Just Because

Birthing Children and Chapters

My family, friends and those working round me know that I’ve been working on a book manuscript that is due early next year. I just made it past the halfway mark early morning yesterday after many sleepless nights because I don’t have the knack of turning on my writing skills at will and seem best able to write at night. It’s a relief to have come so far and though I’m not sure how I am going to get through the rest of it by the set deadline, I am going to give it my best shot.

I was joking with a friend the other night that writing book chapters is like having children. You have a speck of an idea, you work to nurture it, feed it the right foods, music and thoughts, allow it to gestate until it ripens and then, fingers crossed, have a speedy delivery. The sleepless nights that follow and the days you then stumble through trying to stay human are also remarkably similar. 🙂

Mostly, though, I think the similarity lies in the uncertainty of the process, you don’t know whether things will always turn out the way you envision but you give it your best effort anyway. I daresay once the child-chapter is delivered the same anxieties, joys and hopes that one holds for every child applies too.

I have another 3 chapters and a conclusion to complete before my family of chapters is complete. Meanwhile, my one and only offspring has just turned 18 and is taking flight with not a care in the world it seems. I won’t bore anyone with reminisces of what a cute baby she was but watching her grab life by the throat, clubbing, swimming, movies, university life, friends, relationships, sexuality and no doubt, in time, breakups, I can see she has turned out well. Of course I am not the only one who’s been part of her upbringing but if it is not tempting the gods to say so, I think she’s a great young woman and her mother is proud of her.

Now, if I can only do as well producing this book as I have with her.


I'm a research fellow at an Australian university where I work on a number of projects. These include projects to do with new media and migration and the Chinese diaspora in Australia, projects on the Malaysian internet, ethno-religious issues in Singapore and Malaysia. And, before I forget many of the photos I use on this site were taken by my sister, Jessie and myself. All rights are reserved.