For the past eight years, I’ve been telling myself (and anyone who would listen) that I want to become a writer. Eight years have gone by with me not having written anything substantial. Sure, I co-wrote an article that was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Though I put a lot of effort on that, that wasn’t really the kind of writing I have imagined myself doing.
I’ve always wanted to write fiction — novels and screenplays. I have written concepts and rough outlines of a number of stories, all inside a folder in my laptop entitled PROCRASTINATION. Yes, I am quite upfront about my weaknesses 🙂 When I was in grade school and high school, I used to write scripts for my imaginary TV shows. I used to share those with friends who also wrote stories of their own. We had a little unofficial club where we exchanged notebooks of our writings and gave feedback to each other. When I stepped into college life, eight years ago, I suddenly did not have time to write anymore and just resorted to telling myself that I wanted to become a writer…instead of actually writing anything.
After years of denial and self-assessment, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a “lack of time” that’s keeping me from writing. It’s a lack of courage and discipline. I realized that I had romanticized the idea of writing as an activity that’s 100% based on inspiration. Though inspiration is indeed important, there are two other more important factors (at least, that’s relevant to my experience):
- Courage: to make mistakes, to have your work reviewed (and not be appreciated) by other people
- Discipline: to strictly follow a routine, a schedule and timeline much like any other profession in the world
That’s right. I’ve been masking my lack of courage and discipline behind the classic “lack of time” excuse for so many years. But this year is quite different. 2015 for me is the year of trying things I’ve always wanted to try but never actually tried. The main ingredient of this recipe of “trying things” is building this blog. I don’t expect myself to write a novel or screenplay this year, but I do want to cultivate a space where I can write my thoughts about anything that interests me–could be writing about my travels, sharing my photography, writing short stories, or maybe publishing some excerpts from my evolving screenplays.
Yes, it’s still messy. I don’t have everything figured out yet. But that’s what this blog is for. For me to try and try again. That’s what my 2-year old nephew does. Every time he misses shooting the ball into the basket, he enthusiastically picks up the ball again and says “Try again.” If a 2-year old can have that mindset, maybe so can I.