This will be my last post in 2009, and after the strange dream I’d experienced last night, I decided to get this over with and talk about my dream.
It was a quite long-neglected dream.
Until Nashuha decided to say…
I suggest you to write a novel. Seriously.
That comment is seriously one of the greatest comments I’ve ever received in my life. It made me motivated, somehow, and I was smiling ear to ear for days.
She didn’t know this, but I’ve written plenty of novels. It all started when I was fourteen and foolish, basking in the glory of Kpop instead of school and examinations, joining various forums just because it was fun.
It was fun. They taught me how to make graphics using Photoshop, I learned another language (not Korean though, but Japanese lol), I gained a couple of great friends, but the thing that caught my deepest attention was the fanfiction forum. It was amusing how their imagination could run wild, prompting them to write about their favorite idols and such. For the longest time, I refrained myself from reading those, because you know how fanfics are, but in the end, I relented, and read one of the fanfics that had the most comments…
It was awesome. At least, I thought so at the time. I was very impressed that I even commented…
If your novel were to get published, I would surely buy it.
She was thrilled, naturally, but after a note of thank you, that was it. I thought that was the end, when suddenly, she sent me a private message.
I’ve just created a new fanfic forum! There’s a lot of great fanfics here, and maybe you could write one too.
I was intrigued.
Well, not about the amount of great fanfics, but more of the notion that I could write one too.
That thought made me quiver, because aside from school assignments, I’ve never written anything like this.
But I took the plunge, and wrote my first one-shot fanfic.
The feedbacks I received were spectacular, and I can’t help but write more.
After a couple of short stories, they urged me to write a novel, of which I did, because they made me think that people appreciate my works after all.
So I wrote my first novel ever.
More and more ideas began to land in my brain, and I found myself constantly jotting down the plot and writing more of the madness that is fanfics.
However then, I was out of the loop for a while. I had a big examination when I was fifteen, and there were some personal issues that needed to be taken care of. Thus, slowly, gradually, I began to drift away from the community, no longer touching Photoshop, no longer touching Microsoft Word.
Besides, at that time, I didn’t have a laptop, only the family computer. And the computer was placed in the living room, facing everyone who passed by. You bet everyone can see what I was doing, and everyone in the house knew that I had new hobbies and apparently, skills. And those are Photoshop and writing.
I didn’t write for nearly three years after that, nor did I touch Photoshop and meddled with the graphics. Personal issues conquered my life, and I plainly didn’t care anymore. But my love for writing rekindled when my brother gave me his old e-book reader, and my father gave me his old laptop. By the time I was 18, I have completely submerged myself with the world of literature, away from the community, away from everything else…I suppose.
Having a personal laptop gave me superb privacy, and I found myself writing a story. The first serious story I’ve ever concocted.
That is to say, one of the reasons I took up writing again was because I was almost always being referred to as the ‘extra baggage’ of my family or…the black sheep, for the lack of word. Most of them (excluding my family of course) underestimated my capability, and probably thought that I’m waiting for my parents to marry me off.
Not that I wasn’t smart or anything, but again, personal issues.
Another reason for my sudden inspiration was because I somehow stumbled across Jane Green’s blog (I watched her on The Martha Stewart Show and I looked at her and thought…who is she again? So I googled her XD) and she wrote something motivational that kept me hanging on that hope for months.
She wrote, if you’re going to be a writer, then you need to write a book. And not just write, finish it. Make it complete. Don’t worry about publishing and all that madness. If you have a book under your wings, then everything will be fine.
I took that advice very, very seriously.
So when I was 18, I finished writing my first serious novel ever.
It felt good. Very good.
My mom urged me to ask my father to review it, since he was the greatest writer in our family, and he reads a lot.
My dad gave me a lot of harsh criticisms and quite awesome advices.
Example would be…you should write like this because…you need to do this to excite the readers…don’t do this because…bla bla bla he really commented a lot.
The odd thing was, he’s a busy man I guess, and often forgot to read my story. I’d be, “Umm dad? Have you read my novel? =.=” (not exactly willing because he would criticize for sure but whatever)
And he’ll say, “Oh yes oh yes.” *opens the documents* =.= *cue for harsh criticisms*
So yeah, he only read a few lines here and there…not sure if he understood the story. XD
But better than nothing, yeah definitely.
