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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Pham

Get Yourself Some Experience

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Monsoon clouds mop over the ranges with endless sheets of thick, pounding, drowning rain, and then suddenly, the sun drills through the leaden sky. Soon steam rises from the dark green hills like fog. There is an insect that chirps like a bird, and a bird that meows like a cat. But our nocturnal cat can't be disturbed from his nap even as a big field rat taunts the puppies while the water snake wiggles across our fishpond as though he owns it.

It is so humid my bath towel never dries. The sun came out for two hours in four days. Always, I am drenched in sweat, weakened by heat. I remind myself to work slowly. It's unforgiving here. Once you've overheated, you're cooked. Skin rashes and bacterial infections plague me daily. Night time, the bed is a pool of sweat. I gasp against the mosquito net, against the cacophony of frogs and crickets.

People often asked me, “So what's it like, living in the tropics?”

As a writer, you should always make good use of libraries, interviews, videos and such resources. Perhaps, a take a research holiday if your budget allows it. And, of course, never underestimate your imagination.

But, truly, nothing beats actual experience.

Aspiring writers, I encourage you to get out and experience life. Take some risks. Up to the peaks, down to valleys. Into the heart, into the bowels of darkness.

True words flow from real experience.

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