I picked up writing in my mid-40s to get my mind off some things. Thankfully I didn’t turn to drug or alcohol for relief. Writing is creative, thought-provoking, therapeutic and fun. Ever since I started 3 years ago, I don’t seem to be able to stop.

When writing my first book LET GO, I had to get in touch with some nasty stuff that had been buried so deep in my brain that I could almost pretend that it never existed. I wanted to be truthful but worried about hurting the feelings of others depicted in the book, even though I had disguised them in many ways. Later I realized that truth meant different things to different people. Most of my friends read the book. Some told me that in various places where they were expecting more, I didn’t do deeper for further. After finishing the book, I was able to let go of the things that had hurt me and held me back for so long. I found freedom and a sense of true self. So to me LET GO is priceless. Recently a middle-aged colleague from work shared with me that his newly-wedded wife used to be married to someone who was both physically and emotionally abusive. He sometimes found it hard to get through to her. I gave him a copy of LET GO as a gift for his wife, hoping it could help her heal and find the courage to let go of the past pain and hurt.

My second book is about happiness. With that, I wanted to sketch a roadmap to happiness. Being happy is a choice, a skill that can be learned through practice and altering ways of thinking. I did a lot of research on this book. I checked and double-checked some important facts to ensure that the information was current and accurate to the best of my knowledge. When I first started using WeChat about a year ago, I could barely write a complete sentence in Chinese. Last November I finished a whole book in Chinese. It felt amazing!

I am currently writing a romantic novel. I have to say I love this form of writing the best so far because I don’t have to be concerned about other people’s feelings or whether statements are scientifically accurate. I can make up things as I go. It is as if I had been given wings to fly in a space that was totally new and yet familiar. The challenge is to draw readers in with details such as smell, touch, feel, sound, color and rich feelings, which I am neither good at nor comfortable with. My husband read part of the first chapter and commented, “It’s very good, but you have to give more.” I replied, “Really? I am already pushing myself to the limit.” “Push harder.” He said.

One of my friends who is also a writer once said to me that self-publishing was ‘B’. I don’t know whether I will ever become an ‘A’ writer. But it doesn’t really matter. Writing is a hobby I want nourish and cherish. Nothing beats typing away on my laptop, occasionally sipping from a glass of wine, and just letting my imaginations fly. That’s where I find myself, I meet people like you, I become you and you laugh and cry with me…

Yeah, that’s the joy of writing!