For the A TO Z CHALLENGE, I blogged for 26 days in April (except Sundays) based on the alphabet, and my theme was #foodiefiction, inspired mostly by the foods of Singapore.
I never thought I could do it.
I thought, hey, let’s just sign up and see how many I can do!
It was hard! A lot harder than I expected. And there were many nights as I sat at my laptop, a black space on Word, a cursor blinking away, that I wanted to just throw in the towel. Many days were spent thinking what am I going to write for this letter? Surprisingly though, inspiration for the the last few letters were easier to come by than some of the others. I cheated a little by using Chinese words. But hey, there was never a rule that said, use English only. Or maybe there was. I just never noticed it.
But on this last night, a few hours before my post for the letter Z is to go up, I feel a little bit sad that it’s over. I felt like it really opened my mind up, to start thinking about so many different things. Not just about the foods of Singapore, which was my theme for the challenge. But also about my relationship with Singapore, where I was born, where I grew up, but where I am not living at the moment.
Most of the pieces I wrote were fictional but some of them, especially the letter Z, had a few pieces of me within.
So here’s the thing. I used to be a writer. I used to write for newspapers. But I wasn’t much of a reporter. I didn’t know how to get out there and sniff out news and ask the right questions. For a long time after that I didn’t want to write. I still constantly doubt my writing ability. I still question if anyone out there would want to read what I am writing. That’s probably why it took me so long to sign up for this challenge and put up some non-book-related posts on this blog. (Yes I confess, I hide behind my book blog).
I have struggled for a long time with who I am. I know everyone does, so it feels silly to write this. But the past few years as a full-time mother I have felt so lost. What was I other than a wife and a mother? Who was I as a person?
It’s not as if participating in this challenge has solved all these questions, but the routine of sitting down at my desk every night after the kids go to bed, and typing out my silly little stories, it opened up something in me that I hadn’t felt for a while, a love for words, the idea that writing something, that reading something can make you long for something, make you hungry, make you feel something.
And so I don’t want to stop. I hope to sit down every night and write something. I haven’t the faintest idea where to begin, but maybe I will begin back at the letter A, and rewrite those stories that I wasn’t happy with, that I had rushed because I hadn’t had time to think of what my story for the next day would be.
I want to thank all of you for your likes and comments, for your kind words and encouragement, and also for sharing your own stories. I may not have been able to visit many other challenge participants, but I think I have made a new blog friend or two via the challenge.
I definitely will be taking part in the A to Z Challenge next year. Will you?