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Love and Hate – A Bewildering Writing Experience

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(photo credit:hdwallpaper.im)

“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”  ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing 

Writing is like a big art canvass. You create something out of nothing. And most of the times, it is a beautiful something. Most especially if you put your heart and soul into it. You swing your hands passionately in many different strokes. Voila! You create a magnificent work of art. A kaleidoscope of colors and hue.

A writer’s mind is like art too. The brain creates a magnificent display of visual images in different moods and emotions. As what Bradbury have said, “…it is a gift and a privilege.” To transform an idea and put it down on paper and to give a deeper meaning to the words which go beyond the imagination – that is creativity at its best.

For both the author and the reader, nothing beats the inner peacefulness it brings to one’s soul. It soothes the spirit to the core. It’s just right if sometimes they call it, “zen writing.” For me, It gives a kind of meditative effect that I can’t explain. Perhaps it is the same as the transcendental feeling of a Buddhist monk when reaching Nirvana. I don’t know.

Perhaps, it is like a heroin when you need a quick fix. The time when love is high, delirious and it needs unleashing. With writing, I find myself in euphoric state like there is no tomorrow. I just can’t stop. Like a food binge that I need to indulge myself in, every now and then when I’m feeling blue.

It feels like we are on a honeymoon stage. Once we start the loving, the words just flow out like waterfalls. It’s an incredible feeling. Sometimes it pours without stop. Sometimes, it just drizzle. But the ecstatic feeling is there. It never loses. It is even to a point orgasmic. A pure, unadulterated bliss.

Yes, like a newly married couple, I have never imagined that writing and I would be inseparable. Or so, I thought.

Life is not always a bed of roses with writing. Like in any love affair, we have separated a lot of times in the past. People and events do get in the way sometimes. When a load of shit happens, my relationship with writing suffers too. Or, when things get boring and stuffy, I try to create something but it only feels like I am staring on a blank wall. Not like those peak moments when an idea hits you even right in the middle of something. Or when you wake up in the night just to write down your thoughts. It’s a great  “aha” moment for me. But when nothing comes out of your brain and you have to go through the so-called writer’s block phase –  it is so often difficult to the point of triggering a severe migraine attack and nausea. I usually take a rest, read, watch comedy reruns on TV or  do long walks outside to take my mind away from it all.

Sometimes, I am worrying if midlife crisis is at fault or if I am having an Alzheimer’s disease. God forbid.  Funny, but there were times that I didn’t even want to write – just because.

There is no reason really. Perhaps, too much distractions are getting in the way of things. I remember, there was one time that I totally abandoned it. It was after I graduated from college and a new chapter of my life started – career. But unfortunately, a degree in Communications didn’t  land me a writing job in the city because I failed in my first interview. I was merely asked three questions about the main issues on the day’s newspaper. Three important questions on current events. Imagine that. My fate was sealed that day that I wasn’t meant to be a writer. So, my journal collection which span years of  writing my innermost thoughts and feelings was kept away in a box. I was so young and my feelings were ambivalent then. I failed to live up to my own expectation. I had begun reading the papers more but I have never looked for a writing job again.

The worst part was – coming back for your love.- after a long lull in the relationship. There were so many questions.

Can I be passionate about it again? Will the feeling of wanting to write so much will make writing love me back? Will I abandon writing again for a new love? Will the writing be the same?  Will it be strong enough to bear with all my idiosyncrasies?Will it be there for me waiting with open arms when I come back after losing myself? Lots of questions. Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Then, I was given another chance to be a feature writer after winning in an inter-company essay writing contest . That was the turning point in my life. To think that I was already in my 40s then. But still, sometimes I have this feeling that our love for each other was not mutual. My writing seems senseless. My thoughts go haywire. My words rumble. But, writing keeps me going.

Truth is, I am scared to death of what might become of our relationship after years of togetherness. Yes, I might be over thinking right now, but the thoughts are just over the horizon.

Our love relationship is like a wheel that never stops spinning. Then, it just slows down. Sometimes it is like a mighty wind on a turbulent sea. Sometimes, it is like a hush in a middle of a wheat field. There is no in between.

