When you desire something,
Be ready to fight heads and tails for it–
Reach for it, no matter what.
Writing is an arduous passion–a skill that necessitates a balanced compendium of talent, intellect, experience, time, patience, determination–and sometimes, money–to end up with a sort of solid achievement to show for it. Becoming an accomplished writer is a neverending journey filled with countless bumps, scrapes, and bruises. Albeit, these heartaches are actually meant to embed depth in every finished article, poem, or narrative.
Growing up amidst my mom’s collection of storybooks and nursery rhymes, I quickly became enamored with the wondrous world of words. My earliest memories are full of lucid instances of Mom reading a gripping tale as I slowly drooped to sleep.
I vividly remember the days when Mom would read Thumbelina to me–how her voice would tell me, so convincingly, about the swallow in the story. I used to cry my heart out as she acted out the part where Thumbelina would pitifully nurse the tiny bird back to life.
Copious tears would fall down my tiny cheeks as Mom would narrate the heart-wrenching tale of Cinderella patiently doing all the chores demanded of her by her evil stepmother and stepsisters. I still laugh as I recall how my brothers and I would quiver with fright as Mom would begin the scary lines of Wee Willie Winkie, signifying that it was really time for bed.
It seems only yesterday when she would start chanting The Bells Of Saint Clements and I’d be forced to cover myself, obediently, with my blanket and go straight to Dreamland! It was just recently that I’ve come to know, by the way, that the said nursery rhyme alluded to the execution gallows of old (Shivers creepers, right?! Ugh, I knew there was something inherently wacko about that beat!). But yes, I grew up enshrouded with books, books, and more books (and, of course, music).
It isn’t surprising, then, that I was barely six years old when I attempted a simple short story of my own. At that time, I scribbled a basic account of a girl, her mom, her dad, and her dog who lived in a single storey house in the city. I don’t remember now the specifics of that humble narrative, though.
All through the years, I came to build a collection of novels. I was ten years old, I think, when I started reading mystery books like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Eventually, I graduated from that genre and dipped my toes in the more girly sets of Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams.
The turbulent years of adolescence led me into the beauteous world of imagination and idealism. High school was wrought with poetry and essay writing. Becoming the editor-in-chief of our school paper became such a highlight. It allowed me to join press conferences that helped me appreciate the different techniques of writing. Although, I particularly enjoyed literary writing over news writing, admittedly.
University gave me the chance to challenge myself further as I encountered stricter professors who made me realize the important nuances of technical writing and research. Yet, all throughout my years of reading and writing, there was only one person who staunchly stood out–my mom.
It was Mom who taught me the significance of accurate grammar, vocabulary, and library work (references, citations, avoidance of plagiarism). Being a teacher by profession, she was (and still is) very particular when it came to the correct usage of words. Oh, I used to hate having my compositions read by her as I would usually find my pieces filled with altered–and underlined–passages after. Hence, it became my personal vow to be a better writer to be able to hopefully pass her soaring standards.
Nowadays, my mom still discovers typographical and grammatical errors when I ask her to check out my work. It always makes my day, though, each time she gets to give me back my paper without any mark.
Surely, metamorphosing into a full-fledged writer isn’t a piece of cake. As of now, I am still at that tremulous point where I am striving to meet my own expectations. I peruse each poem and each article, meticulously, knowing that I can only be the best of myself if I don’t allow mediocrity to mar the beauty that only practice–and more practice–can bestow. Because, truly, when you want to acquire something, you must be prepared to transcend all limitations–most especially, when the evident constraint is yourself.