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Thursday, October 30, 2014

To be the Exception, or to be Exceptional

Sorry, it has been a long while since I last wrote on this. I have been busy with work. Still is... actually... I am currently tengah pandang my translation script going, "I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today. I don't want to do this today..." and decided to write here to distract meself for a while (sure, distract diri sendiri.... bos mintak translation siap sebelum tujuh pagi esok, mengular macamlah banyak sangat masa...)

Yes, I got some subtitling work again, I mean, until December that is, because the company I worked with are stacked with too many things, they had to sub some jobs to me. Since they sub A LOT of scripts, I don't even want to know berapa banyak skrip they themselves have to take care of.


I have been having a... (I can't call it mid-life crisis, I'm just 31... though sometimes when people asked me my age, I said '32'... I

...let's just say I have a career crisis.

I am in trouble of not selling my books well. I can be honest with you guys because I really don't have any self-respect about my life (or lack thereof). Haha. AKU KELIRU has not been selling well. It hasn't even broke second print. That's the worst. THE. WORST. (by 'the worst', I mean, "Mehh, typical...", rather than "Oh my God, life is over!"...).

It still hurts me a bit, because I love writing AKU KELIRU, and I put my heart and soul into it, but of course, mana la bleh aku paksa orang suka aku tulis apa... itu istilahnya perasan sendiri. But I love that I have readers who love it (yo te amo mucho mucho). But to tell you the truth, I do not represent the majority of people in Malaysia. My books don't speak to them. I used to think that people, like me, would like to read stories that they can relate to, but according to some unofficial surveys and observations I did on Malaysian readers, most of them don't really want to read something they can relate to, or they just can't relate to what I bring to the table.

In short, my style of writing and majority of readers don't connect.

No, I am not blaming them or anything. Of course, you can't ask people to read something that they can't connect with. For example, I don't care how many people say that Mitch Albom is a great writer, I don't particularly connect with his philosophy. Or, people like John Green, and Nicholas Spark, for example. They may be bestselling authors, but I am not a fan. Not because they don't write good stories, because they do, but because the style, the scene, the atmosphere, the way it is written is not the kind of thing that I like to read.

So, since my hiatus, I have been thinking.

Maybe here is not my market. 

Some people say, "Oh, you just have to tweak your writing to suit readers..."
Well, yeah, I could. But I've tried, and I can't. I just can't do it. Because I believe in the rule, not the exception... and I speak for the RULE, not the EXCEPTION.

For example, majority of CEOs will not marry their own scullery maid. That's the rule. Sometimes, one or two of them did. That's the exception. But I am not the exception, and I don't like to teach people to believe they are going to be an exception. I want them to be exceptional, not waiting to be the exception.

What I meant by that is, happiness to me is knowing what you want, and getting it - THAT, is what it means to be exceptional. For example, Wulan in 3 HATI's happiness is finally knowing what she's good at and aiming for that. So it was a bit frustrating for me when people asked me, "Kenapa dia tak end up dengan Neal?"

But of course, that's not what majority likes to read. Some criticisms that I get from readers, include "It's not cute enough", "it lacks romantic scenes", "there are too many pop culture reference that I don't understand", "takde scene gaduh2 manja sangat"... 
(I tried adding more, but then I delete it, sebab aku memang tak mampu nak tulis scene gaduh2 manja banyak sangat. I mean, even in reality bila tengok orang terlampau gaduh manja on FB pun aku cam,"Ughh get a room." ahahaha. But seriously, though, I will take note on the pop cultural reference thing.)

*Masni (in AKU KELIRU) is the exception though, but that's because I need closure for both Zaniel and Masni... ahahah.

So,  what I'm trying to say is, I think I need to practice what I preach. I have to be exceptional. I must do something to be exceptional, and not waiting for people to recognise me... okay, not ME, persay, but my work.

So, right now... while I am busy with work, and trying to squeeze time to write another manuscript, I am also planning to do something else.

No, not 'adaptasi drama'. Nope. I don't even have a ship in the first place to say that "That ship has sailed".

Something else that I hope I can achieve before I turn 35 (which means I got 4 more years to do it). I am currently looking for some experts in editing to help me with it.

Pray for me, my dearest readers. 

P.S; Thank you for all your positive and supportive comments. It gives me so much pleasure and happiness to know you guys. I will reply to it as soon as I finish translating CORAZON EN CONDOMINIO dan DESTINO that has been giving me headaches. Some 10 to 20 more episodes to go.


Rozalia Rajali said...

fighting kak shai!!!

nanadhoi said...

i'll always support you!
suka akak punya writing style :D

Dang Wangi said...

Dah lama tunggu entri baru.. Lama sangat kak syai menyepi..

Selagi kak syai tak berhenti menulis, selagi itu lah saya akan terus menyokong.. ;)

sofie adie said...

nak type nama kak syai or kak shy?
Good luck on your destiny!
(teringin nak beli novel kak dengan signature...keep in you dream beb..)

Anonymous said...

