NON FICTION: Do The Littlest Things To Achieve Your Biggest Goals

Sculpture of muscly back

Photo: Simone Pellegrini

It takes 80,000 words to make a novel, about 10,000 words to be fluent in another language, and 52 kilometres of running to complete a marathon.

These are daunting figures in their own right, but perhaps less intimidating when viewed from this perspective: writing 250 words, learning one sentence, and running for 15 minutes each day.

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NON FICTION: Why ‘Just Write’ Isn’t Just Cliché Writing Advice

A woman writing in notebook

Photo: Trent Szmolnik

I know, I know. Enough of ‘just write’ articles. If you’re a writer worth your salt, you’ve probably procrastinated more than five times the amount you actually work, so I’m sure you’ve come across your share of similar articles during these times of ‘creative rest’.

I’ll be upfront and say that this article is probably not for you—no wait don’t close the browser. What I meant to say was, I had a rough time piecing this story together and I almost sent this draft to the trash, but I’d recently made a decision to increase my writing output, and part of that commitment involves finishing my shit.

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NON FICTION: The Universe Doesn’t Give A Damn About You

Sand dunes in a house

Photo: Jean Wimmerlin

There are times when life kicks you in the butt, and then there are times when it really gives you a shafting. You know, those times when you metaphorically feel like you’re getting drawn and quartered after you’ve had ten inches shaved off your height at the guillotine.

At these junctures in life, the problems will seem like they’ll never end, like the eternal crash of waves on the seashore. You’ll curse the heavens and call on anyone who’d listen to your plight. How could the world be so cruel? Can’t the gods see the injustice? Only once the initial anger passes will you see the truth: The universe doesn’t give a damn about you.

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NON FICTION: The Problem With Being A Writer

Boss and employee

I’ve started putting down books more lately. I’ll give them one chapter of boredom before I cut my losses and move on to the next book. I used to be a completionist when it came to reading, but as I grow older, I realise how little time I have to read all the books I want, so I’m learning to be more meticulous with my reading time.

It’s not the books, it’s me. I’m aware that different authors have different styles, and not all of them are going to suit me. I’m fine with that. The literary world is entirely subjective, and the path to bestsellery often consists of just craft and luck—both unmeasurable.

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NON FICTION: Want To Be A Writer In Malaysia? Here Are 10 Things You Should Know

So you want to be a writer in Malaysia

Writer In Malaysia: Girl behind blinds

Yep. I’m as bored with listicles as you. Photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris

Great. Another top-ten things article. Here’s a stick. See that dead horse? Go ahead. Have a go.

Despite the cliché, there’s a reason for all this trite. If you’ve ever asked me what it takes to be a writer in Malaysia, what courses make the best gig magnets, or what laptops produce the best word diarrhoea, then this piece is for you.

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NON FICTION: Life lessons I learned from climbing

stu climb

Shit I don’t think I can make this move.

Looks like a scary drop if I don’t stick this.

Am I tied in properly?

Why am I doing this again?

Not limited to one thought per climb, I often find myself second-guessing my intent of trusting my life with a pulley the width of my pinky. Not to mention the tedious work involved in building the strength and technique needed to finish a route. But completing a project I’ve been working on makes it all worth it in the end.

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