Sunday, October 26, 2008

To Be Understood

"Bila kau tulis, kau memang saja tulis benda-benda kontroversi yang kau bajet akan dapat banyak komen ke?" she asked.


I was taken aback by her question. My readers aren’t usually as aggressive, or as straight-forward.


"Tak jugak. Tak semua entri aku controversial apa," I replied. My defensiveness was slowly rearing its ugly head.


'Anger is good. Anger reminds people what it feels like to be young and angry again. It makes them care again,' I thought to myself.


But the damage was done. It didn’t matter what she said after that, the implication was clear- that I was purposely trying to provoke reaction from people. Paranoia was rearing its ugly head as well. Sitting side by side with Defensiveness, they were starting to look like conjoined twins.


I don’t know why I write. It isn’t to educate people- I don’t think I’m well equipped and matured enough. Maybe it’s the strange relationship I have with people- the need to know about them. More often than not, other people annoy me and I love my solitude, but I was always- always, fascinated by them. I was always trying to find a connection between the way I think and the way that they do. I was so desperate to find a connection that I would sometimes try to think like them, try to simplify things so that they would understand. I knew there was a connection somewhere. I was never much of a talker in real life. I was always the listener. I knew enough to write a book about the people I knew. But they didn’t know anything about me. They never asked.


People love talking about themselves. They love finding people who’d listen. I think that it's a basic necessity – talking about oneself- it's right up there along with other needs like food and air and sex. Not being to express oneself could make one go crazy. One must see a therapist if one was crazy. To talk about oneself. I guess that’s why people say blogging is therapeutic. But I still wasn’t comfortable writing about myself.


Maybe in a way I strive to be understood and heard. And I needed to know if I was heard. Maybe I’m not as free as you. I don’t know how to be vulnerable. I only know how to be honest. So I try to talk in a language you like, talk about things that you’d be interested in. Maybe if I pretend, you can show me the connection. Or maybe I’m just going about this the wrong way.


My Dad always says to write well you must use fancy words to show off your vocabulary and stuff. I thought using fancy words was a pretentious way of writing. I always argued that it’s more important to be understood than to be admired. What was the point of writing something that no one understood? You might as well have written in Hopelandic. I knew he had a point though. I watched a good movie once. My friends didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it. But that didn’t make it a bad movie. It was a good movie nonetheless. Maybe it was just the wrong audience.


But the reader had a point. I never wrote for myself anymore. I never wrote posts like these anymore. Long, winding posts about absolutely nothing. Maybe, being understood isn’t the be all and end all of writing.


How many people actually do write with total freedom? Without thinking of ways to increase their blog stats, caring about how their posts will be received, ways to attract readers with controversial posts with no real substance and pics, without thinking in what language and which way to write, who to link back and which blogs they’d like to be linked to, which bloggers they should be careful not to offend and which are safe to be criticized? Sometimes I think even the virtual world has its own politics. It’s slowly becoming irrelevant to me. I think, for the second time in my life, I feel really content. The first time was when I fell in love.

40 comments:

Sarah is the One said...

bukan hanya dalam blog atau apa, tapi aku notice dalam hidup, orang lagi senang bila kita ada vulnerable sikit-sikit. and one thing i always know, when i need comfort, i show my vulnerable side, it works that way.


when i was late to a test last year, i came with some tears, i said i was so sorry, i was shaking, the lecturer gave everybody extra time because of me being late. i wasn't pretending to get sympathy, but indeed was hopeless.


in some way from the post you wrote, without knowing you, i would judge that you always wanted to sound smart. not that you nak show off you are smart, but it seems that you didn't let loose. in some way macam tak human.


in any hopeless situation, you still want to sound smart and strong that sometimes sounded defensive and bitter. maybe if you potray some vulnerability i would not think you are trying to sound smart. i said to u dulu i thought u are bitter. but then we chatted, then i understood. so i stop thinking. because i know you are not like that. that's what i believe. but of course, not everybody like to tell just anybody their stories.


however, i enjoy reading it (your posts). in some way you make me think. if that's what you are trying to do, to educate people or to tell something straight, then you have succeeded. A+. people understood magenta. people know posts in blog doesn't represent the whole self. and people have alter-ego. if people judge you only by your posts then they could have well been very wrong. or very stupid.


so don't take your friend's question very hard. maybe he/she was curious. maybe. or just plain rude.

