Writing Journey

I Don’t Believe In Talent

If I believed in talent, I wouldn’t be writing. If I believed in talent, I wouldn’t be making videos. If I believed in talent, there will be no blog posts and no stories—not a single creative expression finding completion. I wouldn’t have undergone arduous months campaigning for my novels. I wouldn’t have encountered countless rejections and experienced amazing opportunities. If I believed in talent, I wouldn’t be here today. Thus why I don’t believe in talent. Instead, I believe in doing what matters.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise that talent isn’t a strong ‘currency’ in life. Sure, having talent is a great capital for when you want to start pursuing your dreams. But soon enough, you’ll discover that there are others who are richer than you—others who are far more gifted than you will ever be. You’ll start to notice young bloods surpassing you in your craft—geniuses that leave you stumbling in the dust. And when that happens, what do you do? Do you throw in the towel—refuse to fight for your dreams because you’re not talented enough? Do you wish for more talent—fantasize about the day you will be discovered for your brilliance? Here’s the thing: if you’re running on talent alone, you are bound to fail. And if that is true, you’re probably wondering… is success possible—can you actually succeed without talent?

Success is self-defined—we define success through the things that matter to us. And what matters to us includes the reason why we pursue our dreams. Personally, I do what I do because I want to be a source of encouragement. I do what I do because I want others to believe in their dreams. I do what I do because I want to make a difference—no matter how small the impact may be—in the lives of those around me. And that… is all that matters to me.

Now, why does your passion matter to you? Why is your dream important to you? Once you know why it matters, you don’t need talent. Yes! You. Don’t. Need. Talent! You don’t need talent to do what matters. You don’t need to be a creative genius to do something of value. You don’t need to have an impressive IQ to live a meaningful life. After all, when something matters to you, you will do it anyway—you’ll find a way to achieve success, overcoming every obstacle, unfazed by the world of talent around you.

So… if you’re in a stage of life where you’re questioning whether you have what it takes—if you are gifted enough to pursue your dreams—start looking past talent. Don’t limit yourself to your physical abilities but look within you to find the reason for your ambitions. Ask yourself why what you’re doing matters to you, and stop living on the currency of talent. Make a decision… to start running on purpose instead.

Writing Journey

How To Master Perseverance

Perseverance is a skill as much as it is a personality trait. And by personality trait, I believe it is developed through circumstances and experiences in life. You’re not born with it—babies don’t enter the world with a determination to succeed. So, not having perseverance now doesn’t mean you cannot master it. You can develop a skill in pursuing relentlessly. And, you don’t have to wish yourself bankrupt. You most certainly don’t have to jump into a dark hole of grief and regret. You can build this skill in your day-to-day life with one simple principle.

All you have to do… is stop comparing. Stop making success a competition. Stop trying to outdo someone else. Stop hoping for another person’s story, expecting yours to be exactly the same. Stop trying to live someone else’s life.

How often do we question our gift and skill because someone else seems to be doing better? How often do we contemplate giving up because someone else has become more successful? How often do we place ourselves in a box because that is what someone else is doing?

If you want to win your race, you have to focus on the track ahead. The moment the whistle blows, your purpose isn’t to triumph over the people around you but to cross the finish line. It isn’t about earning someone else’s medal, but accomplishing what you’ve set out to do. So yes, maybe it will take a little longer—maybe you won’t be an overnight success. But if you set your eyes on the finish line—when you stop turning your head to look around, in fear of those catching up—you’ll find yourself undistracted. Your goal, purpose, and dream will fuel you, and you’ll find the determination to succeed.

You see, our life is like a book. We are the protagonists of our own stories. We have our own obstacles, villains, and victories. Now imagine if we crafted our stories following a template, hoping to imitate someone else—will doing so make our story interesting? Can we call that story our own? Is it a story we can be proud of? What will happen if all the books in the world have the same length, the same plot, and the same characters? Will we be reading cliches or hearing uniquely individualistic tales?

We were not meant to follow a template. Our stories aren’t meant to be the same. We are not clones and neither are our adventures. So why then are we trying to copy someone else’s journey? Why do we seek the same plotline and strive for the same chapters? Our stories are different and it’s time to embrace it. Let’s accept that some of us will have standalone novels, others might have trilogies, and many will run the course of a 7-book long series. Let’s be prepared for our own hero’s journey, with our own dragon to slay and our own original ending. Let’s not compete with other tales but be inspired by them. We can share the same goals and have the same desires, but let’s all write a story that is uniquely ours.

