Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Universal Shenanigan #1

Hey, it’s me again. Somewhen you will find this, but until that moment, I just have to keep rambling about the other shenanigans/lessons the universe taught me with wrath. What I would talk about now is about being a writer, a novel writer. Let’s start with a story shall we? Well, you can’t actually speak when I’m typing this post so I’ll just fire up.
This is my story of how I became a writer.
You know being a writer isn’t an instant thing. You could take courses but it’s all up to you if you would pursue it. The stretch of my metamorphosis in being a writer is about four years. Before that my mind is in anime, I called my anime back then ‘Immortals’ (I won’t tell its story because it’s cool, and I reckon I’ll use it someday). But then came the difficulties of being a writer for that anime, because I have no connections whatsoever that can help me to go to the anime capital of the world, Japan. And I have a difficulty speaking Japanese. Anyway, so when I’m 16, after finishing my first trilogy series, I found another template for my imaginations.
I immediately wrote the 2-hour-planned-story of mine in blazing speed, but in essence it’s the crapiest crap in the land of Crap Land. I wrote a high fantasy back then with people born with silver ring that reacts to their feelings (It’s just a very fancy emotion ring). I boasted back then to my college classmates: “Hey, look, I wrote three chapters!” but no one wanted to look, just a few but those few had untrained constructive criticism that actually sounds like destructive criticism. I thought: I should give up before this writing thing get worse. But no, I continued with a strong heart that this would shine someday.
Then came the time I finished the book, I was 18. I sent it to an A-list agent from New York, that’s how much my head was big back then. I snail mailed him (because he was old school, but not that old), with my first chapters and a query letter. And guess what, a rejection letter came to me three weeks after, a plain three sentenced letter that the agent’s assistant copied paste and print. I was devastated back then and I quitted writing.
After a year of stressful college life, I took a look at my book, my paragraphs, grammar (especially grammar) and I was mortified I let my classmates read it. They definitely thought of me as stupid because I have no structure in writing. If you actually read my first drafts, you would be confused because the tenses were shifting from past to present. I wanted to piss on it, drench it in gasoline and watch it burn till the sun shines on my face while I’m eating a tasty sandwich. But regretfully I didn’t. It’s still I’m my cabinet, intact with all its shitty glory.    
But I didn’t give up. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t. Now I’m 21, I’m still doing it. I know I’m young but I want wisdom more than anything, because that should every writer pursue so one won’t become biased, egotistic and selfish. Yea, writing thought me that—who knows sitting in front of a blank page can teach you something.
I eventually posted my book in Booksie, and there I learned to treasure criticism. There’s even came a point that I only want destructive criticism because they were honest, but that business is too hurtful, so I’m sticking with plain criticism. I also read more books after I graduated that helped a lot in vocabs and the voice of the narrator. But I cannot say I’m a great writer than before, maybe I get the tenses right and I found my voice now, but that doesn’t mean I can evoke emotions potently by just my simple words. The reader will decide if a writer is a great writer. But know this, every great writer have a shitty work before they got their words right. The only trick to achieve what they achieved is by not giving up. It’s one of the greatest cliché but it’s true, and it’s hard. Because by not giving up you should get ready for the worst of the worst; you should be ready that no one or just a few would support what you want; you should be ready for isolation and thinking deeply into your mind; you should be ready to walk, to listen to the people around you; you should learn how to be silent; you should learn how to take harsh words—you must learn humility and acceptance.
That is a true writer, the one that doesn’t give up even the world haven’t his/her words. No more, no less.   

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