Becoming Somebody I wished I Had
(Here’s a photograph of sample journal entries in my scrapbook I keep when I was still in the Philippines, when I had the time, and before I created “Jeques’s Web Nook.” Most of my pieces submitted here are from my notebooks/scrapbooks).
My niece wrote me a letter. She shared with me a piece she had written; I can’t share it here though, it’s too personal. But I would like to share with you the letter I sent her. I thought just now that this letter is also for me, for the teenager that I was that she is now. I wish I had somebody wrote me a letter like this, I wish I had somebody telling me I could write when I was younger, I wish somebody had encouraged me. But that’s too late to wish for now. I’ll just try to become my wishes to my nephews and my nieces and pass on what I have learned. And maybe, just maybe, when they are my age now, I hope they would remember that they had what I wished for that I never had.
It’s good to know that you’re writing. I don’t have to edit it. This is rather too personal for other people to touch it. You know when you allow other people to edit this, you would achieve refinement but you will lose the warmth and the purity of the feelings and the thoughts. I don’t want to do that. You don’t touch a seedling that has just sprouted, you might ruin it in the process. You understand what I mean?
My advise is for you to keep this. And be careful whom to show it. Some people will not understand and might call you a fool. Don’t be too excited showing people your personal stuff. Sometimes, instead of helping, their insensitive comments will just discourage and block you from writing. Which the least thing you need for now. Like anything else, writing needs time to grow, to evolve and in time for you to find your voice.
I hope you followed the advise I gave you and Meme to keep a journal/diary. You’ve seen how I do and keep my journals when I was still home. A journal entry could be a poem, a daily observation of your life and surroundings, or an article clip from a magazine you like, long narratives like this, letters, etc. What’s important is you record your thoughts regularly. Don’t limit yourself to the traditional “Dear Diary” kind of writing. There are wide posibilities to explore, to learn and to enjoy with the craft of writing if this is really your passion.
You wrote because you were/are inspired. Love brings out the best in us, and could move us to writing which I’m glad to note it had such a positive effect on you. But then again, don’t be too dependent on getting your inspiration just from love – its limiting. We fall in and out of love and this are extreme emotions. If we depend our writing on love alone we might as well fall in and out of writing, which is not good. Writing needs consistency. It is a passion, only few people has the gift. But it is also a craft that you need to learn, to hone, to mold, to practice, to polish, to do constantly and religeously no matter what. So you need to get out of the box. Write something outside your favorite topic: love, which most of the time people your age write. You could write about the morning, the time of day, the trees, the road, writing itself, school, seasons, favorites, nature, etc. There are multiutude of topics to choose and they all promise an exciting journey to writing.
But you also need to equipt yourself with the necessary tools to become an effective writer. This is where you should focus for now. Nobody advised me to do this when I was younger and this is the reason for me to miss a lot. READ, READ, READ. Reading is the best way you can equipt yourself with the necessary tools: Vocabulary, diction(choice of words), grammar, punctuations, style, etc. I have shown you how to do that, have a dictionary and a pencil beside you when you read, remember? And choose what you read, again, don’t limit yourself with romance books. I have a lot of good books left at home. They build my writing skills and I don’t see any reason why it can’t help and serve you the same purpose.
You are still in school, you have english subjects that teach you the basics. Take that opportunity, no matter how boring it can get sometimes, school still provides the basic tools to shape our minds. You will understand that when you’re out in the world finding your place under the skies. You’re life is still non-complicated, you have a structured schedules to follow, so you could easily find time for writing. It’s different when you’re out in the world and you need to earn a living, I tell you. Where you are now should prepare you for this. If your passion for writing is not deeply rooted, you might lose it when faced with the challenges outside of school.
Like you, I also attended Nursing school back in college. It took me many years before I discovered my passion and before I was convinced that I could write. It is a journey. And it is for us to choose the road to take.
Writing Makes Me Whole
By: Jesus B. Jamora, 2006
In the long stretch of my ficund mind’s strand,
I gather my muse’s scattered pieces.
I use the pen, like pencer in my hand,
To pick and write bits that form my thesis.
Fragment of thoughts, like seashells in the sand,
Meaningless words, worthless lines, homeless heart.
They are naught but seeds in a barren land.
They don’t even rhyme, but that’s where I start.
I write to capture these specks on paper,
For words slip my mind like grains to my palms.
‘Tis my existence that words decipher,
And from my illusions, I coin my psalms.
I’ve learned by writing: Life’s rife with chances.
There are new frontiers that I could explore.
I’ll move forth to arrive at distances.
I know a little so I wanted more.
But like the waves that return to the shores,
My odes, too, hope to touch your heart and soul.
I’m like a child in search for his treasures.
‘Tis the readers’ heart that will make me whole.
Our profession should not stop us from doing what we wanted to do. That’s why I’m happy to note that you’re writing. I am a late bloomer, and nobody in the family encouraged me when I was your age. But I found my way. It is rewarding for me to know that my writings has a positive effect in you, and hopefully to all my nephews and nieces. I wanted to be a person who would inspire you, somebody that I wish I had when I was struggling as a teenager. I have succeed if I am an inspiration, which means that the gift grows and multiplies and I’m effectively passing it on.
Now back to the writing piece you showed me. I advise that you edit it yourself for the reason that I’ve mentioned earlier. But not now. When you’re ready, when you think you have done your assignements I gave you, when you have the tools. Take your time. You already made the essential first step of writing it. Everything needs time to mellow, be patient. You will understand when you re-read this piece 2 or 3 years from now and you would know which part needs tuning up, which needs to be cut and what part trully speak your heart. Because writing should come from the heart and it is only you who could write what’s inside.
I hope I am home to personlly guide you, but I need to be away for the reason you know. I’m glad that you visited and you’re reading my works in my web nook. I hope it will continually inspire. I hope its a good reference for you, I hope I could be an effective teacher and uncle from the distance.
I wish you well.