The desire to write comes and goes


I am busy going through 1500 pages of notes, essays, and other pieces of text in an effort to fill a few collections with material that deal with certain themes. The process has led to some interesting insights – for me anyway.

An example: In 2001, apart from other work – like a project that became an EFL resource, and a project that became a booklet with English-Chinese phrases – I wrote a lot about writing and my ambition to organise my life in such a way that I can spend most of my time on literary projects. That year gave me some of my personal favourites: “The purpose of my life”, “Exile nine”, and “To talk about God”.

Here’s the interesting part: the following year, 2002, I produced the incredibly small number of 200 words that I later considered useful enough to include in a project. Two hundred words! (I also wrote two other pieces – one about how I had more or less made my peace with the middle class, and another one about my plans for the following year, but I decided not to use those for any projects.)

So, the year after I had so much to say about how I’d like to write and how important it is for my identity and even for the purpose of my existence and the meaning of my life, I produced two short notes of barely a hundred words each.

And then came 2003, and an absolute explosion of creativity, obsessions, fears, hopes, dreams, theories, and opinions. The year produced more than sixty pieces. In September 2003 alone I wrote more than twenty pieces. The pace hardly slowed down over the next two years. Although I started failing hard in 2006 in attempts to make more money, I still produced enough material to compile a neat bundle.

But 2002? Two hundred words.

Just goes to show: Inspiration, and desire to write, like other things, come and go. And come back again.


After further investigation I discovered another 471 words I wrote in 2002 that I might work into a project. This brings the total for that year to almost 700 words.