Something inside me screams, and I know there would be an explosion inside my head if I wouldn’t heed it. I must do something now. I must let out an inner voice that has been confined inside me for a long time. So many ideas and stories have been brewing in my head, and they lay buried there, only waiting to rot into oblivion. I must write again! But where shall I send my compositions? Some papers that used to accept literary contributions are now filled with fashions and peoples articles, with a novel here and a short story there. No more chance for others who are aspiring to be literary writers.
Then one day, my friend suggested I submit my compositions to a certain local paper without pay. “A literary contribution without pay is worthless,” I told her. But now I’m going to make a retraction. I made the colossal mistake of zooming in to the monetary value of such compositions and pushing aside the therapeutic effect on myself and the vital benefit that they can impart to the readers. Maybe my erroneous viewpoint sprang from the fact that I got used to being paid for my contributions to some national magazines. Now the shroud concealing my good judgment has been lifted, liberating me to write, with or without pay. After all, writing is not only a means to bring food for the table, but it is also a passion that needs to be nurtured, to such an effect that it sets our spirits soar in blissful state, and it stirs aglow emotional embers that would give life to these stories.
To me, writing is a kind of liberation, a self-expression by which I can bare my innermost thoughts and emotions. It’s my refuge whenever I’m in abysmal sadness, my wings when I’m floating in happiness, and my soft cushion when my days are hard. Now that I can write online, I can start out on a new writing trek. I can shake my mental kaleidoscope again, forming multi-colored snowflake-like shapes of stories and ideas.
The memory of that moment when I had my first contribution published is still vivid in my mind. I can even see my feelings when I heard about it in vibrant colors. And to think that when I was young, it never crossed my mind that I would like to be a writer. I didn’t even appreciate books or any other publications, let alone reading them. What I wanted was to be an artist, and I engrossed myself in the field of art. When I got to college and took up my major subjects, my professor required us to read a lot of literary works, classical and contemporary alike. That’s the start of my intellectual journeys where I discovered different worlds and galaxies I never knew existed, and it was all so wonderful for me. From most of what I read, I also underwent catharsis, which purged my emotions to such an effect that I would feel lighthearted afterward. I often found myself toying with the thought of how exhilarating it must be to create such realms for mental and emotional festivities and to be able touch others’ lives with my stories. Those playful ruminations gave birth to a passion that was never in my heart before, a passion for writing. Yes, I started to feel a profound urge to write.
For a start, I plunged into journal-writing, where I put all my day-to-day experiences, thoughts and emotions. Then I ventured to writing poetry, essays and short stories, which I kept only for myself. A few years after finishing college, I came across an invitation from one of the country’s leading magazines to contribute some viewpoints on certain topics. Should I give it a try? Did I have the right tools for writing? I had self-doubts. But my passion for writing coursed throughout my bloodstreams, urging me to do it.
I finally completed the essay, mailed it and waited. After a month or so, somebody told me, “I read your contribution in a magazine!” I almost forgot about that, thinking that it didn’t make it to the paper. I felt a wave of exhilaration. Yes, I could write! But that’s not the end of the story. A month after the publication, I received a check from that magazine in payment for my contribution. In my innocence, I never expected that I’d be paid for that. Another element of surprise!
That’s the start of a career that I wanted to pursue. I was determined to improve my writing and so I immersed myself into the works of some bestselling authors, voraciously poring over one book after another, and I kept writing at the same time, occasionally sending inspirational essays and personal experiences to a couple of popular magazines. It was so amazing how my mind brimmed over with ideas, though sometimes, some of them were left unwritten because of time shortage. There’s so much to write about but so little time to spare.
Sadly, for many years, my writing career hibernated, like a seed covered with a blanket of snow in winter, and during all those years, I felt as though the poetical river inside me that kept me animated got drained, making my life dry. But amid that aridity, that passion kept burning, though it remained confined within me for many years. Surreptitiously, it tried to sustain itself, slowly generating some power within, a force to start writing again. It’s like the ice thawed away and spring began to sing in my blood. It’s a rejuvenation, a rebirth of a long-neglected mental activity. I must listen to that song once again and heed its message. I must satisfy that passion. I have to let out the whirlwind of emotions that are locked up within myself. I have messages to tell the whole world, messages of hope, comfort and inspiration derived from my own experiences. I must not allow such beautiful thoughts get dispersed among the cosmic dusts of the universe without having a chance for them to settle within the human hearts and breathe life to them. They should not be hidden away like in Thomas Gray’s
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air.
I must take the lovely flower and sparkling gem out of their place of concealment and scatter them around for everyone to see. Yes, I must let out those buried treasures of thoughts. I must write again. And I will write some more.