His pointers made sense, so I took them all in and implemented those in my writing. I began to read books avidly as well, memorizing the dictionary, studying the grammar, all the while constructing plots and characters.
So exactly on February 2009, I wrote the first prologue for my book, Metamorphosis.
And on April 2009 with bloodshot eyes and extremely skinny condition, I finished writing the book.
I felt freedom I’ve never felt before. Even the freedom of examination didn’t taste quite as sweet as this.
Now what? I thought. Maybe I should get it published.
However, living in a country like Malaysia didn’t give me much opportunity in publishing an English book. Most of the publishers wanted Malay manuscript, and here I have in my laptop is an English book…
But there was one English publisher in my country, so I tested my luck and sent them my manuscript.
This was their reply.
I’m sorry to say but due to recent recession in the economy, we decided to reduce our book publications. And sadly, your book wasn’t the type that we were looking for right now.
True enough, after that, I went to the bookstore, and all they published were autobiographies.
I decided to forget the whole matter, but my mother encouraged me to ask for another publication house, preferably international.
But almost all of those international publication houses and agents wanted the hardcopy of my manuscript. And I live so far away, and they even want to meet the author. I mean, that was simply impossible.
So I tried to find Singapore’s publication houses, and I found one. I sent them an email, and sure enough, they rejected me.
Again, same excuse, economic recession.
After that, I decided not to bother anymore.
Only two rejections and I was giving up?? Sure, there are no more agencies to ask. And I didn’t know where to ask either.
Still, I read a lot. Reading has become a hobby of mine out of a sudden. And I learned a lot by reading. Like what made me intrigued, what bores me to death, what was lame, what was awesome…
I tried to write in Malay, because I still dream of being an author, but I CAN’T.
I’M NOT KIDDING. I CAN’T. MY BRAIN REFUSES TO COOPERATE.
Pada suatu hari…
So Malay novels are out of the questions. Obviously. X.x
I did search for ways to publish independently after that, but everything seemed like too much a hassle, since I’m working on my own.
Anyway, I’ve since forgotten about that dream, only relishing my writing passion on my blog, until Nashuha decided to comment…
I suggest you to write a novel. Seriously.
But I’ve wrote them! (yeah I know you didn’t know Nashuha :P)
Nonetheless…what to do. I have no idea how to get it published anyway.
And as if coincidence decided to toy me around, I stumbled across this tweet on twitter…
“The risk of not trying is far greater than the risk of putting yourself out there and trying.”
I was motivated. Inspired. All of those things.
And everything began to land in my mind.
Including this little e-book publisher that I saw on Stanza (an apps on iPhone). I’ve been meaning to check them out, but it always slipped my mind.
This time, I was not as forgetful.
I checked their rules, and honestly, their regulations are pretty lenient. Everyone can publish, I suppose none would be rejected, only those who didn’t follow their rules.
It was like a dream comes true.
The only obstacle holding me back is I don’t have a cover.
Hence, Nashuha, the butterfly. :D
SERIOUSLY FELT LIKE SMACKING MY HEAD.
*SMACKS MY HEAD CONTINUOUSLY*
Do you believe in coincidence? :D Back then, I don’t. Now, I’m not so sure anymore.
Nashuha, we need to discuss this. ;o
Anyway, hopefully, 2010 will give more opportunities in achieving my dream.
Personally, I’m not that concerned about the amount of books I’ll sell.
What I really want, was for me to have the chance of contributing to the society instead of sitting around like an useless junk. Hey, maybe my book will be in the bottom of the list, but at least I’ve done something remarkable once in my life, at least I’ve done SOMETHING that I loved, and at least, I’ve stamped myself with…Huda: Author.
Better than Huda: Unemployed. Or Huda: that useless person. Or even Huda: future dumb housewife.
I’m certainly not leeching off my family’s fortune, waiting to be married to some husband so I can leech him off too. I want people to see me just like my other siblings; independent, smart, creative, talented, and certainly not the black sheep.
Itgoessomethinglike…I am the black sheep of the family~
So that is my hope for 2010. I hope opportunity will open its gate for me, and make my dream comes true.
Hope I didn’t hurt your brain while reading this post. 8D
p/s: oh and that strange dream last night. I dreamt that my book was published, but there was so many typos and grammatical errors i nearly dieeeee DX