Tag Archive | writing

Writing Woes

I feel like such a fraud. I don’t know if I really have a talent in writing or not. Before, writing was my life. I’d write every second of every minute of every day but now I’d go days and weeks and even months without writing.

Sometimes, I feel like my writing is only connected to my Bipolar. I used to be prolific in writing whenever I was having my attacks. I’d have no trouble writing a poem or an essay. It just came to me. Now, I have to work doubly hard to come up with something to write. I’m not used to it and that’s what’s making me think if I’m a talentless hack or not. What used to come to me like oxygen to my body is now like a super hard nail embedded in wood, too hard to take off.

Because of this I’ve actually stopped applying to and accepting writing jobs. I did this last year but while doing this, there was always the fear gnawing at the back of my mind as to how long I can do this until the juices stop. Until I can’t write anymore. Until now, I’m so scared that what if they give me a topic and I can’t, for the life of me, write?

The writing process for me has never been so hard nor complicated. I just always wrote, the same way I just breathe. Not thinking about it but just doing it. Sometimes, reading what I wrote afterwards, I felt like I was possessed. That someone took over my mind and body and wrote. That’s how one I was with my writing. It’s been a while since I felt it. I miss writing so much.

I have a suspicious feeling my going to law school did this, along with aggravating my Bipolar attacks. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed law school, especially Criminal Law, but it made me pay a price that was so high. It changed me in ways I didn’t anticipate nor expect. It took away my passion and self-love. Now that I know though I can proactively work towards being me again, only better. With this in mind, I look towards the future with excitement and hope. Maybe I’ll even get to write that book I’ve been meaning to write. I just have to work on it. Like many other things.

A Writer’s Solitude

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I’ve noticed that I can’t write whenever I am surrounded by everyone in my family. No, it’s not that I am distracted, it’s more that in the hustle and bustle of life in our household, I can’t find myself. I find it difficult connecting to my inner self. I guess that’s why most writer’s feel the need to be alone when they write. Blessed are those who can still write even with all the activity around them but for me and some writers, we need solitude.

Solitude, I’ve learned, helps me connect with my inner self. The one that helps with my reflective mood, the one that reaches into my soul and helps put pen into paper and come up with something. There’s something in being totally alone that triggers my reflections. It’s like I go inside myself and see the world differently, thus, think differently. I feel like I turn into a completely different person, someone with a contemplative and sensitive soul and I feel like I can write the whole day and still have a billion more to say. What’s good with about this is that, afterwards, I feel refreshed. Like I took a dip into a clear pool and emerged fresh and new. I don’t know about the others but I think solitude has helped me a lot not only with my writing but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Back! ^_^

We easily get tangled with life’s messes, easily get ensnared and distracted as life keeps moving forward at a fast pace. I am no exception.

As I enjoyed all that life had to offer, I forgot the passion of my heart. I let myself be fooled that it was just a hobby, nothing more than a passing fancy. I know better now, I hit my head hard and woke up. It hurt but it shook me to the reality of my predicament. I am good at this. This is a big part of my life. So, it is with much joy and happiness that I go back to writing. An activity that has made me who I am today, something that they say I am talented at. Something that I know I am good at. It will be a rough ride, as it has always been. At times, I will again doubt myself, give up even, but my heart is stronger now. My soul has been renewed. I am alive with a brightly burning hope in my being. And I say, hello everyone. Let’s do this!

Foodcourt Thoughts

Hi guys! Here’s to another absent-minded rants I have while waiting for my husband at the foodcourt. So, how have you been?

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A writer’s mind is never at rest, it is forever in a marathon. Sprinting, dashing, running – especially at night when everyone is asleep and the world basks in the glow of the moonlight. It is then that the mysterious, charming, and cunning is revealed.

A writer’s mind is always active. The problem is when they suddenly think of something extremely good to write and they can’t write it down immediately because they’re busy with everyday tasks and so it disappears. Like a will-o’-the-wisp it has suddenly vanished, making the writer think that it was just a dream.

The best writing is one that is not forced, not thought about or analyzed in any way possible. The best writing is one that comes straight from the heart. As you close your eyes to feel the rhythm of the music so do you open your heart & let go to feel your emotions. Let all the pain, hurt, sorrow, love, joy, happiness, elation, shock, and surprise flow. Even if it overwhelms you, more so if it scares you. Why? Because it really is scary at first, like letting go of a raft and letting yourself be washed away by the waves to destinies unknown. But that is exactly what great, exceptional writing is – the rawness, heart on the sleeve, almost wide-eyed naïveté that haunts you to the very depths of your soul and arrests your mind. It doesn’t just touch your whole being, it sears you and becomes part of you. That’s what great writing is all about. Find the ability to truly write from your heart. Be one with your self and develop sympathy as well as empathy. Great writing feels and is felt.

Artists – writers, painters, musicians – have the most sensitive souls, the strongest of hearts, and the most philosophical minds. I guess that’s why people find them great and weird at the same time. From the time they have discovered their craft, they have always walked the line between madness and genius, sometimes either the other but almost always both. Largely, it depends on the century they’re living in.

