Posted in Beyond Facts

A Challenge for All of Us

Writing is sharing – what you know, what you have.

Those who write for and about others do understand what graciousness really means. That’s what I believe in. No refutations will be entertained.

Writing isn’t easy. Choosing a subject may seem simple, but knowing what to talk about isn’t enough.

The aim of a writer is to create a box where a subject can be encased and make sure that appropriate emotions and reactions will be evoked from the readers the moment they open it. A writer makes sense of experiences, gives a tangible body to anything abstract—pain, fear, suffering or even love. A writer makes it possible for us to see, touch and taste these things.
A writer attempts to explain the unintelligible and simplifies the complexities that usually baffle us. A writer drags our eyes to things we oftentimes choose to ignore. A writer sometimes plants seeds of doubt in our heads so we would dare to ask the questions we are so afraid of voicing out before and start seeking for answers.

A writer will make us notice people worthy of being praised – a young fellow who crosses rivers to get to school, a simple vendor who walks along dark alleys shouting “balut, balut kayo riyan” even on rainy nights so he can feed his family, or a student who was able to finish college despite the financial constraints that almost ripped his dreams. A writer sees the extraordinary on people and things that may seem ordinary, and makes them interesting and relevant. He becomes the voice of those who cannot shout.

A writer says the things we couldn’t say but would want to say if only we were given the chance. And that isn’t easy. There are words that might not work, sentences that might not fit, and writing styles that might not give justice to the beauty of an experience or a thought. But a writer still sits in front of his computer and taps on the keys (some write on the pages of their notebooks) and tries to prepare a meaningful meal for our heads and hearts, put it on a plate and hand it to us, risking his own name and credibility.

Writing isn’t easy. You must have a heart, for the craft and for other people, before you can really write. Conrado de Quiros says writing means articulating thoughts. Romano M. Bulatao says one writes because he knows he will die someday, thus he tries to create something that will render him immortal. And I would say one writes because he is a human being – he sees things, understands them, feels the need to share what he sees and hopes that whatever he shares would make a change in the lives of others.

A writer must have the right motives. Don’t write because you want to be noticed or praised, by your mentors, by your colleagues. Don’t write just because your instructor told you to do so. Don’t write because you want a high grade or you have been dying to see positive comments on your paper. And please don’t write something good and just hide it from the public. That’s selfishness at its best! Remember, good things are meant to be shared. Good works should be read.

This world is already filled with selfish people. Don’t be one of them. I know it’s easy to take after self-centered people, putting your own interest over others’ all the time; but try to do something more challenging – be different, be kind.

Writing is sharing and each one of us has the ability to share. Thus, there is a ‘writer’ in each of us.

So if you see great or appalling things around you, if you encounter something that tears you up inside, if you discover something that badly requires permutation, and they don’t let you sleep at night, or they make you wonder, don’t just shut up. Even if it won’t be easy, grab your “pen” and write.

 

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Author:

Senior High School Teacher from the Philippines.

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