Twas the day before the competition‏

I apologise for the corny reference but in some ways, I am looking forward to a ‘transubstantiation’ of a creative kind.

Now is about the time when I start thinking about the stimuli and to be perfectly honest, as of 2pm on the 17th, I have no concrete idea what they will be. Well, I have an idea what 2 of them will be but the other three are quite up in the air.

I did toy with the idea of going really bizarre (like a Golden elephant) or maybe even going literary (like a line from a poem or a famous line from a novel) or even going political (like guantanamo bay) but to be perfectly honest, the more I try to think of something witty, something stimulating, the lamer my ideas are. So I am going to just stew on it for a while – let it simmer nicely in a cauldron at the back of my mind until it spills over.

I remember the late Kuo Pao Kun said to me when I was a younger writer in a writing workshop: “A writer is like a glass – research, imagination and writing techniques are like water filling that same glass. A writer should never write until the glass runneth over.”

It sounded much less hackneyed and very much less cliched when Pao Kun delivered it in Mandarin. But you get the idea.

So my final piece of advice to all participants is : don’t be in too much of a hurry. Afterall, you do have 24 hours. Allow yourself to be ‘filled up’ and don’t rush it.

The biggest thing writers’ face is self-doubt so I urge everyone to just trust in yourself and not give yourself too much pressure.

And to end with the guiding metaphor of this blog entry – just go with the flow.

Robin Loon


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