Sarah is the One said...

the comment you can choose to approve or not just my personal opinion.

pjoe said...

menulis bagi aku salah satu saluran untuk kita luahkan apa yang terbungkam dalam hati kita

perkongsian dengan orang lain merupakan satu langkah berani yang kita buat

so, people should respect that bila kita tulis tentang perihal peribadi

nurulazreenazlan said...

i would love to say that i write with total freedom but as a pretentious bastard i am spared the pleasure.

*wink*

i hope you won't self-censure yourself after that reader's comment. honestly i don't care why you write as long as you write good stuff, which you do.

erm said...

dont need to try hard enuff to get the spotlight

all we need to do is to be sincere

and it shows

Mr said...

Bagus. Teruskan usaha.

Double Patties said...

eh! you ni kalau tak tulis menda2 kontroversi leh tak?

bikin I panaaaaas ajerk!

ehe.

husni said...

my 2 sen - the fact that one writes itself assumes an audience, even if it is only one's self. We are now writing stuff on the Internet, clearly, we expect our writing to be read. I don't think that there's any blogger who do not want their blog to be read, no matter how unsubstantial or austere their blogs are. People write to be read. I would go as far as extending this argument to diaries even. In spite of its "private" nature, the diary writer often writes as if someone will come and pick up the diary and read it. This explains why many diaries are published posthumously. Also related is the language choice in the diary, native Malay speakers (especially those below the age of 40) almost always face a dilemma when they want to start writing a diary - Malay or English? And they often end up writing in a creole-type variant which is an amalgam of both. Are they being true to themselves? Are they writing without any concern about anyone reading them? I don't think so, the only way to tell perhaps, is the usage of certain idiolects that is incomprehensible to the majority. However, just to play the devil's advocate, even then the writers have a notion that they have to encrypt something from being understood by a set of people, thus they are still expecting people to see it.

Those are very tough questions you asked, Magz, and I don't think that there is any objective way to answer them. "Total freedom" is a very vague idea that needs to be outlined first, so do notions like "subtance" and "controversial". Tough, tough questions...

hafidzi said...

i don't know you but i like yr postings

iqanabeera. said...

i've always seen my blog as my venting space; to somehow communicate to people stuff i know i wouldn't talk about with anyone in real life, not necessarily because i don't want to, but the probability that they wouldn't care and wouldn't even understand.

i like the fact that i can post anything i want on my blog and i'm not subjected to justifying whatever judgments they have formed of me.

in a way, no one writes with total freedom, sebab everyone wants to sound like they're interesting. in the end that's why we read other people's blog pun kan? because they write things that appeal to us.

a lot of people enjoy your writing. and you're capable of making a lot of people think about the things that happen around them. jadi apa salahnya if you write to appeal to people kan?

the doofus said...

why do u write? how do u write it?what topic do u choose to write?why?isnt that ur decision?or did someone asked you to do it?do u write 4 urself or for someone else?4 an audience?I dont know and I dont want to know..coz what i like what i read here..its good that u write the way you do..and please dont burden urself with other peeps' direction..be the magenta we know..i'm not an active commenter..i watched from the sidelines..

Jumping Jane. said...

:) we have similar phases. i swear we do!!

Mie Amour said...

cik magenta, i really love your blog..persetankan apa orang lain kata as long as we know what we do, what we write and what our intention to write..Maybe your friend tu tak ada niat nak tegur macam tu..

Take it as a positive things but for me, the most important is being yourself.Bukan immitate anybody..Write from your heart because I always do..And of course i found that your blog really educate me!So, don't be sad...Keep it up dear..

Matematis Muda said...

blog ni memang seakan bermusim kan?
hehe
before i write
i already have set my target audience
so
i have my own self-built-constraints
no freedom at all

SyAhiRah LaLAla said...

They maybe jealous of the amount of attention that u get thru this virtual world. You are genuine, you speak up your mind thru your writing and it is the authentic quality that you have within you, that those people may not acquire. You are smart, Magenta. I knew it by heart. You really are. And I adore you. Keep writing. Take care of you :)

mediocre sadist said...

maybe it's because of the number of reader's comments appeared in each of your entry :)

disregard them. you write what you like, be it if it's about you or other people's pants.

Paranoid.Android said...

Ow,cmon magenta.
You don't seriously give a rats ass about what 'they' think or say do you?You probably don't.Tapi paranoia's pretty wicked ain't it?

Just,

keep writing what you wanna write.Don't ever give in to 'them'.Ever.

nodadosa said...

heheh

tak semua benda/fact betul disemua tempat.. tak semua tempat ada pandangan yang sama..

gua caya sama lu..

