Writer and creative actionista, Yang-May Ooi, tells us more about her new creative project ReWilding My Life and why she is developing online rather than behind a writer’s closed doors as a book.
Follow Yang-May Ooi’s journey to reconnect with nature
The traditional way that writers express their art, especially if they are book writers, is, well, in the form of a book. It is a slow solitary process as we sit at our computers day after day, typing out our narrative or thesis in words, words and more words. A few years later – or if you are really lucky 9-10 months later, your book goes to press and into the hands of your readers.
My background is as a book writer, having notched up 2 novels, a business book and a memoir, each upwards of 100,000 words or 300 pages. Books work very well for certain stories and discussions. They have advantages over other art forms, allowing us to follow an argument through, be taken along by a narrative, to start from the from beginning and to read through to the end. They offer depth and texture, co-opt the reader’s imagination, give us the beauty of written language, challenge our intellect and reasoning.
But they stand and fall on the written word.
ReWilding My Life in Many Dimensions
For my new creative project, ReWilding My Life, I feel that my exploration of our relationship with nature needs me to step outside the confines of the book form to take a more multi-dimensional approach. After all, our relationship with nature is multi-dimensional. It encompasses more than just wildlife and the natural world. We do not live on this earth alone. There is community and our place within that. And there is our relationship with our selves – our natural, wild selves – because, after all, we are animals, too.
So, for me, this “expedition” into the wild – the wild around us as well as the wild inside us – needs pictures and sound, movement and rhythm as well as words and stories and discussion. I would also like to invite others to take part in this project by sharing their stories and experiences alongside my own explorations.
Which is why I have decided to develop ReWilding My Life online using blogging and other multi media tools that the internet can offer. This project will be made up of photos, audio and video as well as written essays and stories. It will also feature other voices and views than my own. And the immediacy of online creation will, I hope, build up a kaleidoscopic experience for you to delve into in a non-linear way.
Beyond the common essay or reportage style of blog posts, I also want to play with different textual forms depending on what may fit the aspect of this project I want to explore – eg. reviews, diary entries, reflections, memoir, flash fiction, poetry, vignettes, dramatized moments and more
By taking this “without borders”, rewilding approach to creative expression, I hope to discover in a multi-dimensional way not just what ReWilding means for me – but also for all of us as individuals and on a wider scale.
It may be that a book will eventually come out of this project, too. As a writer, I would never discount that possibility! But for now, I want to let my creativity roam wild and play with whatever tools feel a good artistic fit for any given element of this project.
My hope is that ReWilding My Life may provoke, challenge, bring a laugh or tear, inspire, open up a new perspective. But no doubt, some blog posts, videos or other piece in this project may fall flat, fail, come off as banal, nothingy. That’s the risk of doing creative work – more so for having a go online in full view of an audience. But I feel, that is part of the ReWilding My Life I want to explore – to be able to tap into my creative spirit and authentic expression regardless of what anyone else might think. It makes me somewhat anxious as no-one, least of all me, likes to be laughed at or judged. But I tell myself: a tiger is a tiger through and through without worrying what other tigers or animals think of it – so let’s see if my experiment in ReWilding can give me more courage and authentic presence in whatever I do.
Follow the ReWilding My Life project
Find out the background to why I started this project ReWilding My Life – see Yang-May Ooi launches new online creative project Rewilding My Life.
Check out the other blogposts and multimedia content making up the ReWilding My Life project by going to ReWilding My Life on the left hand sidebar.
Help Spread ReWilding My Life
Can you think of anyone who may like to know about this project? You can share ReWilding My Life with them using this URL – www.rewildingmylife.co.uk
Would you like to take part in the ReWilding My Life project? Maybe you have stories or questions about our relationship with nature. Please do add a comment – or get in touch via the Let’s Talk page.
It would be fantastic to hear from you.
Rewilding My Life is author Yang-May Ooi’s personal journey to explore how our urban lives alienate us from the natural world – and how we can re-connect with nature and our sense of the wild. Follow this Tiger Spirit project via Rewilding My Life link on the left sidebar.
Author: Yang-May Ooi
Yang-May Ooi is a multimedia author & TEDx speaker. Her creative projects include Bound Feet Blues (theatre), South London Voices and Creative Conversations (podcasts) and The Nowhere Land Project (photography). She also works with individuals, non-profits and small businesses to help them tell their unique stories in inspiring words and images. ¦ www.TigerSpirit.co.uk