I had an important meeting in Makati the other day and decided to use the time to go to the Juice office to pick up checks and to touch base with the editorial board. I haven’t been there in a long while and I wanted to remind them that I was still alive.
I sat with Anna Limon, the new editor-in-chief of Juice, and we just caught up. I had planned to stay for at least an hour or so and get my check but I ended up staying there for around three hours or so and we were just talking.
And while we were talking, I was talking about how I was trying to phase out my freelance work with magazines. It’s just not me anymore, you know? Magazine writing requires tapping into the pulse of society and it’s something that I can’t do anymore, or maybe I just don’t find as much joy in it as I used to.
It’s just not what I want to do — word counts, profiling people I don’t really care about, talking about events or products that I wouldn’t even go to or buy, taking a stance above the consumer world and making statements about it — it’s not my world anymore. I don’t want to report. I don’t feel like my thoughts and my voice is best expressed in this medium. Just movie reviews, I suppose. That I still enjoy doing. But all the other stuff, the stuff I get assigned to do for magazines, that ship has sailed.
I sort of knew this was happening to me but to have to actually say it out loud to Anna that day made things very, very clear. I said, “I think I’m finally ready and confident to write my own stuff, to write my book, and not be afraid of the result.” I think, at some point, I held back writing a novel or whatever because I felt I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t confident in my own voice, in my own ability to filter and refine my experiences into a written work. But now I do.
Now, I just want to hole up in some beachside house with a laptop (with Internet, of course) and just write and write and write. Away from everybody else. On my own terms and away from the distractions of daily life. If I could do this, not have to worry about the bills and friends in need; two months or three months to just pour into the work — I think I’d be happy.
That’s all I want to do now. I want to write books and movies and poems. That’s it. All of this other stuff — the magazine articles, the AVP and event scripts, the PR shit, and whatever — it’s just fuel for the current status quo, which is to make mindless sheep that just consumes and consumes whatever product jumps out of the woodwork. People have stopped becoming people and are just mindless automatons, buying the latest thing they are told is great and trendy, and focusing their attention on whatever they are told is the latest thing in pop culture.
I don’t abide by those tenets anymore. I am very, very comfortable in my own skin and my own thoughts. And I want to share them.
And all of these things I’m writing here right now; it all came from a catching up session with Anna at the Juice office. How strange. I really do need to articulate and say things out loud for it to have any real strength or effect on me. This is what I want.
Of course, I can’t afford to do it. I still have to work around the system. I’m hardly financially stable and secure to embark on this. I am going to have to steal as much moments as I can to be able to make this a reality. But hopefully, soon, it will happen.
One day, I wouldn’t have to accept these freelance jobs unless I really wanted to and I can just live off of writing poems, books, and movies. That would be the dream.
And if you can dream it, you can build it. Someone said that. And it sounds true to me.