Tuesday, April 05, 2016

I Write, Therefore, I Am

When I was in high school, I wrote a lot as I expressed myself better in writing rather than verbally. I dabbled mostly in poetry but not much in fiction. I was ecstatic when in my senior year, one of my poems was published in our school organ. Unfortunately, I didn't get a copy of the paper for posterity's sake but knowing that my editor told me that it's included is enough. I even kept numerous journals which were unfortunately lost during our countless residential moves. My memory is so bad lately that it was the only way for me to prove that whenever somebody tells me a story about what I did in the past.

When I joined our university's literary organ in college, I was encouraged to write more. I was exposed to better and prolific writers. We also had a theme for the paper per trimester and it was (un)fortunate that the theme for my first year with the publication was Erotica.

So, what does a 17 year old girl, fresh out of high school write about erotica? Lest to say, my short story that was submitted for the workshop was sliced and diced to pieces. I don't know if the panelists knew that that story was written by a naive, innocent girl who knew nothing about diving, sucking or licking. Whatever the case, it was enough to strip my confidence in my writing capabilities that I stopped writing fiction and focused my efforts on creating poetry instead. I found my niche in Filipino poetry that I even won two awards because of it. It was quite ironic when my thought language is English.

When I graduated from college, I stopped writing altogether and immersed myself in the banal life of corporate world.

Fast forward 23 years later.

I got into this ALDUB craze and am still an avid fan. My ALDUB friends introduced me to Wattpad and the wonders of fanfiction. I got so engrossed into reading made-up stories of our favorite celebrities and even read the not-so-good ones (read: grammatical and typographical errors). I was an interactive reader in a sense that I would let an author know if I liked her work and kept quiet if I didn't (I don't know if people are open to constructive criticism here. And it's hard to give not good feedback when you don't see the person face-to-face).

Anyway, I sent this author a tweet telling her how much I enjoyed her story. She tweeted me back and invited me to collaborate with her. The rest, is history.

I never thought I had it in me to write fiction again. Yes, I can edit but writing is another matter. There's a saying that goes "Write in white heat. Edit in cold blood." I sometimes write something but after a few days when I read it again, I mostly end up deleting it. Due to my training and the level of literature that I was exposed to way back in college, I always felt that my works were not good enough. I still feel like that up to now. That's why to see my collab with this other writer to be well received by our readers somehow revived my interest in fiction and made me believe that I am capable of coming up with well-written stories. Granted that they are not thought-provoking and mostly fluff, but at least, our readers like them.

Due to a writer's block the past few weeks, I had to take down a couple of my stories that are pending, I really liked the concept and I just hope I have the strength and will to see them through.

The past couple of months that I've been writing made me realize how much I enjoyed the process. There were times that my fingers were just flying on the keyboard trying to get down as much thoughts as I can on the word application. There are days wherein I would just stare at the screen and try to pick out something from my brain.

One thing I always keep in mind though is that, I write for myself. It'd be nice if I would attract readers but I'm not getting paid anyway. Being recognized and finding my niche is enough for me.

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