Tag Archives: Writer

Bleeding Passions

I bleed every time I write.

When I say bleed, I literally mean exhausting every ounce of energy in me. Whenever I’m in the zone, I can’t be bothered ‘lest I look at the nuisance with murderous eyes. Inspiration comes in bursts, and seizing those moments are critical in the writing process.

I am done with sitting on the computer all day long and drawing blanks. It simply does not work for me. What works though are solitary walks, being with nature, exercise, reading, music. Just taking a good time out from the ‘job’ of writing.

So don’t be surprised if some writers you know are pretty sensitive when it comes to their copy. Each end product that comes out of every endeavor is, after all, a summation of their energies, all poured into a piece of paper.

With years of doing this for a living, some writers such as myself, are now more open to suggestion and criticism. Growing up means being open to improving your craft. But there will always be the problem of getting inspiration. Finding inspiration is the constant struggle for every single project I accept, not the criticism, nor the deadline.

How I wish that by simply accepting money and automatically churning content were that easy. It’s much more complicated than that: I need to know if the copy is worth my time, if the owners are worth my energy or if their business goal and passions are meshed with how to improve a particular system.

Obviously, being your text-book systems builder, I like to improve things. And this translates to how I work as well. If the copy that I churn from my fingertips help a business or a friend in improving a particular system, culture, business, etc. then I go for it with all my might. Nothing done in halves. A project/vision/team/person should be worth my energy, my ideals, my passions. Otherwise, I turn it down.

A few weeks ago I’ve been distraught. I haven’t been able to create. There were days of crying spells. I couldn’t eat and sleep. I felt like I was loosing my mind.

Then, unexpectedly, a family concern came up. The timing of it all. I’ve just successfully inked a major project with a very important client, when personal concerns such as hospitalization comes up. Two nuclear bombs on opposite ends. How lovely.

But surprisingly, during those days in the hospital, I’ve been able to write excellently given the dire situation I was in.

I wrote in the cath lab, the patient’s room, brainstormed on the nurses station while blatantly questioning the nurses’ competence, the timing of the patient’s food, the ambulance MD who hit on every single female nurse (and had the death glare of his life when he tried to get chummy with me), the billing clerks at the hospital…every angst I had during that hospital stint, I took out on the hospital staff and put in my writing. I had laser-like focus.

The hospital distraction helped me construct, compose, create. I was argumentative, fiery and passionate: the best recipe for creating, for writing.

I still have to finalize and close the current project, but the momentum has now resurfaced. Sometimes, it takes a life hurdle to shake you senseless and tell you ‘Get a grip! You got this’.

I may have bled buckets the past few weeks but every drop was well worth it.

Have you gone through the same dry-spells? How did you get your groove back on track?

Content Mills and Artist’s Block: The Big Connection

When I edit the copy of writers, I am compelled not by the wrong grammar or the lack of technical know-how but the absence of passion. Real, personal  writing cannot be faked. This lack of passion can stem from two things: laziness, or like how I once was, a content mill.

Just to give you a background, content mills are online businesses that can be as blatant as producing textual content for thesis papers, articles, blogging and yes, even website content.

Businesses are businesses, let’s leave it at that. They need content to fill their pages either with seo dense copy, marketing fluff or simply creative how-to’s. That’s all fine of course, we all need to make living.

But from an artist’s perspective, if you don’t like what you’re doing and it feels like a chore, your attitude will come out of the pages you produce.

Believe me, the  job (lucrative as it is) will rob the creativity out of you. It will drain you dry. Then before you know it, you have artist’s block.

You will curse the day you first held a pen. The mere thought of your gifts and skills will embarrass you.

After a day’s work of writing of what seems to be your hundredth page, you will realize that you will literally feel like a prostitute: used up and withered dry without even getting a speck of pleasure from the act itself.

There are a lot of businesses that cater to the ‘content mill’ industry, and mind you, it’s a booming one. With online businesses spreading like wildfire, content is no longer king but a god in search engines.

People devour content by the second and in large quantities: to help them shop, search, fix, learn…name it. The hunger for content will go on for years and years to come; and writers like you and me are required to produce them by the bulk!

Yet, if you look at the bigger picture, the price you have to pay will be high. Writing will feel like work. You will loose the desire to write, then your gift, once you thought could never leave you, will.

As an editor, I read these mass produced copies all the time and over the years, have developed a knack for it. A creator must first enjoy (or find the joy in) creating to produce phenomenal work.

As a writer, you are responsible for bringing back the fire in your writing. We all have to live with this type of industry, but you must motivate yourself to produce. That’s what you’re born to do: To create. Imagine a world without producing titans such as us? 😉

We are all born with an innate sense of creativity, as we are also created beings ourselves. It’s just a matter of finding the inspiration to jolt you back to wakefulness from your creative slumber. And the most important thing is don’t stop. Ever.

Get your thoughts together, let it flow, then compartmentalize. If you need someone to edit your work or give you a professional hand in crafting your copy, you know where to find me.

Creating And Building Through My Writing

My family comes from a long line of artists, thomasites and teachers. My parents, both creative experts in their respective fields, nurtured an imaginative atmosphere (writing, drawing, reading, music, etc.) making self expression quite evident at home.

I started reading at a very early age. Writing followed quickly.

Gram and my mom would often communicate with me and my brother in the English language, making it a more prominent form of discourse even if we lived in an all Filipino household.

On my part, my family challenged me a lot. I wasn’t treated as a stupid and weakly girl, hence I grew up thinking I wasn’t.

Which is why, it was of no surprise to the family, that I took Mass Communications as my field of study. I didn’t know how to design like my dad, draw like my brother, nor play the piano like my cousins. To write was the only thing I knew.

As the years went by, the quality of my writing and the genuine love for it, dwindled.

A writer who will not write is not really fit to be called a writer.

There were a lot of things to write about, but nothing excited me anymore. Sure I could write, but so can other people. What makes my work stand out from the rest?

My dad mentioned to me once that a real artist always leaves his mark. He cannot be copied because the work he creates is genuine to him alone. Only he can produce that kind of material. A fingerprint, if you will.

Then it struck me.

No one can write like I do because no one thinks like I do. No one synthesizes information like I can and have the skill to express that information to the written word.

Please excuse me if I sound like I am puffing my ego. I am not and my ego is not the point.

It only means some people write a certain way because the work they do is an extension of themselves, making every creative endeavor an experience on its own, if not, tangible as well.

I also discovered that to write means to feel strongly about a particular situation or subject matter. The writing eventually takes care of itself.

During my writing hiatus, I asked the Lord to lead me. To show me what to do with the skills he gave me. I was desperately searching for answers. As I grow in my walk with the Him, He made me realize that we are given gifts and talents for a reason. We are supposed to improve on it, use it, and share it. It is in our hands if we constantly accept the gift that He offers.

He showed me that my desire to create and build is enough in itself. Writing was simply the medium.

Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

 – Proverbs 22:29