L.I.T.E.R.A.L #2: Diagnosis? Serious Writing Problems, Need Help

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.


Photos from here and here.

56 thoughts on “L.I.T.E.R.A.L #2: Diagnosis? Serious Writing Problems, Need Help

  1. Pingback: A Few Thoughts On NOT Writing Novels « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  2. kung hindi pa ulit na-spam ang comment ko dito…ko-comment na lang ulit ako.

    makulay na pala ang pinagdaanan mo bilang writer and maganda naman talaga ang result ng mga experiences mo sa passion na ito.

    para sa question mo. sa blogging mas more sa topic para makapag-start ako. pero wala pa dun yung maisulat at matapos talaga. kasi sa akin mas mahirap kong marami akong materials na puwedeng ilagay lalo na kung alam kong magandang mai-share sa lahat.

    sa diary (na matagal ko ng hindi nagagawa) kapag napaka-strong ng emotion na nararamdaman ko. at masasabi ko for year na ginagawa ko ang pagsusula sa diary ng mga saloobin ko nakakatulong talaga.

    sa ibang klase ng sulatin, siguro deadline nga.

    • hassle nga ang spam folder hoshi, si gian carlo sa spam ko din dumidiretso idk why. minsan i find wala na akong masulat sa journal ko kasi nablog ko na lahat. nangyayari din ba sayo yun? 😆

      • oo nga, sa totoo lang nakakabawas sa gana ko sa blogging at blog hopping yang spamming na yan. pero ito na isa kong solusyon ko sa ngayon, ang gamitin ang hoshi sr. account ko. kasi pag ito walang problema. sa pagko-comment ko sa blogspot walang ganito kaya therefore i conclude
        problema ito ng wordpress.

        oo sa akin din ganun, kasi yung mga naba-blog ko naman ngayon dating topic na naisusulat sa akin diary. ang pinagkaiba na lang talaga, yung rant, secret at yung mga inner chuchu ko ang napupunta doon. parang spam folder din ( makabit lang ang SPAM hehehe)

  3. nakakapagsulat ako pag naramdaman kong iyong kilay ko ay nagsalubong, iyun ang hudyat ng kaisipang gumigilid sa isang parte ng aking pag-iisip, as in gumigilid talaga, parang side step kung ihahambing sa tao. hello, pusa mo.

  4. I wanted to be a writer when I was young. I really wanted it badly, it even went to a point that I was rubbing it to my mom’s face. I was so happy when I became part of the school pub when I was in grade school and high school (before I took ALS). But due to unavoidable circumstances, I wasn’t able to focus and really pursue this so-called writing skills of mine until I eventually set it aside. It took me a long time before I slowly went back to writing anything. (mi blog is thy evidence) and the rest is history.

    hay naku, naging madrama tuloy ang comment ko. my point is, I just knew it na you really are one talented woman. astig! 🙂

    • thanks miko, btw did you get my email? when i was younger i wanted to study writing in college but for some reason i didn’t. the funny thing is it still caught up on me and graduating college twice, i’m using neither for my career – writing still won! 😀

      • Yes, I did! I replied to your email. Thank you again dear 🙂 I wanted to pursue a writing career back in college but then again, unavoidable circumstances ang issue. But anyway, I’m happy to see that writing won for you. Ang galing, galing 🙂

        PS. – the email by the way is a semi-novela. I hope you don’t mind. I hope we can continue our chit-chat via email 🙂

  5. wow.. 11 years old.. i was still running around our neighborhood w/o shorts when i was 11.. and you.. wow.. you were writing.. amazing!! you already! (english counterpart of “ikaw na”).. i will definitely get your autograph when i get the chance..

  6. As you know, I really don’t have any professional writing experience. I was never part of any school papers or any writing organizations. Tama sila, you are really good. 🙂

  7. I don’t have writing pattern or schedule. Pag feel ko lang magsulat that’s the time I write. i tried also making a schedule like every weekend I should come up with a blog post but inspiration and the drive to write are not always there. Malalaman mong tamad akong magsulat when my blog post has a large photo (to capture some space). =)

  8. My blog has got no recent and interesting entries because I’m into the writing hiatus. The writer’s block as others may call it that, is on attack mode.

  9. .. well i wish i can write as good as you, pm ( obviously you’re good at it that’s why i’m a follower of your blog!) but unfortunately, i have a limited brain capacity with words and sentences, haha.

    • thank you, rob. i’d like to think i’m friends with you that’s why i’m following your blog 😉 i love your travel posts but it would be better if you gave out pasalubong too, you know? 😆

  10. I’m not a “writer” (i’m using this term for the more serious ones), so i can’t help you there. 🙂

    if it’s any consolation, i’ve read that most writers get their inspirations to write at the most unconventional times and places. 😉

  11. wow! bilib ako sau. ang hirap kaya maglabas ng issues na linggo lang ang pagitan.

    nasa school publication din ako dati nung high school. bilang model. ng kalokohan. joke. seriously the news stuff. not fond of feature writing though. no offense meant. nagsusulat din ako ng ganun pero madalang. depende sa mood…

    nakarating din ako sa national press conference noon. sayang nga lang at hindi na ako umubra sa mga taga-NCR students. 😀

    • nspc is fun! i met a lot of wonderful people there. such a great experience, being in the paper. i remember someone seeing our office and what we did comment that he never thought it was that alive in the paper since he thought it was mostly boring work. releasing four issues was hell difficult. i had to bully everyone to participate. it was slave driving really. 😆

  12. I dunno…I write, on just about any theme that crosses my mind, spur of the moment….any unwritten thought, swimming in my cerebrospinal fluid, banging against my skull to get out, will kill me if not released ^_^ ….My work is like lightning, quick, short and sharp, can’t really write very long….I envy you and others like you for writing very good lengthy materials… for me kasi , its very seasonal hihihi 🙂

  13. Pingback: L.I.T.E.R.A.L. #2 | Indie Books

  14. “I feel I’m writing for myself because I cannot think of anything else I’m better at doing.”
    you’re not alone girl. and yes you’re a great writer!

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