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Monday, June 26, 2006
Readers, I Have A Problem
Fellow readers and friends, I have a problem.

Well everyone has problems and that is not too unusual. Mine just seems bigger than others because it happens to be mine. If it was yours, you would feel that it was a big problem too.

And if you give me a minute or two, I will tell you about it.

Since arriving here in the UK, I am no longer living alone. Now that is not the problem since I have stayed with Alex and his housemate Ralph. I lived under this same conditions for 6 months of last year and it was a blast.

Last year, my days were made meaningful by gardening, vacumming the carpets wearing 3 inch high heels, rearranging the books in the bedroom, washing two loads of clothes each day, folding Ralph's boxers and cooking different healthy and piping hot dishes for each meal. I did not own a blog until very late last year. I only started writing when I went back to Malaysia. I enrolled into a writing course last summer and started experimental writing for Nude, Not Naked in June.

I began writing as a discipline when I realized that I had experiences to share and it was only in October that I started writing seriously. Seriously means committing myself to writing as a daily habit, similar to eating breakfasts at 10 a.m. and slapping on Palmer's Coco Butter before sleep each night.

And most importantly, Alex and I had not agreed to work and save enough for a house in the UK (latest news - change of location due to global warming in the next 100 years).

So we can safely conclude that the 2005 experience was very different from the current.

The dishes are piling up to the ceiling and the laundry basket broke under the weight of all the clothes (that was meant to be washed daily) now kept for more than a week. I have not ironed my tweed nor Chanel look-alike jackets. The coffee table is strewn with cups and glasses of half drunk tea, a little drop of whiskey and a good dose of vitamin C.

The living room remains unpainted, with scraps of old paint, quite possibly from the 70s crowding the carpet in a haphazard manner, creating a polka dot effect.

And who can ignore the mountain of clothes, MY clothes, sitting on the chair in my bedroom? I have scheduled to clean it at 3 p.m. each day but for the pass week was unable to do so because I kept getting disrupted at 3 p.m. daily.

  • I fell asleep on a few of those 3 p.m. appointments to fold my clothes days.

  • Alex came back earlier than he was supposed to and we ended up in the garden, bathtub or in front of the TV.

  • I was plain lazy.

  • I was sitting at my iBook writing something for About Nude Not Naked.

This new lifestyle contradicts my Malaysian, which I abandoned in favour of the longer summer days in Britain, three weeks ago. Malaysian lifestyle was one that was filled with magnificient breakfasts with PY, Anna and R, Sunday breakfasts with father and teas under the big tree or Starbucks with BestGuyFriend, Nikki and Good Editor.

In Malaysia, I woke up at 7 a.m. (okay, anytime before 8 a.m.) to write a little something in About Nude Not Naked. It normally took me two hours to write and edit to the point of satisfaction. The daily post would normally be posted by 10 a.m. on any given day, except Saturday and Sunday because my readers have lives to live. Plus R and I hung out at new food joints and ate so much that my fats prevented me from writing on weekends.

Personally writing gave me satisfaction. I had no life (other than all that is listed in the above paragraphs) and did not mind spending hours writing each day. But here in the UK, I am stuck with a boy and a very hairy boy he is. He sees me sitting at my iBook, typing, commenting, writing, telling a story, communicating with a bunch of virtual friends. He sees the dishes piling ceiling high and he sees the living room remain unpainted.

Alex wants me to spend time concentrating on the book project, rather than writing in the blog, which seems to consume all my time but reaps me nothing in return. And he has very valid reasons as usual.

“Are these people the same people who would buy your book? Blogging is not the same as writing a book. You are better off writing your book.”

Alex ran the water for a bath this morning and we took turns washing each other’s back using the new sponge I bought from Bluewater last Friday. I got dressed and wore a black blouse and pink and black polka dot skirt, matching black TopShop shoes and ran downstairs. The boy opened a new pack of cereals and ate from the box while I grilled two sausages, 1 slice of bacon and an egg for MY breakfast. It was to replace the normal grand Sunday dim sum breakfasts with my father.

I logged online and checked my mailbox and statistics, the same routine every morning whether in Malaysia or in the UK. But what was unusual was that I flipped my iBook close less than 5 minutes later.

“No readers?” Alex enquired.

“No. No. They are there,” I lied.

“How many?”

“Erm, 200?” I said.

“You know it is not enough to sustain your book project.”

I was feeling pressured on Sunday morning. Come on, give me a break. I know I am supposedly a housewife but I am feeling like soup boiling in a pressure cooker. I walked away, turned around and smiled at him.

“Why did you stop?” he asked.

“Because I don’t want you to cut the internet line off, to force me to write the book and abandon the blog,” I replied. “This way, I give the impression that I am not hooked on my blog, that I spend time on my book and that I am doing something not entirely worthless or useless.”

He took a deep breath. “We have a problem actually. I’ve spent £22 on the broadband line each month and it’s logical that we make full use of the facility. But we have to balance maximizing the usage with you actually producing something that earns money.”

