Writing for peanuts

… Rediscover Your Zest For The Written Words

That is the title of my book, that is if I should ever write one. However knowing my own track record it will most likely never happen.

OK this resurgence of wanting to write occurred after I bought my new table, repositioned my computer and lifted my chair seat a notch higher. Feng Shui? I think not. While the old table served its purpose, it was constantly on the verge of falling apart. It was also very low and small(er) hence my monitor was facing upwards while my chair was at its minimum low. This whole situation does not really bode well for one who faces the computer almost 24/7. It was also the reason for my sluggish work, as well as the constant puzzlement of why I could perform much better in the office (my office furniture is top-notch I tell ya).

Anyhow change is good, though I didn’t really expected this much renewed interest to write, especially for my blog.

Recently while reorganising (notice the key prefix is ‘re’) my blog categories, I had to go through each and every post to attach them to a section. This flipping back journey made me stop and think back of the times when I wrote the entries, what happened, how I felt etc. At that point I was ready to hit myself hard on the head – WHY OH WHY I could have written such rubbish! Yes you got it. RUBBISH!

Then I remembered my old, now lost-in-cyberspace entries and I thought, WTF happened to my passion for writing?!?

If you are new to Suanie, here’s a guide to the historical events that led to today’s Suanie.net

April 2000 – Upper Six, sweet 19 years old. It all started when lickle Suanie realised that hey! the Internet is such a wonderful place to be, even if it is not real. OK she started using the Net when she was 16 but this sudden realisation – call it a holler from the powers that be – made her realise that a home to call her own on-line may be the greatest thing since rendang.

Back then the term ‘blog’ was alien to her innocent ears. So she scouted around for an easy-piecey software that does all the complicated job of transferring data from her mind to somewhere on-line.

She found Tripod. From Tripod she found Trellix. And so the story begins…

The first entry was about an irritating woman who oft goes to her house to play mah-jong with her mom. In fact to this day she finds the woman irritating still. But lucky for her, she moved out to pursue her life path and her mom traded mah-jong for Buddhism.

November 2000 – During her STPM examination, Suanie decided to explore Jobstreet.com and Jobsdb.com for the sole reasons that they were relatively new in the Malaysian market. Out of a whim she applied for a couple of jobs, sent in her resume (with a link to her personal site) and went on with life. A month later someone called her while she was still sleeping and asked her to go for an interview in the big bad world of KL.

So basically I got the job because of my Tripod-hosted web site.

Mid 2001 – Then the editor complained that I seemed to have ‘lost my touch’. “Where is the Suan from the web site???” he blabbered. Blah, I thought, you can’t possibly ask me to curse in my professional articles, them middle aged American women seeking their soul mates would be scandalised. Anyhow I found a balance and moved on.

Around year-end, Chris came back from Australia and started calling me ‘Suan River’. Janice started calling me ‘Suanie’. Obviously I chose the latter.

Early 2002 – I decided to purchase a domain name, redirecting to my tripod site. Suanie.com it was for two years. A couple months later ShaolinTiger gifted upon my unworthy self some hosting space. Hence every page other than the index became ‘shaolin-tiger.com/suanie/blabla.htm’.

Mid 2003 – ShaolinTiger decided enough was enough; my site was taking up all his bandwidth. Hence for my birthday that year he got me even more hosting space, and a lot more bandwidth. The best thing about all this was that there would be no more redirection! Everything would be ‘suanie.com/page1.htm’!

Then ShaolinTiger looked at my pitiful, extremely limiting web site software and went, “Pah, this is nothing but a measly piece of crap, so unworthy of the magic you have spunned from your web of words. I shall now make you a proper site so you may claim your place among the revered bloggers.”

Hence bBlog.

Mid 2004 – Suanie.com was about to expire, and I was not about to renew the domain with the very crappy domain provider (in case you are wondering, it is eHost). Hence for capital and capitalistic reasons I waited 2 months for them to drop my domain. Or so I thought was my domain and rightfully belonged to me.

The day after they dropped the domain, a domain squatter bought it.

So Suanie shifted, albeit begrudingly from .com to .net, losing all her old entries in the process for the sole reason of wrong back up.

Meanwhile she lost the zest to write.

November 2004 – But wait, all is not lost! Hope gleams in the form of a spanking new table. Could this be the second calling? Can Suanie pick up the pieces and sprint forward?

Watch this space.

OK the point to this post that led to your tired scrolling finger is, cake icing need not be too sweet.

You have to find a balance.

There is a key to balance.

And the almighty key is….


Edit, edit, edit, take out the trash and add some chocolate sticks or sugar balls, or nothing at all.

So back to my original issue, I was backtracking my older entries and thought that a lot of them were trash. Hence I did something I have oft vowed against – that is to willingly delete any published entries.

You do not need to make a reader run for his dictionary to make a point. That is not the mark of a good writer. A good writer is able to put himself in the reader’s shoes and make necessary changes to his article. Clearer, more concise and neater – and my boss had to pay some white chick to teach me that in a 2-day writing course.

So all in all, why writing for peanuts? Because as I just realised, that was when I wrote for fun and didn’t get paid for it. That was the defining moment marking the beginning of my writing career.

Somewhere in the middle of growing up I lost it. But the sheer passion to just write is such that it calls and calls you. All you need to do is to just say hi back.



  1. Excellent, now get writing.

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