An elephant for luck

Most of the time, writing is like giving birth to me. I keep parroting that I want to write but at the same time I also feel that doing so is an ordeal. Ironic, isn’t it? When I write about my reflections on life, I tend to dig deep within or look back and see how my experiences or other’s experiences can enrich my write-up. The process can be so dragging and at times I get stuck.

I was lying in bed face down while writing “Of regrets and lessons from Malala Yousafzai”. When I got stuck, I just stared at the elephant print on my malong.  I was gonna give up writing and just go to sleep but then I started doodling. While drawing the elephant my brain seemed to be extracting creative juices. After drawing I regained my focus, ready to finish writing. Now I know what to do when I face writer’s block. All I need is another creative outlet like drawing or photography.

Here is my drawing! Elephant is believed to bring luck and fortune. And luck it brought to me indeed because the next day I was able to write the speech I have been meaning to finish since 2 weeks ago.

I got published in Youngblood!

I love writing but I’m no way a writer. I couldn’t remember when did I start to write. But, I can still recall when I was 8 years old I wrote a tagalog novel which I never get to finish.

It’s ironic though how I love writing but is also too lazy to write. I just couldn’t force myself to write just for the sake of having an article done. I have to wait ’til inspiration strikes – sometimes in the middle of a conversation over a cup of coffee where I have to run to the nearest office depot to grab a pen and use a table napkin as a paper or at 2am while I’m struggling to fight insomnia.

One day, I asked my American colleague to read one of my articles. After reading she told me, “Why don’t you try submitting your articles to magazines?” Knowing that she is a writing critique and a wide reader, encouraging me to try submitting my articles is already a great compliment, but getting published? I don’t think my confidence and capabilities would allow me just yet.

Since then, I started to think of what to write and submit to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Youngblood. But then again, my laziness overpowered me.

Finally, I was able to come up with something for Holy Week. It was only after I emailed the article to the editors that I thought of consulting Mr. G (google) on how to submit articles to Youngblood. And to my horror, there was a set of guidelines which of course I failed to follow. Not only that, one blogger also wrote that if you wish to write something related to an event or occasion, you should submit it at least 2 months in advance. I submitted mine after Palm Sunday.

So, I told myself, there goes your clumsiness. But then I thought, even if I lose my chance of getting published, the article has already served its purpose – of making me realize a lot of things.

Life has showered me with lots of surprises and they usually come when I least expect them.

I just woke up and grumpily opened my computer. I received a message from my cousin Carmela Hilot straight from Los Angeles airport. She was on her way to the Philippines and was browsing the Philippine Daily Inquirer May 10 edition when she saw my article. Her news just made my day. It was so surreal ‘coz I thought I’ll encounter many rejections first before really making it.

I posted the link on facebook and was overwhelmed at how my friends reacted – by liking, commenting, sharing, sending me personal message or through chat. Then it gradually sunk on me that the real happiness comes from not really getting published; it is the thought that people felt better about themselves, found healing and hope – some of them even said they cried – after reading.

Indeed, the real joy of a writer is knowing that you are able to touch other people’s hearts and lives through your writing. Nothing can be more satisfying than that.

Click here to read my article.