August 24, 2012

On writing

You'll know that you have improved as a writer if and when you cringe every time you read your  old write-ups.

One of my teachers once said this (albeit in a better way than how I just worded it), and it has stuck with me ever since. I have been writing since elementary. I started off with writing poems and cheesy TV scripts when I was younger. I remembered that I had no sense of originality back then, because most of my ideas would be very similar to whatever TV show I was obsessed with at the moment. I had guy friends back at high school who used to pick on me because of my being a hopeless romantic. One of them even labeled my works as "sappy." I guess my being partial to romance stemmed from my childhood. I was always such a love-struck fool and this was evident in the way I would write before.

I can look back on my old stories and still smile. I may have tried too hard back then, but I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for those humble beginnings. Since then, writing has always been a part of my life. I even took up Communication because it involved what I believed I did best--writing. Unfortunately, I realized that something about me has changed. Sometimes, when I contemplate the words of my teacher, I get this thought that I haven't actually improved in the way I write. Why do I think that? It's because instead of feeling ashamed of the quality of my writing before, I actually feel proud of them. It's a huge hit to my ego, but I have to admit that I sometimes feel as if I have "devolved" as a writer.

I honestly miss who I was before. I'm not sure if my feelings are well justified or I just have self-esteem problems. You see, my style of writing before was more on the poetic side. Sometimes, it amazes me how I even made mundane activities like practicing for a stage play into a decent story. Where did all of those creative juices come from? Before, poetry used to be quite easy for me to write. You could give me a deadline on the same day and I'd still be able to cook up something that was worth reading in front of everyone. Presently, I'm just not like that anymore and I despise it. The way I write right now is simple. I refrain from using big words as much as possible because I want to be able to convey my message to everyone and not just those with wide vocabularies. This is what I have been taught in my four years of college and I guess it has taken its toll on the way I write.

I might just be overreacting, but I get really scared that I might be losing the creativity I used to have in excess before. After learning all of the rules and all, I feel more guarded whenever I write. The copyreader (I have joined and won copyreading contests when I was younger) within me does not allow me to write freely because I always have to have my grammar in check. I also try to make sure that I do not write to impress people. I've always had this personal war against pseudo-writers who use highfalutin words to get everyone's attention and praise. I mean, really, what's so amazing about writing in a way most people won't be able to understand? Looking up for a "flashier" term for an everyday word does not show intelligence either. It's being a show-off--one that pretends to have  a good vocabulary when in fact the only thing he/she is capable of is using a thesaurus. Don't throw rocks at me yet for saying that. I'm not claiming to be better than you. I'm just pointing out that writing should be done as a freedom of expression and not as a way to deceive people into thinking that you're the new Shakespeare or something.

Going back, all these rules and guidelines I follow sometimes feel constricting. I guess I sometimes think of them too much to the point that I no longer allow my ideas to just flow on their own accord... I've been so obsessed with doing what is believed to be right that I've forgotten how to lose myself in my writing. I guess this is also one of the reasons why I decided to start blogging again. I want to write simply because I want to and not because I have to. Honestly, this is something that I seldom get to do nowadays. I only write to earn a grade and usually, I do not even give my all whenever I do that. I believe writing is done best when it is for pleasure and not for duty.

This blog will be my ticket to rediscovering my passion while maybe adhering to "the rules" at the same time. Hopefully, I can also improve my writing while expressing myself here.

Happy writing everyone!

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