I’d stick a USB flash drive into my brain. Move all relevant files into my laptop. Open a word document, paste words, wait ‘til it multiplies on its own―turning it into a blog post. I wish it was that easy. I wish these were a possibility.
Reading other writers’ works sometimes makes it seem like they already found their niche or genre in writing. I know it’s wrong, in all sorts of reasons, to compare another’s chapter 38 to one’s own writing outline, but I can’t help it anyway. Especially at times when I struggle to find the “thing” I want to write in the long run.
When I was in elementary and high school, what I wrote had always been academically related projects: essays, poems, speeches, etc. Teachers gave me topics to write about, I composed my projects in a given period of time. There’s not much liberty to it, really. Except the ways I constructed my ideas and researches. If a sentence or a paragraph didn’t quite fit to their liking, they gave suggestions and I edited. On some occasions, what I wrote was graded right after submitting as part of periodic assessments. Looking back now, I’d like to compare it to an actual process of publishing under an agent or a publisher. Only I was a minor then and teachers didn’t take it as seriously as an agent would.
I started blogging when I was in my second year in college. Posting ambitious movie reviews I didn’t think were biased, although they really were when I read them again only a few weeks ago. I considered deleting all of it, but decided to leave them up live for future reference on where I went wrong. And also to keep a record of my progress in the blogosphere. Aside from early pretentious movie reviews, I started writing poetry more often than I usually did. There was even a time when I would be so hyper-driven up until the wee hours, editing and finishing 3 to 6 poems and short fictions in one day, besides the usual deadlines I needed to meet. Realizing now that I’d gone through that kind of phase in my life, I keep asking myself where did all those energy and inspiration come from and why can’t I find it now?
Maybe I shouldn’t beat myself to it. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, after all. I’m not sure. I don’t know. But what I do know now and what I’m sure about is that if wanted to reach a goal in writing for the rest of my life, I should stop procrastinating and start studying to become better.
A Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts wasn’t much in relation to writing, but I must say it’s a good start in terms of pulling off creative ideas to write about. I’m not saying I regret taking up theater in college, I have been and always will be passionate about it. However, what’s more convenient and relative to my current situation is an opportunity to study English or Journalism. But another four years of attending college doesn’t seem ideal. Recently, though, what I did was purchase books on mass communication, writing, reading and handbooks, and start studying at home. And boy did it feel so ecstatic.
Reading those materials is a sort of refresher for what I already know―so little, honestly. It also gave me an overview of how much I still have to learn if I want to step into feature, news, research, and other genre of writing that doesn’t include making up fictional characters in a fictional world.
For years I had been so comfortable creating poetry, narrative fiction, and early stages of working on my first novel (unfortunately still stuck in chapter 5 for almost two years now, despite I’m all mapped out on how I would like it to turn out). Finding my voice as a writer sounds so appealing―sticking up to a certain genre because I know that’s what I’m good at. But right now, I’m far from it… way far from it. I don’t know when I will reach that point, or whether or not I will get to it at all. As long as I’m learning and enjoying my craft, I don’t see no harm in exploring the things I want to know more about that scare me a little, and going back to where I’m used to doing. It’s not bad to stay home for a long time―it’s home, after all―and it’s neither deadly to step outside of one’s comfort zone. Otherwise, what are we here for?