Creative Energy

Creative energy is energy. When we are writing about creating instead if actually creating, we are wasting our creative energy. When we are vacillating, we are letting air out of our tires. Our pickup is not speeding down the road and may never even get out of the driveway. Or project goes flat.

– Julia Cameron, Walking in this World


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How I Got Started in Writing

Like most diligent High School students, I was part of our school paper. I was even the Editor-in-Chief right before I graduated. I even dabbled in some, rather cheesy, poetry… you know, the kind that you write for a girl you like. Thankfully, there’s evidence that such cheesy poems existed ever.

Those were my early start, but writing in high school probably doesn’t count for much. But even at a young age, I’ve been a reader. I didn’t know about literary awards back then. We live in the province of Isabela, which is two mountain ranges and about 10 hours away from Manila; so I didn’t have access to people who could recommend good novels or literary outputs to me. But I still learned how to read long-form books while in High School: some novels, graphic novels, and nonfiction books among others. This was before the widespread popularity of the Web and the Internet.

A photo by Aidan Meyer.

Dr. Sicat and my Hate-Love Relationship with Journal Writing

I went to College and took BA Political Science at UP Diliman. My first English teacher, Dr. Sicat, required us to write five pages of journal writing everyday! Imagine that?! Five pages of letter-size paper every single day!

She didn’t really read every single page or thought we put on our journals. I sometimes cheated and wrote lyrics of songs I liked. Most of the time, though, I tried hard to write in English and express myself. Oh, but I hated that subject all semester long.

The next semester, though, I had a change of heart. I finally understood what Dr. Sicat was trying to teach me–expressing myself and my thoughts in this language. By writing everyday, even though I felt stilted and “trying hard,” I developed confidence in my ability to think and write in English. So, I took my old notebooks from that first semester, got the unused parts and recycled them as a place to let my thoughts run free.

Literary Things

It’s a long story how I got to be friends with Butch. But he has been a great part of my life–as a mentor, brother, and friend (oh yeah, best man at my wedding, too!). He introduced me to all sorts of literary things. He’s the reason I read C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Silmarillion.

By the end of my second year in College, Butch and I, together with other friends, had talked about literary things, theories, and I finally knew where to look for good stuff to read. I’ve also started reading some poetry, short stories, and even got introduced to some Filipino writers. I even took additional English subjects–poetry and Business English as electives.

I would have transferred from Political Science to Creative Writing or Comparative Literature had it not been for my agreement with my parents–I was only allowed 4 years in College.

The pen or the guitar?

I learned to play the guitar when I was in second year High School, but I only got serious with it upon entering college. I practiced my chords, scales, and was even part of a fledgling band. I was so into the guitar that I was practicing 3-4 hours at least three times a week.

Within a year, I felt my guitar skills growing. But if I were to be really good at it, I still had a lot to go.

And I also wanted to be a writer. Badly.

So I had to make a choice: the pen or the guitar?

And I chose the pen (or the computer keyboard maybe).

I still play the guitar occasionally. But I have taken writing as the bigger part of my life. In fact, I consider it as an important part of my calling.

and the writing continues…

I’m working on the edits and revisions of Chapter 5 of my book. You know that feeling that you just feel overwhelmed with the many things that you want to say, you end up feeling that you’re really saying anything good at all?

I planned to complete the full chapter 5 and 6 yesterday. But I guess, I just didn’t have the energy and the inspiration perhaps. I felt stumped and unable to proceed with the best way to present the information I wanted my readers to have.

Oh well, talk about dammed words!

Thomas A. Edison was right: a job well done requires 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So here I turn on the computer, and pick up where I left off yesterday. Perhaps, the muse will appear today. Or not! Either way, I write.

Dammed Words

I’m now working on the fourth draft of my book project: StartUP. It is tough. The act of writing, in itself is already tough. How much more when you look at your third draft and realize that it’s not up to the standards yet. Ugh. And so, I find myself working on the fourth draft.
But the words won’t flow. The ideas are there, crystallized in my notebook, yet, they just wouldn’t flow. It does feel like I’m getting rusty.

And the words don’t flow.

So, why am I writing this book again?

Without the words, I won’t be able to communicate and impact the lives of young people whose potentials are there, waiting to be discovered. We are a young country, the median age is currently at 23.1. We are literate. And young people have tremendous opportunities waiting for them, if they would only realize their potentials. But as the kuya and ate’s of these young people, we have the responsibility to help them get started with their careers, and their lives. It’s never easy to start. But it’s even more difficult to restart and get in the mood again.

Ten days into 2013 and I’m still having a difficult time catching up with all the writing that I need to do. Well, I’m hoping that these notes on the writing process will help me out. The ambience of UP Technohub also helps. Right in the center of BPO industry, where young professionals come and go. Where young urbanites like me try to write and make sense of our lives.

So hey, this journal may be rambling. But I like it that way. It can help unleash the dammed words. Dammed sounds like damned. LOL. So, as I write this book, I want to focus on my own experience as a fresh graduate and how I dealt with my own plans, my uncertainties and anxieties. Not easy. But I want to recreate that feeling, the emotions, the fear, and the excitement of those first years.

And I will also go back to my own experience, how I went through those experiences. The chapters of the book would be like a series of blog posts with several tips and tricks for the new graduates. It needs to be fun and engaging for maximum impact!

Remember, blog-type writing!