I looked away and walked to my super delicious sausages and bacon slice, sizzling in the grill. I made us cups of tea and sat down, with my iBook still closed, not hooked to the internet, not staring at my blogspot page and not doing some spell and grammar check.

Alex left for his office, which was just a 10 minute walk away and I secretly flipped my iBook open to write this to you.

So you see, I have a huge problem.

Small Talk
Argh! Blinded, blinded, blinded!!!

I was blinded by the sight of Brad Pitt laying on that dark haired girl in Meet Joe Black.

It was sheer pornography! I should never be permitted to watch him close his eyes and move himself horizontally across A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G! He looked so divine and I will be his sex slave forever and ever and ever.



It's far from us to remind you that there are things in life that requires our needful attention. But at this point, it sounds like you actually know what you have to do, but you just aren't doing it.

And somehow, I completely sympathize.

I can't pretend to know why you stopped at your good habits. But all I can say is, you know what you need to do and while the hardest part of things is to actually get up and do them, this have your reason to. It's time to force yourself onto those needful things. The other option is of course...something far worse than what you can consider a problem now.

12:25 am  

Let me attempt to summarise: you are addicted to blogging, at the expense of writing your book, and you may have a problem with procrastination.

However that isn't entirely your fault because now that the future is blurred due to the moving to Canada bit.

That said, you can put that to good use. Any kind of change is good writing material. Just don't use it all on us blog readers. We'd understand if you want to keep the best stuff for your meal ticket. ;)

1:42 am  

Perhap, just perhaps you will want to publish this blog(on paper) one day and consequently take this blog down...

So continue writing!

While there is no guarantee that all 200 readers will buy your book in the future, do not forget the power of "word of mouth". 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 ...

Dont stress!


2:15 am  

No, I don't believe that I should be the one doing the laundry nor dishes. Neither do I believe that I am the only one to cook at home.

All household chores should be shared between the partners, give and take, depending on their schedules.

Why I stopped at my good habits? It is called WORK.

Last year was different because I was not working at all, whereas this year I put more of myself into my business, I freelance for the car maagazine and I have this blog to take care.

And on top of all the stuff I am meant to do, Alex set a time limit for my book project. And perhaps the fact that we have committed ourselves to purchasing a house here in the UK the soonest possible.

I won't say that I am addicted. Addiction shows lack of control over the matter although your 2nd bit is right - "at the expense of writing my book".

The post is actually more about how relationships change and a deeper commitment in the relationship often requires the partners to change and sacrifice a part of them, for the general wellbeing of partnership.

I am never one who is easily controlled. I have a problem with people in authority. Alex will never stop me from blogging and he isn't. He is just pushing me along the book project.

I just to reorganize my daily schedule and he needs to do more of the household chores.

I'll start a MLM based on my book. Muahahahhaha....

8:33 am  

Ermm sounds familiar..

Actually I had similar dilemma some time ago when I started working freelance.

There's a period that I lacked some self discipline, which was essential for working freelance. I always use my WORK as excuse and neglected daily routine like some simple cleaning.

Then I reached a moment that I knew I need to change, and I did.. not to the perfection but I began to prioritize things.

Setting a timetable is not a smart way to do something for people that tend to procrastinate.. procrastinator never bother about time.

My suggestion.. set priorities and force yourself doing so working from top of the list before moving down.

Say you will washed your dish and fold your cloths before started writing. If you haven't finish your cleaning, don't even switch on your ibook.

9:41 am  

Eh... sounds familiar...

I have that priority list thingy too......... do ABC or else no XYZ.... it works like magic every single time... I've reached the bottomless pit and bounced back. Painted the living room 1st coat and soon, I'll have a girlie room (aka the non-existent dining room) all to myself, with a door to the birdtable and a view of the back portion of the garden.

Thanks for the tip, Jee. So what are you freelancing?

10:11 am  

I don't know, I kinda juggle domestic duties, my studies, my part time job and being a lab slave for my girlfriend and my lecturer and still find time to be online. I guess it's a matter of what I was willing to sacrifice in return and the reasoning I have to keep doing all of them at the same time.

At the end of it, it doesn't matter what reason you may have. Needful things still need your attention right?

3:29 pm  

You are absolutely right. Fed up with everything, I cleaned, dusted, washed etc over the weekend. Even the living room was painted with its 1st coat =)

Lab slave, huh?

3:43 pm  

Well....reading your blog is a lot of pleasure...but if you stop blogging about your daily life and thoughts and change your focus to your book project, i will be happy to read that also. hehe...

and book MLM is good! you'll be like a cult leader....:p (that's what i feel about MLM, it's almost like cults)

3:53 pm  

Okay I must read abt MLM first, then I will know how to create my new book empire... muahahahaha...

Thanks for your words of encouragement =) appreciate it.

4:02 pm  

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