So, you want to be a writer?
Start with simple things. Look around you, find an inspiration. Remember that everything in life can be used as a subject of your masterpiece, be it nature, things, people or emotions.
I was 6 when I first discovered my love for words. I made up stories in my head and scribbled them on paper. Of course, the stories were made up of a few sentences, a paragraph – the most. I kept a diary when I was 7 and that’s when I started playing with words. I won my first essay-writing contest when I was 8. The piece I wrote focused mainly on nature, kid stuff on how to keep the environment clean and green.
The first poem I wrote was “angel”. I was only 7 when I decided to join the school paper. The screening was tough for a seven-year old kid like me, but I badly wanted to be a part of it, and I was lucky enough to get through the screening process. I worked my way to the top and before finishing Grade 6, I landed on the spot that I have always aimed for. I became the literary editor of our school paper.
I have written over a hundred poems and essays on various topics. I experimented with fiction and wrote short stories. Some of my works were published, the rest I kept to myself. When I was in High School, I became the feature editor and still submitted articles for the literary pages. Writing became more than just a hobby, it turned into passion — that burned intensely.
I attended writing workshops. The most memorable was the one I attended when I was in Junior High School. That was the turning point, that was when I realized I wanted to be a writer, a real one.
I remember what our mentor, Mr. Alex made us do that day. He told us to go outside and pick any object that catches our eyes. We were given five minutes. When we got back to the classroom, he made us write a piece about the object we brought with us. I was holding a crushed soda can I found in the football field, Coke to be exact. He gave us 10 mins to brainstorm and write a draft, then another 10 to polish it. I’m proud to say that he picked my poem JUVENILE. He told me how gutsy I was to try the free verse while my peers were sticking to rhyming words and meters.
In the next writing exercise, we were given random photos and were asked to write a story based on the photo we were holding. I did pretty well, considering that I was one of the two who completed it, some of my peers lacked the crucial parts such as the ending and the introduction.
When I went to college, I started writing prose and fiction. There were a few years when I stopped writing — I got into law school and didn’t have the time but later on, I realized that writing has been and will always be my first love and no matter what happens, I will always come back to it.
One of my writing buddies, Shae, inspired me to get back to my writing exercises so I decided to put up a daily writing exercise, tagged DAILY INK BLOTS — where I pick a random photo and write something about it, fiction, poem, prose, haiku, anything goes. For now, I am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping to follow the rule of consistency.
So, you want to be a writer? Write every single day. With lots of persistence and determination, you will be able to gather enough fragments someday and make something out of it, a novel perhaps? Or a collection of prose and poetry.
Being a published author is not easy.
For now, I will keep making up stories in my head and leave inkblots on crumpled papers.