Kak syahida, saya suka sangat novel Aku Keliru. Don't give up tau kak. Saya tunggu novel akak yang seterusnya. I really love ur writing style. <3 <3

Anonymous said...

saya sangat sangat sangat sangat suka baca novel kak syai. sebab kan akak cerita benda yang real lah saya tak pernah miss baca and beli novel akak. first novel akak yang saya baca plain jane. cerita dia yang lastly dia bukan dekat orang kaya tu but orang kerja koperasi tu. sangatttt suka. sebab itu benda real yang berlaku kot dalam hidup. soal hati pun saya suka gilaaa. yang dia keliru nak pergi airport ke tak. kalau cerita biasa dah pergi dah tu. tapi sebab akak bukan buat cerita biasa la saya suka sangat sangat sangat sangat novel akak. 3 hati tu pun saya beli sebab ada nama akak. wulan sangat best sebab cara dia balas dendam. its so cool. wulan memang tak payah dengan neal pun. jangan dengar cakap orang kak. hahah i reallyyyyyyyyy love your works!!!!! pleaseeee just maintain your writing style.

Nur mohd daud said...

Keep writing kak !
Believe me,u have ur own fan that will always support u no matter what.
I pray for your success :)

Anonymous said...

jgn give up please!!!!..kitorg suke novel mcm, keep on your good work shai
- nik semut itam

Shai Kamarudin said...

Rozalia - berusaha berjaya!! (*o*)/ (muke bersungguh2)

nanadhoi - tenkiu maibebeh! I will make sure I will make you support me even if you don't! ahahahaha apetah maksudnya haku pun tatau.

Dang Wangi - ha tulah. maafkanlah ai. orang banyak hutang kena banyak kerja. ahahahaha.

sofie adie - sebenarnya Kak Xhyie, ala2 macam fashion label kannnn... eja Longchamp, sebut lonschompppp... ahahaha (actually 'kak shai').

Anonymous - bilakah anda nak ada nama, Anonymous? hehehe. baik! akan saya maintain style itu... walaupun sejak proses penuaan makin ketara nih, tetibe ayat jadi makin formal dan standardised.

nur mohd daud - Aminnnn. thank you! *mode mata bersinar, pen tajam macam pedang walaupun sebenarnya tak menulis pakai pen*

Anonymous Number 2 yang kemudiannya memperkenalkan diri sebagai nik semut itam (;p) - Baik! Berusaha! Berjaya! Yakin boleh. Rakan Muda!

Anonymous said...

well shai!i am actually very proud to be a friend, a reader and a fan. kau adalah rare, fresh air to the stale literature scenes.

as much as i hate to sound super positive (orang super optimistik adalah annoying buat aku..ahha), i believe in sticking with your style and principles.

maybe you are too ahead of your time.

maybe one day, 5 years later, things might change.

but please, stick to what your heart tells you. an author may have hundreds of books but only two or three best sellers. but it will stay as a legendary ones.


eryany said...

reading your entry kept me thinking, how much i like your writing and its true maybe if you want to be known or be bestseller in Malaysia, you have to follow the general rule, but i like you because of your style of writing, never in my millions years that i be excited finding your book once it is publish, i remember waiting for you to get your signature at karangkraf, thinking maybe you did not come but eventually you do... i was very elated to see you in person, now i'm being sappy but honestly i love your style of writing and praying that in few years you will be so successful that you eventually received what you deserve.

dayana farhana said...

bile kau kate Aku Keliru akan keluar...akulah org pertama berlari2 ke konikuniya dan malangnya tiada.Nasib baik dekat popular ade.ahakss.jangan sedih2 ok.aku rase..ramai je suke bahasa kau.tapi mngkn tak tahu kewujudan novel2 selambe mcm kau tulis..

raja faridah said...

I like you k.shai. walaupun xpnah knal, but sye suka k.shai melalui penulisan akak! Jatuh cinta pandang pertama lpas baca Soalnya hati , seriously sye memang rasa sgaaaaat djat dgan 2 watak tu (Ika n pian).. percaya atau tak, sye baca lebih 20x novel soalnya hati . hihihi .. pleaseeeee sekuel ntok soalnya hati pulaaaaak... pleaseeee k.shai. sye dah beli AKU KELIRU!. Ok,memang keliru sbb banyak sgat watak..hahahha...but, tetap best! May Allah bless you k.shai!

akurimaujambu said...

Oh my! Hope it would get better sebab buku tu seriously awesome! Suka Roul and Safi!!

Sheeda Minhaj said...

Kebanyakan malay novel yg bestseller pnuh dengan fantasi dan angan2 kak, jadi yg membeli tu bagi saya bukanlah si ulat buku hard core. Saya pun sedih kalau org Malaysia masih lagi suke duduk berangan tnpa mahu menghdpi realiti. Apa2 pun, saya adores penulisan akak. Ini yg saya mahukan. Keep up a good work!

Shai Kamarudin said...

Thank you, guys.

I have read your comments time and time again, and it never failed to give me strength to continue.

Berusaha! Berjaya! (huh huh huh.... <-pernafasan penuh semangat)

Anonymous said...

Hi kak shai.. Aku Keliru is the most great novel selamba, kelakar, it's all...Roul dengan mata merahnya, Safi dengan annoying nya and Zaniel and Masni, .. jalan cerita dia sempoi, dialog pun sempoi. Really make my day. Huhu. Your novels are the best Kak Syai. I'm always support your career and your great novels. He he thumb up.

Shai Kamarudin said...

Hi Mija...
Sorry lambat balas..... sangat sangat sangat... huhu.

Thank you for loving AKU KELIRU. It means so much to me. I emoshenel hari ni tanpa sebab. ekekeke.