~ Struggling with my confidence as a writer, I was determined to find out if this was really my life’s calling. I’d have to admit, even though I am now at the starting point of pursuing writing as my lifelong career and passion in life, I have never considered myself one. I’ve always believed I’m just a person who loves to express her emotions through the written word. It has been quite frustrating to juggle all these emotions of uncertainty, low self-confidence, and unbelief when I’m trying to write, and after I’ve finished writing, I take a step back and look at my work. BAM! There’s that feeling again, one that’s full of dissatisfaction because my work always lacks something, and I can’t pinpoint what it is. Was I just delusional to think that I was a writer? But if I weren’t writing, what should I be doing? It pains me to think that what I love and I’m most passionate about is not what I’m meant to be doing. Before spiraling down further into depression, I did something I considered to be risky. I entered a children’s story writing competition. I was so desperate to see if I was really meant to be a writer that I had to compete with other writers. My intended goal was to make the cut above the rest, and win the contest.
On the summer of 2012, I started to work on my concept and story. It has to be based on a certain painting the judges have provided. Finished with the outline of my story, I gathered every courage I could muster from my weak, scared heart and prayed. Then I began to write. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I was literally crying while I was writing. The thing is, my story was not a tear-jerking drama, it’s a light-hearted story for kids. Weird, right? I just found myself crying because, maybe, I was struggling inside. At that time, demotivating and discouraging thoughts were going through my head. You already know you’re not going to win. Why? That’s simple. You are not good enough. But despite my fears, I went on writing. To make a long, depressing story short, I submitted my entry, and after waiting for 2 months, I finally got the results. I DID NOT WIN. Did someone just pour cold, freezing water on me?
As I look back now, my intentions were pretty silly and petty. Winning a competition does not prove that I’m a writer, nor can any accolades and titles say who I am. I’ve grown to realize if this is what I love and most proud about doing, I should never be disheartened to stop from doing it. All I need to do now is accept and become who I really am, regardless of the lurking uncertainties and self-doubts. I still have a lot of room for growth and improvements, and the following years will become my learning years as a writer. Though I can’t feel and see it now, after this summer, I can proudly say I was born to be a writer.
Here’s an excerpt of the short story I’ve written over the summer entitled, “Pablo’s Pleasant Surprise”.
“That’s it! That’s my dad’s house!” Pablo pointed below to the small house, with a bright red roof, standing on top of a hill. It was the same house that Pablo had seen in the picture his father had sent him. Pablo has not seen his father for two years since he left to work overseas. As he was preparing to land the twin-engine he was flying, there were two explosions that burst violently into flames. The loud blast pierced into the hushed atmosphere, and then there was darkness.
Pablo slowly opened his eyes. Everything looked familiar. He was just dreaming. He reached for the alarm clock ringing beside his bed and turned it off.
“It was just a dream, David.” Pablo got up, still clutching David. Being an only child, Pablo treats David, his precious teddy bear, like a brother. Pablo sighed deeply, his heart still beating fast, and left his room still gasping for his breath. As he descended the stairs, he could hear the bacon sizzle, and the smell of scrambled eggs and *pan de sal filled the dining room. Pablo eased himself into the chair and stared at the breakfast feast before him.
Pablo’s mother Maria was putting bacon onto a plate when she noticed the sad-looking Pablo.
“It’s a bright Sunday morning, Pablo, why are you sad?”
“Mom, I saw Dad’s house in a dream. I was on a plane and just when I was about to land, the engine exploded, and then I woke up.” Pablo paused for a moment and asked, “Will Dad come home tomorrow for my birthday?”
*pan de sal – round bread usually eaten by Filipinos (Wikipedia)
I figured I could end this post with a quote from Jeff Goins taken from the Introduction of his book, “You Are a Writer”.
“Every day, somewhere, a writer is born. She comes into the world with a destiny: to share her words and proclaim a message. To make a difference.”