crazy_octopus (crazy_octopus) wrote,

So you wanna be a writer?


1. If you write everyday, you get better at writing everyday
2. If it's boring to you, it's boring to your reader
3. Get a writing routine, and stick with it.
4. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme
5. Resist stereotypes, in real life and in your writing
6. Writers read. Writers read a lot. Writers read all the time.
7. Make lists of your favorite words and books and places and things
8. There doesn't always have to be a moral to the story.
9. Always bring your notebook. Always bring a spare pen.
10. Go for walks. Dance. Pull weeds. Do the dishes. Write about it.
11. Don't settle on just one style. Try something new!
12. Learn to tell both sides of the story.
12 1/2. Stop looking at this note. WRITE SOMETHING!


I cant help but nick this note I found on my mother's corkboard because i think i need it more than she does, given that i consider her "fully baked" when it comes to being a writer, whereas i am still a dough yet to be molded.

Time and again, ill look at this note to serve as the bullet which will puncture my inflated head and bring me back to the ground, should i entertain the delusion that I am already, presently, a full-fledged writer. "No Emil, you are not a writer yet" is the mantra i tell myself. God knows i have miles to go before i become one, madami pa kong uubusin na tinta at papel. (kahit alam naman natin na madalang na gamitin ang mga ganito sa pagsusulat. Pero ang poetic kasi ng dating eh, kaysa sabihin na "madami pa kong pipindutin sa keyboard.")

However, i cant say that other people think of themselves the same way. Back during my first year of college, i've met several pompous characters who claimed a lot of things they thought they were. Obviously, these students can't differentiate between the present and the future tense, erroneously saying things like "journalist ako!," "writer ako!" or even "poet ako!" with all the air and arrogance they can muster.

This is good and all, provided that these people can actually back up their claim, meaning they write regularly, published or unpublished, whether poetry or prose. Of course, if you claim to be a writer, then it is only natural that you write, simple. Its the same principle as expecting a singer to sing. But the bad thing is, I see no evidence of these people writing in real life nor in the internet world (i.e. blogs). A lot of opportunities have arisen for these people to go and prove their claim, but nada.

Maybe they are saying this as a self-hypnotizing thing, like say something to yourself repeatedly and your mind starts to believe it. However, they can do without the hollier-than-thou act, with their minds doing these mental callisthenics of thinking they really are already "made," even when they have barely gotten their college degree! They act as if they are god's gift to writers, and that they fart rainbows or gold sprinkles.

Yeah sure, you really are writers and poets. And President Arroyo is really an ewok in disguise.

The bottomline is just because you are in a course related to writing does not automatically make you a writer. In a similar vein, being in journalism does it make you a journalist. Journalism is a discipline, and to be called one, you have to actually apply it , be it in broadcast, or in the dailies or other written form of media. if you think you're a writer just because you wrote something that was praised once in your life, or you won some national press contest thing or joined your high school newspaper, then you are badly mistaken. Being a writer entails a lot of regular writing, it does not end with an acclaimed work which got you praises from your colleagues, it is NOT a one-time thing.

See, if it was THAT easy to have a brand, then i guess i can call myself an artist for a penis drawing i doodled once on my chair during class, or I can also be a full-fledged architect for a lego building i did once when I was 5. Takes the magic off a profession, doesn't it?

This also applies for poets who act all snooty and condescending because of one or two praised poetry. I cant help but scoff whenever a student actually has the gall to blatantly declare himself as being in the same league as a renowned writer or a poet, merely basing it on a prized write-up he did once. Most of the time, these people get scared of writing further works, for fear of being found out as a fake. I find this declaration insulting to those people who really made a name for themselves in their professions, like literary figures Nick Joaquin or F. Sionil. It is an insult to the struggles these people went through to earn the right to be called a writer or a poet.

Perhaps people should start shedding off this idea that being in a course does not automatically make you the end-product of that course, you still have to earn it and prove your worth after graduation. Maybe if people stepped out of their mist of delusion and self-absorption, they can get a better appraisal of who they are and where they currently stand, as well as where they want to go.

As for me, i just wish that I can one day be sufficient enough to be calle a writer. Until that day comes, the notes going to be up on my corkboard.

Sir Tolits: And so the catholic church is one.
Ajei: (nagtaas ng kamay at perky ang pagkasabi) Unified!
Tolits: ,,,Yes, exactly. (writes something on the board)
Ako (nasa likod ako ni Ajei): ...
Ako: (ninudge yung balikat ni Ajei) ...Alam mo, naiinis talaga ako sa mga estudyanteng iniisip na recitation
yung pagsabi ng synonyms ng mga sinabi nung teacher.
Ajei (nods): hahaha... oo nga.

Yun yung gusto ko kay Ajei, pareho kami ng mindset at ng mga napapansin. Hindi din nya siniseryoso ang sarili nya masyado, hindi katulad ng ibang taong masyadong concerned sa image.


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