Monday, April 18, 2011

Lost for Words

I've been a writer for as long as I could remember. I've always been writing to express myself ever since I was young. I could still recall the first time I've realized that I can write.

It was in grade school during one of those undying theme papers our teachers asked us to write. I don't know why but I somehow enjoy writing those compositions and I find myself wanting to write on all the topics that they gave us as options. I usually get commended for having a nice composition and I've experienced having my masterpieces being read in class. Although, it wasn't all a hit. I had misses here and there but I just love to write. So, I cared less.

The journey continued on with theme papers in my elementary school life until I decided one day to brave the odds and joined our school paper, the Judenites. Luckily, I was able to get in and be trained in campus journalism. My talents weren't always recognized because the people I work with are insanely good and I am so proud to have worked with them because they really made me a better writer. I've grown so much in Judenites, especially after staying there for more than 4 years and being trained by great mentors. It was insane. It's the students that really made the publication alive and it was a great feeling to be producing issues that we've worked so hard for as a team. I don't know if I could speak for my EIC back then but for me, it really felt great. I suppose those were my best memories of being in a publication. We were able to compete in various competitions and we did place and I had a family there. I felt the camaraderie beyond the publication. Well, I suppose it's incomparable especially if I was able to spend a longer time with my fellow Judenites.

Anyhow, to continue, I entered college with the mindset of focusing on my academics alone. In my consciousness, I've done practically everything that concerns extracurricular activities - representing the school in different Chinese singing contests, one of the Associate Editors of the Judenites newspaper, vice president of the math club, secretary of the Knights of the Altar Society, SJCS Racketeers varsity player, Literary Editor of Scratch Comic Book Club, Member of the Science Club and Member of the Drama Guild and other activities. I just haven't had any academic awards at all. I was in the honor roll in 1st and 2nd year high school but that never happened again after. As I said, I'm at rank 40-50 from 179 students. I wanted to have an academic achievement in college. I wanted to steer clear from extracurricular activities and that included writing. I actually entered an agreement with my friends that I will not join any organization in college.

I spoke too soon.

I entered the Nursing Journal because the call of passion was simply irresistible. I signed up despite my mother's disapproval and she didn't know that I joined the paper not until I was to become the editor-in-chief and brought up the topic.

As a writer during the first year, it was a nice ride. I loved the experience in the sense that I was able to work on really interesting topics and meet great personalities. I know for a fact that making interview articles is my forte. I love meeting people and getting to know them through conversations and letting people know how great these persons are. I was able to interview Fr. Factora before he became our college regent. It was an awesome experience and I loved being a writer. However, as a writer, I was able to see some room for improvement. In my mind, I knew that I might not grow in the organization so I was contemplating on leaving or staying. I was finding more reasons to leave when I was suddenly offered by the editor-in-chief to become his features editor. It was quite a decision to make. I've said to myself, "Well, you wanted to do something. This is the opportunity."

I accepted the job even if I knew that I would have to handle writers from higher levels. It was quite a challenge. I remember having a nasty encounter with my soon to be features editor (as I became his editor-in-chief) when he challenged me in our first online encounter. but it was a good experience. I was already feeling a bit of the burn out but it was okay. I was still able to write and cover some events and I was able to find the whole ensalada enjoyable. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the Dean's list for the first semester in my second year. I was then offered by my EIC to take his place for the next year. I was hesitant to accept the job but as I said before, I wanted to make a difference and this is the opportunity to share God's gifts to me and be a gift or "blessing" to others. I made sure my grades were really high for the second semester and then I finally accepted the job.

Third year was a hell year and being the editor-in-chief didn't make it easy. It was also accreditation year and the expectations for me was really high. They were really expecting a lot from me being the EIC in my junior year. It was tough. It was brutal and there were a lot of moments when I just wanted to quit. I mean I do not enjoy this. I enjoy writing. I hate the editing part and having to deal with incompetent buffoons who call themselves writers. Add to that, I had to face a lot of detractors and people who give unsolicited advices which were far off from the utmost principles and foundations of being a journalist. It was difficult to move around a world where people are so critical of whatever you are doing and where people think highly of themselves. Every issue that was released have criticisms here and there. It was either a grammar error that slipped my eyes, a layout glitch, a printing error, the delayed release... the list is endless. I have had great betrayals from non-cooperative writers who chose not to write and exploit the publication's errors publicly. I had to work with people who just know how to complain but did nothing to make things better. Heck! These people may be in the publication but they didn't even write when they needed to write. What's worse was there were people who couldn't write, draw or take pictures who can't stop their complaining. I just wonder what could they have done if they were in my position. I swear, if they asked for it, I gave it to them. I didn't want the position. I just want the art. I just want having to make a difference. If there was someone better for the job, I would have given way. That's my principle. I am not selfish enough to prevent the publication from having a better leader.

Okay, I've ranted too much once again, I suppose. Anyhow, it was truly challenging - being the editor-in-chief of the Nursing Journal. I got really burnt out and now, I find myself having a difficult time in writing anything.

Perhaps, I developed a repulsion or aversion when it comes to writing. The negative experiences are forever attached to the art that I was so passionate about. I wasn't able to write for quite a while and perhaps the only thing fueling me with this composition is because I needed to release all of this crap that I've kept intact for the duration of my editorship. I've grown tired of not expressing what I normally expressed through my compositions. I am tired of not being able to express my feelings and sentiments toward people because of my job. I am tired of keeping my mouth shut about this load of crap and concealing the hell I lived with from the others.

People think it's easy. Perhaps it would have been easier if I wasn't running for honors or I was smarter. This is me. this is what I'm given so I'll have to make the best out of it. But I guess that's also the problem. I was given the gift of writing. I had that craft. I enjoyed it and I had so much enthusiasm...

But now, it seems that it is at large...

I can't seem to write the way I used to write...

I can no longer find the words...

I don't have that same drive I had when I was starting..

I can no longer sit still and finish a composition when I'm quite lucid

I can't sit still and try writing or editing for more than 5 minutes.

My stress reliever became the sole source of my stress.

While the service was fulfilling, it was personally detrimental.

While, I was blessed with the opportunity to make a change and I would like to think that I did, I was also cursed with the burn out... and the unfortunate circumstance to see that the world can be infested by parasites.

For quite some time, I was at a lost for words. For this sporadic moment, I am not. But tomorrow, I may very well be. I don't know. But I wish things would go back to the way they were. Back when I was still happy being surrounded by my lovely words.


  1. I hope you can find it in you to start writing for yourself again. (I mean this in a good way)

  2. Thanks. I do hope so as well. :)