Was out with Maan Beltran and Ivy Claire Saturday night (06 April) for a bit of bonding. Had super sumptuous dinner at Lantaw Busay. Proceeded to have coffee at Bo’s Jones (near the Provincial Capitol) afterward over which we chatted about a lot of stuff from the mundane to the taboo (woohoo!) to the profound.
One of the topics brought up was about the torrential number of youngsters who aspire to be novelists thanks to the industry boom and the more personal mingling between writers and fans. Sad, however, that many who aspire and dream also possess an inherent lack of confidence. Which is a key ingredient to succeeding at anything. More unfortunate are some who…. uhm… for lack of a better term, become sulky over the fact that the more established writer/s possesses what they lack.
Haaayyy, teenagers and tweeners, dreamers and wannabes all… You are in awe of our achievements and how we have managed to come so far not realizing that we are no different from you. You are so wrapped up in your own insecurities that you fail to remember we were once in your shoes – beginners. We experienced the same apprehensions, the same fears, the same doubts. And contrary to popular belief, no, the insecurity never really goes away. Because despite the string of published work that have been read and admired by many, there’s always something to be insecure about.
Let me tell you about a few…
1) How about having someone like Angel Bautista for a bff? We started out in this writing business together. To the day. On equal footing. But look at where she is now. Where am I now? To my knowledge, I write well. Matter of fact, I know I’m really good. We should have been head to head, right? But, hey, what can I do? She is better. And I recognize and concede to that.
2) When I first connected with fellow MSV writers in 2009, at the time when Multiply was the ‘in’ thing, I met people who are, more or less, again, on equal footing with me. Doreen Laroya back then said she’d be good if she could finish three MSes a year. She’s on her 50th MS by now. That’s more than 3 MSes a year. Elise Estrella began writing in 2008, five years later than me. To date, she’s past 40 MSes already. Fans hanker after their works. Me? I get asked by friends, yes, but well, no one’s really gonna get sad that I haven’t any new release.
3) A lot of young writers have up and come. They’ve become more popular than me. They have more releases than me. (I’m only on my 31st since 2003). Need I mention more?
So you think you have bigger reasons to be insecure just because you’re a beginner? HAH! Not in a million years. And let me tell you this: If you can’t even begin, if you get tied up with your apprehensions, what’s going to happen when you’re in my shoes?
But you know, that’s how it is. Someone’s always going to be so much better than you. Someone will always beat you to something. You just have to keep at it. Because ultimately, it’s not them, it’s you. Always is, always will be. What you want. What your dreams are. What you picture yourself to be.
Do you really want the writer’s life? If the answer’s yes, grab it. Don’t let go.