Thoughts in the Bus

I bought a book (again). It was not cheap. Cost me about RM 75.90. So now I’m supposed to watch my spending and by that I mean it’s going to be less eating from this week onwards.

The book I bought is called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. I’ve been wanting to read her works ever since I read Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz.” This book by her is on writing and I guess being someone who loves writing and has aspirations on being a good writer, it was simply hard to pass. I was actually looking for “Catcher in the Wry” by J. A. Salinger whom passed away recently. Donald Miller talks about this in his blog which brought my attention to his book. But in the process of looking for it somehow I could not find it. I could have asked for assistance but I didn’t. I had a policy of, if I did not find the book I was searching for I was not meant to buy it. Well thats unless I really wanted to buy a book, i’d do all I can to find it.

In the bus on the way home, I read the introduction which was pretty long for an introduction (to me) but I think it was simply sublime. I forgot I was in the bus when I finally finished the introduction part. Lamott talked about her introduction into writing and that was nicely brought about. I like to ready origins of how things began. Origins of beginnings sheds light to how dots connected and made sense.

I like the fact that Lamott did not put writing on a mystical platform. That it was something that only brilliant minds were able to do. Or it was for the special people. Well, I do believe there are people who did well in writing but it was a skill to be worked upon. Like footballers need the habitual discipline of practice and training, writers and those who wanted to be good were not exempt from working on their craft.

Lamott didn’t start with an instant hit. Her beginnings were some sort of revelation that she was indeed gifted but the process to where she is now took time, failures and hard work to achieve. She did not glamorize the art and told about how depressing it was sometimes. But the joy and the need to just write should be the constant thing that keeps writers going. Not the intent for stardom and being published and making lots of money.

That is good in a way. Writing is hard and it’s a joy and sometimes if one is lucky you get known and become famous. But not all writers who get published made it. Made money out of their craft. I’m mulling at this moment about pursuing writing full time but I’m clueless about the possibility. Is it possible to be a writer and to make a living out of writing living in Malaysia? Is the pursuit worth the sacrifice needed to attain a level of prestige if ever it was to be attained?

Presently though, I’m studying theology and like it. Well liking is an understatement, I practically love it. Next to that I love books and writing and music. But if I was honest with myself I’m doubtful if getting into ministry would be where I’m supposed to be. By that i mean fulltime ministry. Like being a pastor for that matter. At best I like to consider myself the reluctant minister. Not that I have anything against that. It’s not that I have lost faith just, i’m thinking more of vocation. Some are called to fulltime ministry and some are not. I don’t see my gift of writing as being turning into anything great of life changing or that people would be buying stuff I write. I’m far from that.

What I do have now is I like writing. And if that would lead to something than that would be great. And I made a prayer just now to God. It went like this;

“God I’d like to be a writer.”

A simple prayer. A hopeful petition. But “thy will be done” kind of thing.

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