I made the life-saving choice to quit, but man I could use a smoke break

Photo: Evgeniy Kleymenov/EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s been 10 years since I quit smoking. I didn’t stop because I wanted to, but because my fiancé quit smoking and asked for my support in the form of solidarity. I agreed to quit but after finishing my last cigarette, I couldn’t sleep. Desperate for a hit of nicotine, I took a walk around the block. I saw a half-smoked cigarette on the sidewalk, picked it up, brought it home, snipped off the tip of the filter and took two long drags. That was the end of 15 years of nicotine dependence.

Though I no longer call myself a…

Liberty for all cannot truly exist without responsibility

Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

Singapore: Consensual censorship

Growing up in Singapore, I knew that even though we had a democratic, multi-party government, the real power laid with the People’s Action Party (PAP) — the conservative, center-right party founded by the nation’s revered late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. To non-Singaporeans, it may seem strange that for the last 55 years, the PAP has legitimately beat eleven opposition parties and maintained its stronghold in the nation’s parliament. While most Singaporeans support the PAP, there have always been whispers that the party’s authoritarian stance on internal security, political dissent, public demonstrations…

Humans 101

How to feel less bummed and more grateful as you age

Blurry image of pedestrians walking against overlay of clock hours.
Blurry image of pedestrians walking against overlay of clock hours.
Photo: DNY59/Getty Images

My husband and I went for our annual eye checkup, and I was told I needed reading glasses. My husband, who is 10 years older than me, smiled and said, “Darling, this is just the beginning.”

I glared at him. The beginning of what exactly? The end?

I turn 43 this year, and I am officially having a midlife crisis.

I’m in the middle. The beginning is over. The next stop is “the End.”

I am looking at my life — my wonderful life. I have loving husband, who is my best friend, personal masseur, and chef; a fulfilling career…

This Is Us

Society is on pause, but my compulsion to keep hustling won’t quit

A woman in white jeans and a yellow sweater sitting on the bed in a yoga pose in front of a laptop and a cup of coffee.
A woman in white jeans and a yellow sweater sitting on the bed in a yoga pose in front of a laptop and a cup of coffee.
Fiordaliso/Getty Images

I’m thinking of paying three grand for an online hypnotherapist training course. “Sucker!” My husband says. But he doesn’t get it. See, I believe in the power of “visualization with intent.”

Once I complete the course, I will get a diploma that will allow me to become a professional hypnotherapist. I will become the best hypnotherapist in all the land. I will make a decent living — maybe even become rich — helping people by telling them, “Your eyelids are getting heavy. You are getting sleepier and sleepier. …

Can bloggers write for an audience and still be authentic?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

After reading a post on my travel blog, a friend remarked, “Your writing is so formal, very proper, very business-like”. I wasn’t sure if this was a compliment or a jab — I was leaning towards jab — but I knew what she meant and I had to agree with her.

I am a professional writer, so when I write, I feel like I’m performing for a large, intelligent and serious-minded audience who will be flashing score cards to let me know how well I’ve done. “Keep them entertained” is my topmost priority. …

Belligerence has long been my M.O. for dealing with the fact that way too many things in life are beyond my control. But I’m starting to realise that being a badass might not be working for me anymore.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Browsing through old family albums, I came across photos of myself as a seven-year-old. In most of them I am scowling. I have my hand on my hip and I’m staring intently at the camera with fierce brows, the top left corner of my lip raised in what looks like the beginning of a hoodlum’s snarl. If a kid with that face…

Learn how to hold your reader’s attention for a long time

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Content is everywhere. An infinite amount of text on screens and pages fight for our attention. That’s why good sentences are more important now than ever. A good sentence is the reason a reader will give their attention to one piece of writing over another. Once the reader’s attention has been harnessed, the good sentence then becomes the lubricant that moves them along to the next good sentence, then on to the next, until the reader reaches the story’s satisfactory conclusion.

I’ve been writing professionally for more than two decades and have had thousands of articles published, but every new…

Your inner child can be your best ally.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Last Sunday, over brunch with friends, the discussion turned to the pros and cons of psychoanalysis and therapy, and the topic of the inner child came up. A few people in the party mocked the idea, and one proclaimed that the inner child was “something immature people use as an excuse to not grow up”. As I walked home after the meal, I found myself wondering about the inner child’s bad rep, and why the term, when it is used, is so often used facetiously or negatively.

As self-help jargon becomes a…

I’m committed to writing, creatively, but I’ve had to be honest with myself about what this means.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter who also writes short fiction and creative nonfiction, but today, I feel like I really suck at writing. Yeah, I used “really”, and anyone who’s serious about writing knows that intensifiers are confirmation that you suck. Today, I’m thinking, Why the f*ck am I even writing? What’s the point of it?

A week ago, I thought I was doing pretty ok. (Yes, another intensifier, at this point, I don’t give a hoot). An article I wrote on Medium got 6.6K views and earned me $252.8. I completed a short story, and was particularly proud…

Redirect your hyperactive libido towards creating a more successful and fulfilling life.

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

If you’ve ever regretfully cheated on your partner, or if you’ve been accused of inappropriate behaviour, or worse, sexual harassment at work, or if you waste more time than you’d like surfing porn, then your sex drive could be doing you more harm than good. Your need for kicks feels out of control. You’ve attended Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings. You’ve tried reigning in your lustiness, but to no avail. If you deny yourself erotic rewards, you become angry, irritable, and discontent. You turn into a werewolf and you…

Michele Koh Morollo

Journo | Copywriter | Short Fiction Author | www.michelekohmorollo.com | Author of “Without:Stories of lack and longing”

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