My Writing Journey So Far

A blog reader asked me how I became a writer, so I decided to write a post about it. There wasn’t really this one moment that pushed me to become a writer. I used to like singing when I was a kid, and a possible explanation for this could be that I saw my grandma singing, so I imitated her.

My mother writes, but I don’t remember seeing her write, so writing could not have been passed on to me by virtue of imitation. I have other theories on how I became a writer: I got a diary, my mother used to bring me to her office and writing was the only way I could entertain myself, I was shy so writing was a way for me to express myself, etc.

These are all rationalizations that I’ve made, which can all be true, but I myself do not know the real reason why I’ve started writing. All I know is ever since I was young I always wrote.

Childhood Stories

If you’ve read “What Little Ja Wrote,” you’d know that I started writing stories ever since I was a kid. I had this big heavy red expander that I would bring whenever I went to my mom’s office or to our rest house in the province.

Each slot in the expander had a different story, and I would work on one story, then skip to the next story, then the next story, and so on. I never finished anything.

Shifting Spree

When I was in college, I didn’t know what course I wanted to take. In my post “To Shift or Not to Shift,” I talked about the many courses that I took in college and how I finally realized that I wanted to shift to creative writing.

When I finally discovered what I truly wanted, I was surprised to find out that I had always known what I really wanted, but it took time for me to realize it.

First Published Work

When I was in first year college, my teacher, Sir Cayanan, asked the class to make their own version an essay entitled “Education of a Writer.” In this essay, the writer talked about the way she was brought up and the things that happened in her life that turned her into a writer.

When I was thinking of my own take on the assignment, I had one goal in mind: I wanted my essay to be different. My diary obsession came to mind, and I started writing about it.

During my consultation with my teacher, he ran out of things to comment on and just simply said “I-publish mo na nga yan!” I was so surprised because I never thought that anything I wrote was worth publishing.

I didn’t send my essay to newspapers until my third year in college when I was about to shift to creative writing. Shifting made me feel insecure about my writing credentials, so I decided to take the risk and try to get published.

I bought Inquirer, looked for the Young Blood column, tore off the piece of paper that had the instructions on how to send contributions, and I sent my essay. It took a long time for them to reply. I remember it was months, and I got into the creative writing course without that credential supporting me.

I finally received an email saying that my essay will be sent to the editor for consideration. Time passed until one day I went into my org room, and one of my orgmates said “Ja, I liked your article.” Surprised, I said “It was published na?” They told me it had been published weeks before as “Diary Malady.”

Working at Summit Media

My job hunting days were focused on getting a job related to writing. I applied for magazines, TV networks, and advertising agencies.

I found Summit Media’s website where it listed all the magazines that they had, and when you clicked on each magazine, you’d see the email of the editor in chief. I emailed almost all of those magazines, and I ended up getting an interview for Town and Country.

I didn’t get the job at Town and Country, but they did refer me to Female Network where I became an editorial assistant. I uploaded content on the cms, edited contributions and archives, wrote articles, and maintained a staff blog called “The Self-Help Junkie.”

Blogging and the Future

Blogging was popular ever since I was in high school, but I didn’t get hooked. I dabbled sporadically by creating accounts in Live Journal, My Space, and Multiply, but in the end they didn’t hold my interest for too long.

I didn’t understand what was so great about blogging. I was also very shy about my written works, and so publishing them for all the world to see was terrifying.

Then I went to the U.S. and while I was waiting to get a job there, I got so bored that I decided to start a blog. That’s when my blogging obsession began.

Nowadays, my friend and I go to blogger events that we’ve found online, or through my connections in the publishing world, or through the Facebook pages that we follow.

I am so excited for the future. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I will always be blogging, writing, and dreaming.

If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Ja is also on TwitterFacebookTumblr, Bloglovin (for blogfor Tumblr). Email Ja at: ageofthediary@gmail.com. 

Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

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