Fan Fiction (Shorts)

A Slippery Gift

She hatched into the family of the rather insane Mr. Grabbill Hookland.

Grab, whom his friends commonly called him, was a collector of rare magical creatures. He would keep them as pets and sometimes mate them. And when the little cross breeds were born, he would sent them as gifts to his nephews and nieces.

Yes, an odd man he was.

You would usually see him in his black tuxedo, striding on the streets of London, claiming to be a business man. And with a wicked sense of cruelty towards muggles, he would often invite them home to give them a scare. Of course, with a memory charm, he covered up that hobby of his easily.

Among his friends, Grab constantly bragged about his “pets”, and how fantastically unique they were. He would flaunt the new breeds and the recently hatched, and today, he flaunted a snake.

“Oh, such beauty isn’t she?” Grab said to Tawrent Lovegood.

“Yes. Rather.” Tawrent gave the snake a poke and sank deeper into his chair. He hated snakes, especially this one. There was something about it, something that made it feel dangerous to be around it.

“Do you know that this one can grow up to 50 feet! If brought up properly that is,” Grab stroked the snake’s head.

“How… delightful,” Tawrent said uncertainly.

“But I’m not keeping this one.”

“Which unlucky nephew or niece are you giving this creature to?”

Grab laughed at what he thought was a joke. “Well, I have a special buyer who’s particularly interested.”

Grab went on to placing the baby snake into a small plastic box. He then waved his wand and brown paper messily wrapped itself around the box. A small card addressed to an unknown source also sat nicely on top of the box. And as an owl swooped into his living room, Grab tied the gift to its legs.

“You know who to send it to,” Grab said cheerfully to the owl. And the owl obediently went on its delivery.

“Is it legal?” Tawrent asked as he watched the owl fly off.

“What is? Selling my pets?”

“Yes. Especially to people you don’t know,” Tawrent said.

“Why not?” Grab smiled as he sipped at his tea.

“I thought there’s a license process for sales and purchases of such creatures.”

“You have too many friends in the ministry that the law is starting to confuse you.”

“I just don’t want you to get in trouble,” Tawrent said with a sigh.

“I won’t be in trouble. This buyer knows a great deal about snakes.”

“Really.” Tawrent was not convinced.

“Oh yes. But I told him that at this age, the snake needs a lot of grooming, and if he has any intentions for it, he best wait till it is fully grown. I also told him not to show it off to anyone, since, it is a very rare breed that I would consider dangerous.”

“Right. Lets hope he doesn’t send it on a killing spree.”

“That would be a waste of her potential if he didn’t. But I think he only wants a companion.” Grabbill laughed.

“Odd choice for one.”

…..

The packaged arrive in a house outside of town. The special buyer sent the owl off with the money he owed before heading to his reading room to unwrap it. But before he could do so, he saw an intruder hiding in the shadows.

Panicking, he pulled out his wand and demanded, “Who are you?! How did you get in?!”

Before he could react. he saw a flash of green light, that even an attempt to draw his last breath was impossible.

“Thank you for the slippery gift,” the person in the shadows said, before heading to the package.

Knowing that the old man he just killed was a loner, he took his time at opening the gift he claimed. And when he first laid eyes on the snake, he was amazed at the beauty of it.

“Hi,” he said.

The baby snake curled at a corner and watched him closely.

“I won’t hurt you. I just want to be friends,” he continued.

He then put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a rat he had bought from the market earlier in the day.

“Here’s a treat,” he said, as he carefully released it into the plastic box.

She hesitated for a moment, watching his hand pull out from her safe zone. Then, without thinking twice, she striked at the rat.

“Fast one,” he said, sounding impressed.

“I am,” she replied.

“I hope you liked it.”

“Thank you,” she said as she moved out from her curled position.

“Do you have a name?” he asked.

She shook her head at him in reply.

“I shall call you Nagini then. Do you like that name?”

“I guess. Do you have a name?”

“Yes. I’m… master. Call me master.”

“O.k master,” Nagini replied.

“Let’s go home,” Master said as he picked up the snake and disappeared in a swoosh.