Believe

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As soon as I saw this necklace on Bradford Exchange I knew I had to have it. Not because I am terribly fond of butterflies and flowers but more because of the writing on the back.

All writers know that writing is a hard and lonely road filled with doubts and hopelessness. Yes, writing is a very rewarding task but as with everything it also has its dark days. That is why writers have something they hold on to during those troubled times. Something that will help them keep working on their dream, something that will remind them that giving up is not an option.

This necklace is a way for me to not forget why I write, despite of all the frustrations and setbacks I keep encountering. Whenever I feel myself giving in to self-doubt and giving up I just touch my necklace and remember the words written on the back. I am then reminded that first and foremost, I have to believe in the beauty of my dreams. It may be hard now but one day, this will be all worth it. The keyword is to believe, to believe in ourselves and in our dreams. If not, then nothing remains, all of the things we do will be for naught.

 

My Blog

Since I started my blog, a number of people have sent me messages asking what exactly is my niche. Why is there a lot of categories in my blog? Shouldn’t there be just one category – if it’s poetry then it should all just be poetry, not a smorgasbord of different writing genres. I beg to differ.

My blog is what it is. It is a reflection of who I am, both as a person and as a writer. I had trouble fitting in since I was young, not for lack of trying but I never really got along well with people. I was always the odd one out and the fact that it didn’t bother me that much made me the weird one. I’d be a hypocrite though if I said it didn’t make me sad, of course it did but I did not dwell on it. Just like me, my blog does not and will never fit in. It is the lone wolf-the odd one out. It was created for the sole purpose of sharing my writing, a big part of myself, to the world. And because I enjoy different types of writing then that’s what people now see: articles, poems, random thoughts, essays, short stories, and book ideas.

I guess all I want to say is, if someone passionately loves to write then they shouldn’t limit themselves to just one genre. They can concentrate on poetry or novel writing if that’s what they want but that shouldn’t stop them as well from exploring article writing or short story writing. Kind of like an actor who focuses on making movies but does not shy away from starring in tv shows once in a while or in a theatre play. As a writer, one should also explore every niche to quench one’s imagination and creativity.

I believe that writing as an art form should be freeing, not limiting and in that sense I am proud that my blog reflects my belief even if it does confuse others. As the old adage goes, “Write for yourself”, because only then will you be able to write well 😉

A Bipolar’s Manic Life

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Have you ever been to hell while alive? It’s like waking up from a deep slumber but instead of feeling well-rested, your head is swimming in constant emotional and mental turmoil. It’s being born again with all the misery and hollowness in the world put inside you and you feel like bursting any moment. Your mind is a jumble of mismatched wires and your heart is beating but you feel lifeless.

I have Bipolar II which means I have more manic depressive episodes than high or elevated moods. More often, I sleep the whole day because I feel like my energy has been drained but there are also times when I am restless and can not sit still or stay in one place. There are times when I am overly excited or happy and have grandiose plans regarding my life, and life in general. Other times, I shop compulsively. I am sometimes the most pleasant, enjoyable company you will have, and at others I am the most obnoxious, sarcastic bitch in the room. I am prone to suicidal tendencies and hurting myself. More so to feel something than to deliberately inflict pain on my being. I have Bipolar, not insanity.

Many an article both here in the Philippines and abroad have featured suicides due to depression and others wonder how these people could do it. What on earth possessed them to end their life, to give up just like that? As someone who have thought of killing herself on more than one occasion, I may not be able to speak for everyone but this I know to be true: the misery within, the silent plea for help when we don’t even know if we want it or not, and the conflict between losing & finding ourself  are all too great a burden that all we want to do is end it. End the chaos plaguing us, for it is a plague, a never-ending plague that only settles but never leaves.

Sad to say, only a few people with Bipolar get the much needed support and unconditional love from their family and friends. On my end, I am not criticizing any friends – nor family – I have but they do tend to ignore me when I am in my manic depressive mood. Others even have the gall to ask how I am doing when it is obvious how exactly I feel. I guess it’s because they do not know. They do not have the slightest clue of the conflict I am battling every single moment of my life. They have their depressive episodes but that will be gone in a few days or week while mine stays. It is a constant in my life. Except for my husband, I am almost always left alone where the feelings of guilt and worthlessness magnify into a thousandfold.

In a way I am guilty of my Bipolar blossoming. I nurtured it you see. From the throes of slight depressive episodes until the depths of a dark bottomless pit, I have watered it until it thrived. You ask what made me do it? Not because I wanted to be in the lowest hierarchy of humanity where pity is constantly on its feet but because I am a writer.

As much as I have Bipolar, I am self-aware and it did not take me long to realize that I write a whole hell of a lot better when I am in my manic depressive mood. It is in my darkest, most primeval, and volatile state when I become in charge of all my faculties – literary at least. In these moments, nothing can stand between me and my thoughts. I am then compelled – summoned more like it – to put pen to paper where all my thoughts gush out, like a faucet opened on full power. It is when I write to my full satisfaction where my brain and heart literally race and tumble over words. I do not know how many people with Bipolar experience this but it is during these moments that I am in bliss. I feel like I am me again – no, I AM me again. My pathos is also my salvation.

