Why CQ?

What is it about writing that we cannot let go?

I do not know about you, but for me, there are times when I just cannot breathe unless I write. Times when I badly want the world to stop for just a few minutes because I need to sit down quietly and release these burdening words out of my chest. It is like, something that is inside of you screaming to be free. Lock it in and you shall go crazy in agony. You cannot think straight , you do not function well, unless you vomit and bleed out every bit of it.

I did not start writing out of choice. Or at least that's what I think. I began writing because when I was a little girl, I had no real friends. I observed so many things and had so many stories to tell, so much feelings and thoughts to share, yet I was scared. I was afraid of being vocal, of being wrong. I was afraid of the words my head came up with, afraid of uttering them.

Then one day I figured out I can do so on a paper. A paper will not judge me. A paper will not ask, "Why are you weak?" or "What the hell were you thinking?" or "Are you okay?"

23 years, 40 songs, 2 published books, and countless secret diaries later, my former colleague Fikri invited me in becoming the editor of this -- CQ. Where we gather various forms of creative writing from various young writers.

To be honest, they are mostly our former and current students, but really, does it matter? When you write, you are just a human. Writing humanises you. Fikri and I are not teachers here. No way. We are...gatherers. Like that television program, The Pickers? Yes. We too intend to go around digging for good stuff from the underdogs.


I believe there are many writers out there who want their voices to be heard. I believe there are many writings that need to escape that heart, that mind, that diary, that journal, that closet, that cave, that Tumblr, that Facebook note. Most of all, I believe in passing along chances to one and another. I will not be who I am today if it was not for the people who generously granted me the opportunities they thought I deserved. Well, these contributors slash writers we have here in CQ? Fikri and I think they deserve it. We think their writings matter.

the bedtime stories your father told you when you were a kid? Remember how some lines from a movie made you cry? How some lyrics were like time-traveling machine, bringing you back to that very scene, that very spot in the past? How a certain verse in a poem stabbed right through you? That is why writing needs to happen. To inspire, to trigger, to reflect. Which actually reminds me of what Anais Nin said: "We write to taste life twice; in the moment and in retrospect."

To taste life twice.

Seriously. Is that genius or