Writing for a living

I was doing some school bag spring cleaning last night when I chanced upon one of the papers I submitted for documentary film class. I didn't really read the comments when I got it last Wednesday - all I remember was plunking it in my bag after finding out that it got a 4.0. I was more concerned, at that time, about my film reports, which never found its way to me when Sir Doy gave them away a few weeks ago.

But I was surprised, to be honest. A 4.0! I never really got that grade for any of the papers I submitted to Sir Doy - not one in the five terms I've been a student of his. Then again, I had to take photos and climb up Andrew to get more course cards.

Last night I finally got the chance to read that paper. It's three pages of thoughts about Michael Moore, written within two hours, the night before I was to show an excerpt of The Big One and talk about everything I've said. My mind wasn't particularly functioning well the night I typed it in, which was why I was so surprised when I finally saw Sir Doy's comments.

"You can write."

Sure, everybody has said I write well. I've been at it for three years now, primarily here, but there are times when I know what I've written isn't particularly awe-inspiring. There are times when you just get your fingers tapping and words start flowing, and in those moments you feel that everything you write is coherent and sensible. And, of course, there are times when you feel that everything you've spewed out is basically trash - but you upload it anyway.

I had to read the paper again. Did I really write three pages worth of very sensible film criticism? Have everything that I learned finally gone into play - the auteur effect, the nut graph, the power of three? There were still a few corrections - or suggestions, if you may - but they were limited to the first page, and were mostly words that didn't really fit what I wanted to say. But, for a moment, it seemed that those three pages were gold. Blame my selfish tendencies, but there it was. Something that was written well, and convincingly so.

There was a second comment right below the first one. "Do this professionally," he wrote. "Write for newspapers and magazines."

I've already said this many times before - I went to college with an intention to become a writer; my radio enthusiast tendencies (guess who coined that term for me?) came in very, very late. Now that I've written a handful of screenplays and a handful of excuses for journalism, I might as well start taking writing really seriously, since my radio aspirations obviously aren't going anywhere. Sure, I'll give credit to my education for giving me an opportunity to hone my writing skills further, but at this moment I can't imagine myself writing for a living, for some reason.

Consider this. I didn't make the school publications. I don't necessarily have the drive to get out and do field work; my final project in investigative journalism class was half-crammed. I don't write as well as the columnists that I read often - you can imagine my thoughts when I was reading Patricia Evangelista's bit today. All those thoughts, justified properly and bound beautifully - the world isn't obviously ready for a column that's written the way blogs like this is. And now that we're somewhat, or very much, compelled to look for jobs, like Anna claims to be doing at this moment, I'm better off sinking to the ground out of indecisiveness.

Maybe I'll just slack off - a consensus Kris and I reached while I was trying to print out a sticker label for our thesis' DVD - but that thought never fails to bother me. Imagine me writing for a living, maybe doing film reviews, political analysis, media reports, or (heavens forbid) fluff about fashion trends. Then again, that 4.0 report of mine might do wonders for me. Besides, a renowned screenwriter and film director said I can write. Take note, Sir Doy didn't say "you write well," but rather, "you can write." That spells a lot of difference. That's gold, as I said earlier. Maybe I can sell it and get proper renumeration; the mineral's trading high at the moment...

And your responses...

wow i am mentioned here :P

maybe you could just write as a sideline :) it's up to you. if you're up for just pursuing your passion then go for it. but if you're after big bucks you gotta search and think harder. :)

Anonymous Anonymous4/20/2008     

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