In Which I Am Tagged (Because I Am Writerly)

But since “writerly” is not a word, everything is moot.

I honestly don’t consider myself a writer writer. Yeah, I make a bit of money off freelance work, but it’s not like I’m known for my writing.

When I think of “writer”, I think of people who are recognized for the craft. So, I’m not a writer. I think.

But then Bea tagged me with this Writer Tag thing, and I am obliged because I like her.

I will therefore endeavor to answer as best as I can.

The Writer Tag

1. What type of writing do you do?

I am a content factory, mostly. However, I am extremely proud of the fact that I am now a writer with a byline, albeit for an online magazine. I write for LxEdit and you can see my name on the articles and stuff. For someone who’s worked as a ghost-writer/content mill for years, this is super cool.

Quick note: thank you Bea for helping me land this job. I owe you.

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?

I would really love to write about books, music, and movies, but nobody will pay me to. I write about beauty/lifestyle/fashion mostly (for the aforementioned LxEdit). This is a fact, even though I am shit at fashion and my lifestyle revolves around Netflix and wine.

I also write about investments, student loans, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t/don’t give a fuck about.

3. How long have you been writing?

I started writing stories when I was in Grade 2, I think, but I’m not sure. It all seems so far away now, because me is old lady.

I remember selling short stories in Grade 3(?). My classmates would place their orders (like “horror story about a sentient plant” etc) and I’d get cracking. My classmates were not very intelligent, so they would gladly pay for my shit stories.

4. Are you published?

Yes, sort of. Online now, but I used to write for a local news digest. That counts, right? I am also published in reputable journals, probably. I say probably because I have several papers that are supposed to be published but no one ever confirmed with me.

These questions are difficult.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?

Not sure, but I do remember the novel I tried to write. It was about this boy who got sucked into his missing uncle’s book. I know, I know. In hindsight it sounds like Neverending Story but I swear to the Mongolian Sky God that I didn’t steal the story. I didn’t even realize the similarity until much later.

6. Why do you write?

I honestly don’t know. As with many of the things I do (like teaching), I think it’s narcissism that fuels me.

7. How do you find time to write?

I have a schedule for the freelance work. It’s not that difficult, though I have to juggle school, work, and freelance writing.

(Wait, let me just say I now realize how remarkable this is given how lazy I am. Yay me.)

8. When and where are the best times to write?

I really can’t say, because I write when I feel like writing. I am, as I’ve said, a shit writer. I can force myself occasionally, but if I want work I can be proud of I have to wait for the words to come, like some sort of Indian musician waiting for hours for inspiration. (Asian Studies reference; you have to be one of us to get it.)

However, I can tell you that it’s awesome to write once the words come rushing in. Can’t stop the signal.

9. Favorite food/drinks while writing?

If I’m writing for work stuff, I binge on coffee. If I’m writing my personal shit, I like doing it while sloshed.

10. Your writing playlist?

If I have to concentrate while writing (like for research work), I have to listen to stuff without lyrics. Joe Satriani is super handy for this.

If I want to boost my spirits I go for my tried and tested battle music: the Rurouni Kenshin OST.

When I used to write fiction, I’d try to listen to a lot of stuff that would serve as background music for the story I was writing. I remember listening to a lot of Liz Phair while writing this not-quite-love-story that will never see the light of day because it sucks.

11. What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?

This is tricky. Parents/teachers/friends mostly compliment my writing, but I feel like I’ve never really delivered on the “potential” they could all see.

12. Parts of writing you enjoy the most?

Whenever I don’t suck.

13. Parts of writing you find challenging?

Fiction I find most challenging. Everything else is relatively easy.

14. What do you use to write with and on?

I like writing on paper, but I do like Pages.

15. How do you overcome writers block?

I don’t really think about it. Do I have writer’s block? Maybe I have permanent writer’s block.

16. How do you motivate yourself to write?

I don’t really. I’ve given up on “motivating” myself because I’m more stubborn than another thing that is stubborn.

17. Authors who inspire you as a writer?

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl got me thinking about writing fiction again. The feeling was short-lived.

18. Books that inspire you as a writer?

See #17.

19. Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

“Keep writing”.


2 thoughts on “In Which I Am Tagged (Because I Am Writerly)

  1. Yaay, thank you for doing the tag! I appreciate your honest responses and can definitely relate to more than a few of these. “Writer” is definitely an ambiguous label that people may not feel comfortable identifying with, so I feel kind of bad now foisting it on people. Maybe it should have been called the writing tag! My own take is that “author” denotes legitimacy and recognition (you are published) whereas you’re a writer if you’re paid to write – or if you just feel like one; no one’s policing the damn thing!

    “However, I can tell you that it’s awesome to write once the words come rushing in. Can’t stop the signal.” Probably my favorite part, tied with the Rurouni Kenshin OST. I think once you know that feeling, your desire to write will never really go away, even if the ideas/drive are at a pause. Can’t stop the signal. *intense/high Matthew Mcconaughey stare*

    Thanks again!

    • Oh no no, don’t feel bad, please! I think the questions just unearthed a bunch of my issues haha.

      “Can’t stop the signal” is from the greatest television series ever made: Firefly.

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