Dreaming of Words (and hoping it’s not a nightmare)

I always wanted to be a writer. Actually, I desperately wished to be one. Well, I tried. God knows I really did. All those papers dumped into trash bin, those torn and creased sheets scattered on my bedroom floor, those wasted lines of poetry I have attempted to do – they all bore witness of my desire to master the art of the pen.

I, unfortunately, cannot recall to memory the very first piece I wrote. Fortunately, though, I wouldn’t have to remember how hideous it could have been. But one thing is certain: those letters I diligently and carefully learned to write some ten long years ago held so much magic I dared not say no to the pull of putting them together to create a masterpiece. Or at least something worthwhile to read. And I’m glad that I’m still as captured as I was to that magic.

Opportunities came knocking on my doors, surprisingly. And I took advantage, of course. (You know what they say about opportunities getting too impatient on tapping doors.) It was through opening doors that I got to have this editorial position in one of my university’s publications. Though it remains uncertain if I had wrongly picked up the door, I have to say that I was actually thrilled to fill in such big shoes of responsibility. And hey, it’s now a mile closer to my as-distant-as-the-moon wish.

I thought it was all fun. Like the Powerpuff stuff – sugar, spice and everything nice. But barely halfway through my term, I realized that I would not be spared from the proverbial nights of worries and headaches. Managing a newspaper proved to be a not-so-easy job; in fact, it was a fatal one. No, I’m not referring to all these media killings. I’m talking about horrible nights - sleepless, at one point; nightmarish at some – and stress levels up the bar. See, we had excellence as a goal. And when you have such a really ideal vision, you are bound to commit mistakes in the process. My paper became known for the unforgiveable typographical errors which earned us an unpleasant reputation. Our adviser had called me a poor leader and accused me of insubordination before finally declaring she’s quitting. My staff, though competent, was very unmanageably difficult. And I have, regretfully, done a lot more whose effects and consequences no correction ink could conceal. I touched huge personal egos. I irked people’s feelings. I shook foundations. I unchained links. I messed up. Real bad.

But I enjoyed it, nevertheless. I had a taste of how it felt to be finally writing for an audience. (For years, I had contented myself assuming both the roles of the writer and the reader.) It was fulfilling, I can say. It made me feel like I may have done something right seeing people read our paper. Through the bitter and nasty remarks, I taste the sweetness of being able to make my ideas and views materialize into print.

Though I’m not sure if I made sense or I actually just sucked, it does feel great to have that one shot at fulfilling my wish. I missed, perhaps, but I have learned. And I will continue living by my dream. I shall write as long as I live, as long as the words still live in me. I know I may never reach the heights of Shakespeare or Rowling or Bob Ong but hey, you’re not a writer because of your readers. You are because of what you write.

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