*hahah.. mcm rocker tua plak gua rasa bila ckp mcm tu..

hohohohoho

unicorn said...

persetan-kan apa orang kata!

Weed and Bandages said...

ms weed hanya kisah jika student ms weed terjumpa saja.

tapi ms weed kurang kisah sebab blog ms weed dalam bahasa malaysia.

dah tentu depa tidak faham!

yang lain seperti komen, respon, apa2 saja untuk tarik perhatian, tidak menjadi watak utama dalam mem blog.

hanya tempat untuk rasa diri cantik (dengan mencantikkan layout) atau sebagai tempat isi masa lapang dengan ertikata lain ms weed kurang berkawan dengan manusia sangat!

Firdauz takes five said...

yay!

i suka post yang macam ini la

yang berkongsi jiwa dan yang mencari jawapan. tapi tak jumpa-jumpa

hihi

mwah! love u magenta

:)

47 said...

told you frau, if you think too much about other people, it's gonna impede the flow of your creative juices.

let them be, you do what you have to do and that's that.

take it easy ;)

p/s: your last question, if your memory of our collaboration still serve you well, you'd know i don't care about stats haha :)

47 said...

hmmm

but yeah, total freedom doesn't exist. it's utopian..too good to be true.

tho i may not care about stats, i still care about a few other things when i write my posts.

Silence said...

i choose blogging as a part of my therapy.. and it did work to me! dan saya tak pernah kisah orang baca atau tidak..yg penting...kita dapat luahkan apa yg kita rasa..

we have rights on our own feeling, rite?..

tp..kalau kawan awak nak judge awak tulis sbb nak kontroversi or watsoever..biarlah..

yg penting..kita tahu apa yg kita buat..dan yang penting.. msg kita untuk kita kongsi dgn orang lain tu sampai.. kan?!

*i love ur writings*

fictionita said...

sometimes kan, i selalu rasa sedikit cemburu dengan post-post bloggers yang lain, how they can write really good stuff that matters. i try to train myself to write like them (salah seorang-nya, u) but to no avail. because unfortunately, i write best when i'm depressed (itu pasal currently tak banyak postings pasal sibuk party. heh). anyhoo, memang pun blogging ni is therapeutic. jadi kalau u selesa post pasal kisah-kisah yg u posted tu, no biggie pun. it's fun to get feedbacks dari readers pasal then u get to know siapa yang berfikiran mcm u, & siapa yg rasa themselves bagus gila, sampai dengki mau komen dgn cara yg sgt rude. iya lah, manusia kan lain-lain. kalau sama semua, mesti bosan.

so, u write what u can write, what u wanna write about. it's the pleasure that counts. kalau takde pleasure, might as well jgn blogging. kan? kan? kan?

Nazihah Adli said...

manusia mmg tak blh lari dr perasan hasad dengki ....

i love u

luv, nazihah

rAmiZa.mY said...

hmm...

x semua fikir ape yg kte fikir..
x semua rasa ape yg kte rasa..
n x semua faham ape yg kte rasa..

that's wut make human so interesting, kn..

kalu xda berlainan pendapat or pandangan, our live sgt bosan..
semuanye sama saje..

eryzal zainal said...

aku tapenah komen suma entry kau kan?

jgn ceni dowh~!

Double Patties said...

mag, sabo mag.

mmwah!

Syarifah Elmira said...

whether ur intention of writing is to provoke reaction from ur readers or just expressing ur minds, is not a question that u should be bothered..the thing is people who reads ur blog knows u better..let just them decide..

besides,its a nature of blog to be controversial...dats da reason why people blogs, controvercy..

we blogs because of a controvercy..controvercy of ourselves to others...and others to us..that's da connection we have in mutual...it just that people usually mistaken the word controvercy as it is a bad thing

i've heard lots of people defined blog as an online diary, i tend to agree on that..and i would say da miracle of blogging is to be heard..writing a diary and keeps it as a secret would not benefit us much..but blogging will...people who reads our blog will share their thoughts as well...from just that we could know whether we are on the right track in terms of our principals and beliefs about life..even better,we will learn something that we dont know..just by the words of people who reads what we wrote..

at least, thats what i think :)

anyway, im not implying but it reminds me of a famoust quote - just be who u are and speak wat u feel, becoz those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind..

VersedAnggerik said...

I say, its your blog.

Write what U want, but offend no one.

Write from the heart. Its the most effective way to reach out!

Syarifah Elmira said...

im not implying anything but it reminds me of a famoust quote - just be who u are and speak wat u feel, becoz those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind..

