QUESTION: Now let’s share how we get things done. What gets you in the mood to write? Is it a deadline, a prize, a pushy editor? Can you recall your most productive writing session ever? What triggered it?
ANSWER: Compulsive writing syndrome – this should be a part of DSM-IV, I tell you. It might not sound as grand as schizophrenia, pyromania, bulimia nervosa, and the many other difficult to spell mental disorders out there, but compulsive writing syndrome is equally disturbing.
It is that feeling when you are doing something random and you get the unmistakable itch on your fingers to scrub the overused keyboard of your laptop; that feeling when you are about to hop to dreamland and your mind suddenly nags you to get up and write something it highly thinks is your ticket to stardom; that feeling when you are commuting and an idea crosses your head and you do not have anything to write it down and you suddenly feel it is the end of the world – it is kind of like that feeling, only worse.
I was 11 when I started writing; no grand story here but all an accident, except that I have never stopped since. I wish there is something that triggers it so I can turn it off when it gets too much, but there is none, except the compulsion – I have to do it. Sometimes I’d like to imagine I’m writing for a higher purpose, but most days, I feel I’m writing for myself because I cannot think of anything else I’m better at doing. It’s the only thing I know how and thank heavens I’m good at it. I could be great, but that is another story…
Back in college, writing became my bedmate, working as EIC of the university publication. On our year, we released four issues with only a few weeks in between, which was unprecedented, not to mention maniacal, hell stressful, and probably the worst year of my entire life… and the best too. That time, the position compelled me to write, edit, publish, and win. Yes, winning is an obligation, since our publication is one of the best in Luzon and I had a name to uphold. Fortunately, the issues we birthed killed it in the press conferences. I did okay too, my career as a competitive campus journalist bringing my father pride which includes medals for being second best in Luzon in features writing and eight in sports, not bad at all.
Now I’m still writing – every damn day at that. I never imagined making a living out of words you pluck in the air, fingers break dancing on a bacteria-laden keyboard with food stains to boot, and getting terrible wrist aches later at the end of the day. But you know what? I’m fine. Everyday is not always a good writing day, but as long as I’m writing, I guess I don’t have much complaint.