I know what I love. I’ve always known what I love. I’m at the point where I’m asking myself what I want to do with my life, and I keep asking if writing is part of my big life plans. But I’m not even sure why I still ask myself that question when I’ve known for a long time that writing is the one for me.
That sounds like a testimonial for a product. I don’t think I’d ever truly be happy if I’m not writing. Any form of writing will do.
I do know what I love, but why do I still feel lost?
I’m not sure when I truly started writing. There’s a bunch of old notebooks back from high school stashed in my cabinet but I know that I already loved writing when I was in grade school. I think my love for stories and writing developed at the same time.
I remember joining writing contests back in grade school. I wrote in Filipino back then. I’m not sure why I stopped. I remember winning and I remember how it felt so good when other people like your works. I wasn’t exceptionally good, I’m still not. But to be the best at one point still felt good. It’s a thing of the past, though, and one thing I learned in college is one should never dwell so much on failures and triumphs.
It was only in high school when I started dabbling in fiction. I’ve always been a storyteller but it was only in high school that I put my stories into writing. It started with fanfiction and it soon turned into short stories about nameless characters with melodramatic woes in life. I wasn’t the type to let people I know read my works but I shared it online anyway. I think the anonymity the internet offers gives me strength to actually share my stories. What’s the point in writing stories if you wouldn’t tell it to anyone?
Sadly, the harsh training in college became the death of my passion for writing. I did a lot of writing in DevCom but I didn’t write any fictional stories. Sure, I wrote stories about real people and real issues, but it still felt different. Writing became a chore, and that’s hard for me to accept. I didn’t want to write anything science or economics-related but I really had no choice. Don’t get me wrong. I learned a great deal from my teachers but somehow, for a while I lost my penchant for writing. The writing I did as a Journ major was too straight, formal, and limiting for me.
Writing lost its appeal. Then I’d I see people who are so good in writing that I was (still am) often envious of their talent. I still want to be good in writing. Desperately so. Writing seems to be so natural for others. I want to be as good as them. I want to express myself as eloquent as they do. I think doubting myself and comparing myself too much to others hinder me from actually getting better at it. Sometimes, I am too afraid to even try. Sylvia Plath gladly reminds me so:
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Despite knowing that, I still hate myself for not being good enough. I know, I know. Dawdling in self-pity is not exactly the best way to improve. I do want to get better, but I am frightened that I will not get better. Does that even make any sense?
In my fear that I will forever fail in life when I pursue a career (a life) in writing, I decided to pursue something else: teaching. I love teaching but I’m not sure if I love it as much as writing. I was actually already decided to apply for my masters at College of Home Economics in Diliman. Master of Family Life and Child Development seemed to be a pretty good degree to start my career as a pre-school teacher. Then Alex and I had a conversation that goes something like this:
ALEX: Kung magiging “someone” ka, saang field?
ME: Writing. Literature. Publishing.
It always comes down to writing. It always will. I just don’t know where I would go with my love for writing. I do know that my writing style won’t exactly coincide with any magazine in the country. The magazines are either too posh or too cutesy or too elite-ish for me. Newspapers terrify me. Besides, it’s fiction writing I want to do forever. Alex suggests that I should write a book, and God knows how hard it is to get published. I just don’t know where my writing would take. Heck, I don’t even know where I want it to take me. Sometimes, I wonder if I really want it bad enough.
I know what I love, and it’s just up to me to do something about it. I’ve been thinking about this for two years and it’s high time that I finally decide. I’m 21, and I’m not getting any younger. Charlie would be quick to remind me that life doesn’t stop for anybody.