Some people might think it but no one ever wants to be mentally ill. No one. But it is something I, and a hundred or maybe thousands of people, have to deal with everyday. I have it not because I am weak. I have it not because I have a flair for the dramatics. I have it not because I am pessimistic. I have it simply because I do. It is a fact and nothing can ever change that. The agony, the tiring ups and downs of my emotions, and the constant feeling of drowning and emptiness is mine and mine alone. Understanding Bipolar will take time but if people put in a lot of patience coupled with dedication then one day, the stigma that is Bipolar will be broken. Then, people with Bipolar like me will be seen as caring, strong, and thriving members of our community – not as weak, cry babies with whom others always have to be on edge with.

I can see the light. It is not that I, and the others, choose to be in the shadows. It is because I need my family and friends to make that light reachable for me, especially in moments of anguish. Yes I need help, but sometimes, I still wonder if I really do. I need patience and understanding, not scrutiny and judgments. One day, I know it will happen.

 

 

Rainy Day Memories

My access card and blue room key!

Storm season is upon us Filipinos once more. As I listen to the rain batter my window while savoring my last minutes in bed before breakfast, my mind wanders to the room where I spent the last six years of my life. My dorm in Manila. Sun Suites. Room 2P. I sorely miss my dorm room. It was my haven – my writing room and my symbol of independence. However, it was not without its problems.

When I decided to go to law school in Manila I had to go live in a dorm as our house is two hours away from school, maybe more with the rush hour traffic. Add to that the fact that law classes are always at night and me being an only child, my parents didn’t want to take any chances concerning my safety. So dorm life it is. At first I was a bit nervous. I admit, I am a scaredy cat. It is all the more aggravated because I can honestly feel when a ghost is near – I get goosebumps. And I can sometimes truly feel when someone is looking at me in the dark. Plus, it doesn’t help that I’ve had a few near experiences with the supernatural (but that’s another story). (Super)Naturally (:P ), I started to panic. Happily, my dorm was ghost free. My first room was way up on the 6th floor and aside from the occasional big lizards (yes, I have Scoliodentosaurophobia) which often times left me in a cold sweat, gave me an anxiety attack, and left me sleepless the whole night; my room didn’t have any ghost.

Next school year, I was able to transfer to the 2nd floor in a room equipped with a balcony. I was excited. It actually felt more like a condominium unit than a dorm room. My excitement dissipated a few months later when a lounge of lizards kept running freely around my beloved room. To say that it drove me crazy is an understatement. It was added stress to my already stressful life as a law student. A few months after I started having goosebumps and the nagging sensation that someone was watching me at night. While I’m trying to sleep. Oh joy.

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Despite all this, I adored dorm life and I loved my room. It offered me the independence I have always craved. To be able to go from place to place without first having to ask permission or having anyone ask me all the places I plan to go for the day and what I am going to do once I am there. Don’t get me wrong, I know my parents are just concerned but at 27 years old (six years ago), I wanted to feel how it is to be responsible for myself. To answer to myself and to make decisions solely for me. And it was beyond fantastic. I have never felt so free in my whole life. I was like a bird who was put in a tiny (albeit, beautiful) cage her whole life when suddenly, the cage door was opened and I can spread my wings as far as I can. If you are wondering why at 27 I was still not that independent, you have to realize that I am Filipino and culturally, we live with our parents as long as we want. This doesn’t bother our parents as it is ingrained in our psyche that family should always stick together and help each other out – financially, mentally, and emotionally. That is why even after marriage, some newlyweds live with their parents.

I relished my dorm life. My room, tiny as it is, provided me with the quality time I longed for. I am an introvert so being alone actually recharges me. I enjoy spending time with myself and doing whatever I wanted. Reflecting, reading, watching tv shows and movies on my laptop, cooking, and taking naps. My uninterrupted solace was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I always looked forward to when storm season comes and I wake up to the relentless downpour of rain because classes would be cancelled so I had the whole day to myself. Slowly, I began to write again. Like a rusty wheel, I was squeaky at first but once I started, there was no stopping me.

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My beloved writing space

I enjoyed the times when I would wake up and I felt that powerful urge to write and I’d just scoot over to my writing table. All alone, just me and my thoughts. That for me was heaven. To answer the question in your mind, yes, that is where I wrote UNMASKED. In my room up in the 2nd floor, sitting at the edge of my bed with my notebook and paper open on my table.

Now, as I listen to the unceasing rain outside the house, I am brought back to that unassuming room that gave an overwhelming amount of joy to a simple girl who wanted nothing in her life but to read and write. That room may have given me sleepless nights and anxiety attacks due to the lizards and the pesky ghost presence but the time for myself – the time I had, to do whatever I wanted, more than made up for it. If I can go back to that room I would do it in a heartbeat. I would first make sure though, that all the spaces where the lizards could enter are tightly sealed and those ghosties had transferred to another room. Hopefully where there’s a much braver girl than me.