I have seen this before. We have weathered several storms in the past.  My writings may never be an inspiration for romantic movies or even love songs. Poets may not find it soulful nor touching. People may not find it funny nor interesting. But that is not my goal yet. The purpose of my existence is to just keep on writing and learn whatever it takes to learn.

To trust the universe that we will remain true to each other’s vow. To love, to cherish and to hold on to my precious pen for the rest of my life. That is what we are here on earth for. To do the things we love and passionate about. To write about our fears and sadness. Our joys and pains.To write our own or other people’s story. To share it to the world even if sometimes no one ever listen nor care about what we say.

We owe it to ourselves to honor that passion. Like an ode to the spirit.

Life is too short to waste those precious moments when thoughts ought to be expressed, written and read. Because, the only compensation in loving writing is the total freedom of one’s soul, or giving it all that you’ve got until you bleed with joy. Living and loving in total abandonment not ever thinking of what might become. No ifs, no buts. We do it because, it must be done.

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Constantly Challenge Yourself

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Ah! I have been writing for the 500 Words A Day Challenge by Jeff Goins for 15 days now and just being on the halfway mark feels great! For today, the task is Evaluate and how things are going so far.

But first, I want to give myself a pat in the back and raise a glass for doing something worthwhile. Some people may call writing a boring stuff to do but for me – it’s something that could make me happy (next to reading) whenever I am putting my thoughts and ideas into words. Maybe I am a bit of an introvert when I write because it rejuvenates me in my solitude. There’s nothing that can change the way I feel about it.

The 500 words writing challenge is perhaps, one of the best decisions that I have made in my life because it provided me the needed discipline to sit down and just do it. Yeah right, like the famed Nike commercial. But being a non-native English speaker and writer, this is quite a challenge for me.

And the whole world of writing and blogging is very intimidating.

If you think about all the great and famous writers in history, I am a mere speck of dust in their universe.

If I am really considering myself as a writer – well, that part of calling myself a writer made me cringe before until Jeff changed my whole perspective about it -.then I need to write. I need to buckle down to business, everyday. No ifs, no buts. Just do what I have got to do. Like a true pen warrior ready for battle. Period.

Listen, I will spill a secret here. I am an easy-go-lucky person and I tend to procrastinate at times. Okay, most of the times. But then I realized – I can go on blaming all the reasons in the world why I am not a good writer or why things are not going the way I wanted it to be – but it won’t change the fact that things are still the way they are. Stagnant.

Yes, I write blogs here and on another website.. But right after I publish an article and pour my heart and soul into it, I go back to my same old self and wait for things to happen. Too late to realize that no miracle was happening.

Then I found Jeff Goins and The Writing Manifesto . Whoa! It was like a lightning that struck me out of oblivion. His words pierced me to the core. Ouch! If Dalai Lama is considered the great guru of the Himalayas, I considered Mr. Goins as my Lama-esque sage of the West or the Carl Jung of writing. He showed me everything there is that I need to face as a writer. Like things that keep holding me back . Or how to deal with my attitude and my old habits that are hard to break. Or getting out of my comfort zone. It felt like he saved me from drowning. And he was just right in time, like a superhero. So, gee thanks for that.

I never thought writing regularly could bring out so much in me. I mean, the only difference in writing journals back then  was – I had ideas of what to write because they just happened. It can be anything under the sun, moon and the sky. There were no rules, nor themes to follow. I was not even conscious about my spelling and not aware if I was following the rules of English grammar then. ( Oops, my apology to my English teacher). Nobody can read it anyway. Nobody can accuse me of being too stupid or too proud . People cannot say that I was not really doing it  for the sake of sacred writing but just for the heck of it.

But as I have said, Jeff and this challenge changed my perspective about writing. I have to write no matter what. Whether I find my muse or not. It also changed my attitude on dealing with myself.

Glad to know that it was all for the better. It improves my writing for the better. it gives way to my creative expression. Looking back for the past 15 days, things have been a wonderful experience for me. I am more disciplined and focus on my writing now. I learned about the Dos and Don’ts. I learned about writing the ugly part of my life.I admit that one is tough.I am still a work in progress but I am getting there.

Although I am not publishing all of them in this blog nor sharing on Facebook everything that I have written so far, it’s enough for me to know that I am doing the work that was required of me.

As long as I keep showing up for the job, I will be fine.

For me, that reason is enough to smile and be happy about it.