March Wrap-Up

I wasn’t super productive this month in terms of writing, but this month was very positive overall and I’m happy about it. Here’s a quick recap:

Personally …

1. I told the truth.
This month I got to exorcise some demons that were holding me back. Got a lot of stuff off my chest. If you haven’t read it yet, check out my two posts Confessions Part 1 and Confessions Part 2.

2. I started living a healthier lifestyle, but mostly I just chilled.
I guess you can say this was a transitional month or even that I took the month off. Because for the most part, it was mostly spent healing, getting my mind right, doing some self-reflecting, and of course a good amount of chillin’ with friends. Burgers and beers, people.

But recently, maybe the past week or so, I’ve been managing myself better in terms of the day-to-day stuff. I’ve been getting my priorities straight and trying to center myself. I spend a lot of time morning journaling and it helps me get my thoughts in order. I feel much more balanced now.

Writing-ly …

1. I’m letting myself be guided by my artistic impulses that don’t really fit with my overall game plan.
I wrote a short story; something like a metaphor. It’s called “A Boy and His Balloon”. I’ve commissioned a talented artist to do the artwork for the cover and hoping to do something interesting with it. I’m considering it a multi-media project. Very short, but happy with where it’s going. This has zero commercial viability. And it doesn’t fit with the whole “thriller” thing that I’m trying to do, but to hell with it. It’s fun.

2. I opened back up two work-in-progress short stories.
Sent them out for some feedback to trusted readers, seeing where to take things. One is solid. The other one is proving rather frustrating. But that’s the game. Sometimes you crack them on the first shot (and be thankful when you do). And other times, it takes several drafts.

3. I continued outlining a novel!
Yeah, the short stories are the focus these days, but I still find myself drawn to the bigger narratives. It’s very rough, but has lots of potential.

Well, this post kind of seems like a jumbled mess. But for anyone concerned out there, really, I’m in a good space right now. Thanks for all the support 🙂

New short story comes out in April. Title: “Memories from Someone I’ll Never Know”

-Peter

Thoughts & Reflections: Tell the Truth

It was 3 AM at a sooljip in Bundang and a friend that I hadn’t seen in nearly a year let me know what he thought about me: “You’re too careful.”

By that he meant that I tend to be too guarded, that I don’t open up to people. I’m rather tight-lipped about my personal life and my opinions. And it’s true. I usually play my cards really close to the chest. I don’t know why I do it. Perhaps it’s a self-defense mechanism. I think it comes from my agreeable personality trait, or the society that I grew up in; I’m so concerned with how people perceive me that I wind up saying nothing at all.

But recently, I’ve realized that, by being overly concerned with protecting my neck, I haven’t shown people the real me. Either way, I realized that I am pretty guarded. I’ve just hoped that people would take me at face value. But the accusation made me think. Then, if not the raw truth, what have I been showing people? At best, a veneer. At worst, a lie. One of the banes of my existence is the politician who is serpentine with their words; orating something that I call “non-speak”- a carefully crafted and articulate response yet containing nothing of actual substance. Have I become something that I despise?

And I’ve been thinking about this overall characteristic has been affecting my writing. If withholding our thoughts, ideas, and personal information (refraining from speaking the truth) in our everyday lives can be detrimental to our personal life, then can it also hurt our writing? And of course the antithesis of that; would being an unbridled truth-teller liberate us to freely express ourselves in writing? And since the highest form of writing is self-expression, shouldn’t every artist strive to speak the truth in every arena, not just their chosen mediums?

Hemingway said that the writer’s job is to tell the truth. So if to write is to tell the truth, then the highest quality of a writer then is honesty. And since writing, or the state of being a writer, for many, forms the very fabric with which they weave their lives, then of course being a truth teller should permeate every aspect of their being, not just when they are engaged with work.

What does this mean for me? Simply put, it means being honest with myself.
I can’t only speak the truth in storytelling. I need to embrace truth everywhere. In my personal life, in the banalities of daily living, in conversations, in love.

I used to think that being truthful could hurt me, but now I regard it as a source of strength. Because great writers are honest. I can learn something from that.