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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.