MariaFaizal said...

I've been following your blog silently.You're an inspirational young writer. Keep posting great entries.I'm hooked!

magenta said...

Sarah is the One: Yupe, I think I have a problem letting go. Even in real life I have trouble showing emotions. I'm working on that sebab I think this perangai terlalu memendam is self destructive.

Pjoe: Tapi tak semua orang akan respect kan. Tapi oklah, sebab ada komen yang baik, kena ada yang tak baik jugak. Yin and yang I guess. Huhu.

NurulAzreen: Hehehe. I will try not to self-censure. In fact, I'll try to be more open. Thanks.

Erm: Sometimes I think even I'm not sure of my own intentions, only God really knows I guess.

Mr: Akan terus berusaha.

Double Patties: Busuk. Hahahha.

Husni: Are my eyes playing tricks on me? Or did you just misspelled 'substance'? Hehehe. Kidding. I'm sure it was an honest typo. You're right. It's very subjective. I hardly think anyone does anything without thinking how it will be received by other people. It isn't restricted to just writing. It's scary though, how much you can tell about a person by the way that they write.

Hafidzi: Thanks. :)

Iqanabeera: I totally relate with your first paragraph. I think my prob is that I always have this need to justify myself. Haih. Hehe. Appeal to the people. Bunyi macam informal fallacy. Lol.

The Doofus: Thanks for dropping a comment. Really.

Jumping Jane: And here I am thinking I am always misunderstood :)

Mie Amour: Hehe not really my friend. Seorang pembaca yang I baru berkenalan dengan. Educate? Really? Huhu.

Matematis Muda: Kadang-kadang it's like, kita terperangkap dalam minda sendiri.

Syahirah: Huhu. Maybe jealous, or maybe she just wanted to know. A bit undiplomatic though cara dia tanya. I'm blushing over here. I adore my readers too. :)

Mediocre Sadist: Lol. My blog isn't as popular as it looks. But yeah, I'm trying to disregard them.

Paranoid Android: Actually, I sort of care. Just not in the way that they think I do. Huhu. But I don't think I'll stop writing because someone wanted me to.

Nodadosa: Hahaha rockers pun manusia ok (lagu Seurieus).

Unicorn: Baiklah!

Ms Weed: Lol. Biasalah kan, saya pun hanya outgoing bila jumpa orang di uni dan di luar. Tapi hakikatnya saya memang lebih suka bersendirian. Sebab saya rasa bersosial tu memenatkan dari semua segi. Dan sebab saya malas. Haha. Tapi kadang2 bila dah keluar malas nak balik pulak. Haih.

Firdauz: Hehe shuh shuh this entry is not good for bimbos. Nanti you jadi a paradox. A deep bimbo. Love you too. Buwek.

47: Mana supermarket yang jual jus kreatif eh? Nak beli lah. Hehe. It's hard to escape from caring.

Silence: Thanks :) Blogging memang therapy. Sejak blogging, I feel macam lega sikit. Kurang benda nak simpan. Walaupun masih ada banyak yang dipendam.

Fictionita: Yupe. But, but, you're already a good writer! You don't have to write like anybody else. I'm sure others would agree.

Nazihah: Nasizah Adli, I love you too. Hehe.

Ramiza.My: Betul tu. Diversity yang buat hidup tu colorful.

Eryzal Zainal: Hehehe tak pernah. Dah lama kau tak komen!

Double Patties: *bersabar sambul makan sosej*

Syarifah Elmira: Nice quote :) I agree, I like to share what I know and I have learned A LOT from other blogs and from my commenters.

VersedAnggerik: Sometimes we tend to offend people without realising it, it's a tricky business, huhu.

MariaFaizal: Hello there. Thanks for your encouraging comment. :)

husni said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO i misspelled 'substance' noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :P

*substance
*substance
*substance

...and so on...will be having nightmares tonight......

husni said...

btw... it should be -

*did you just misspell ...

:) touche magz touche...

magenta said...

Hah! Kena balik. Hahahaa. I saw that just before you commented! Was hoping you missed it. Cis. Haih, actually I'm a prick as well when it comes to these stuff. Now I know how other people feel when I correct them. I'm currently a 1st semester TESL student btw, kalau salah tolong tunjukkan. :)

Jumping Jane. said...

Ah sista, believe me, I know that misunderstood feeling. -____-

Anonymous said...

Really.

dfhgfg said...

i would really love to sit down for a cup of tea and pick your mind apart.