’s not like a report: the object being described is non-fictional (the world), but I describe it in a creative way (my world).

The reading on creative non-fiction reminded me of Nietzsche because his argument emphasized on the importance of subjectivity. Nietzsche seemed to say that a person’s subjective world view is the only thing that’s valid. I’ll keep reading and working on my writing, with a sense of direction at last.  Time for breakfast!

week 17/day 9

I woke up this morning earlier than usual (it’s a Sunday) because I thought I would get up and READ! I usually sleep in on the weekend because I don’t need to get up early to make lunch and breakfast for the kids, but this morning as I was trying to sleep in, I realized the reason I usually sleep in is not because I am sleepy, but because I don’t think I have anything to do if I get up (or I just don’t want to do anything). Then I remembered the used-books I bought yesterday. Getting up early actually feels good; it feels like winning.

week 17/day 7

Moving is a good chance for me to find what’s important to me because it’s reseting my life.

My life in Japan other than being a mom: I took German, English (temporarily), piano, table coordination classes; went to a children’s stories writing workshop, volunteered at school libraries, participated in philosophy seminars, tried to get a job and ended up teaching Chinese, read books on various subjects, wrote a blog, and worked on a screenplay. Oh, I watched movies at home, sometimes in theaters. Why did I do what I did? Because other than housekeeping and cooking, I still feel I need to grow.  The desire to understand myself and the world has been motivating me to learn and study what I am interested in.

I wanted to give out energy and take energy from the world because it’s the process of living. What I need from the world is very little: I have learned that from a book on a minimalist approach to organizing. So the question is, how can I make myself useful to the world? I want to share what I’ve learned via blogging  because it’s just fun, and fun is what gives work meaning.

week 17/day 6

After the kids begin to get used to their new school, I slowly begin to get bored.

I started to read a book I found in the bookstore, called “do less: A minimalist guide to a simplified, organized, and happy life”. The book is exactly what I want to know about the mentality of organizing.  Despite the complexity of organizing, the book is written in a style that’s very easy to read.  Jonat’s message on the point of organizing is when a person can organize his/her environment, s/he will do less and enjoy life more.  She asks an important question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

“What do I want to do with my life?” This must be my favorite question because it gives me a sense of direction as I often find myself lost. And the answer that pops up on my mind whenever I see the question is, “I really want to write”.  Writing is my way to de-clutter my mind, a need the same as organizing my environment, both relate to my immediate health.  Writing makes me happy.  Now I think of it, I am actually proud of my work because I care about it.