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abel d soto
abel soto I WAS at Urban Hub in Balibago the other night--one of the best party "hubs" in Angeles City--to meet a friend I have not seen for many years now since she decided to pursue her writing career thousands of miles from PH. And I asked her why she chose to become a writer. Well, she said she did not want to talk about it. But I have a good guess. Perhaps it's the all-encompassing hipster movement of premeditated accidental coolness, where record players and typewriters and oversized glasses reign supreme. Or, sadly, perhaps it's the death of tangible literature itself, creating a supply and demand that can romanticize even the most painful of professions. Oh writers! Either way, let us all accept the fact that the vocation of "writer" has been glamorized ad nauseam. Everyone, from the occasional blogger to website journalist to fantastically impressive list creator seeks the now-coveted title of "writer," as if it holds any sort of societal weight. People don't read past 140 characters anymore, remember? Remember?! And it is this poignant phenomenon, this astounding need to be perceived as a troubled-yet-delightfully complex contributor to literature that has me thinking, "W?@+. T?€. Fµ??. Why?" Oh writers! Writing is, for lack of a more eloquent or a more politically correct description, a horrible, painful, downright-effin-awful obsession which rarely, if ever, passes as a lucrative profession. In other words, it effin sucks a giant ?0?? of £µ??’it. Why anyone would want to be a writer is beyond me and for those that do, they clearly suffer from an extreme case of carefully calculated delusion or morbid masochism. Writers cannot fathom or express the world without the crutch of a metaphor or simile or fiction. They need synonyms to describe their stinking synopses and sensible satire to dissect significant sadness and hypocritical hyperbole to hide their hallow happiness. While others can adequately articulate their feelings via silver tongues and hypnotic mouths. Writers need a few endless effin hours, staring at a computer screen while punching a keyboard, before they know how to feel about a certain situation, subject or person. Oh writers! Their emotions are a blurred water-color and until they have the keen eye of a perfect passage to explain the picture to them, it's all just wet crayons thrown at a canvas. Kaleidoscopic! Oh writers! Writers never completely embrace one moment in time. Their minds are constantly floating between past present and future, noting the seemingly forgetful or the quietly important or the insignificantly hopeful. They're one step removed from the present, living in an alternate universe where people are characters, feelings are stories and moments are unwritten novels. That perfect string of words stands between them and a planned party or a moaning lover or a frail friend and then they realize why punishments are called sentences. Oh writers! Writing is all about process. Learning how you write, or how you create, is just as important as what you're actually writing about. Writers are condemned to the confines of their vernacular, living vicariously through figurative descriptions of literal events. (Unless you're a trying hard editor-in-chief, basking in gory glory every now and then.) Believe it or not, writers are not naturally joyous people. Mundane affirmations of positivity and optimism, promising some heightened sense of existential merriment, make them want to pound five shots of whiskey and vomit. They'll roll their eyes as happy people go about happy things thinking happy thoughts, convinced that sad people are blind to the excruciating necessity of sadness. Writers will bask in the melancholy of life, ignoring the genuine cries of the perpetually upbeat to the point of annoying self-pity in the name of their craft, completely convinced that misery is the backbone of worthwhile literature. Oh writers! A writer fears what most strive to achieve, constantly anxious that their need for a gratifying existence will destroy their ability to describe it. Writers are continually scrutinized. They either write too often or not enough or in a way that cannot be fully digested by a profitable audience. They should break grammatical rules and call it art, but they should continue to be grammatically correct because rules are rules. Oh writers! I love FB but I hate FB, too. Do you know what I mean? It wastes soooo much of our time. But at the same time, it's like crack, you know? Every piece of written work needs to ignore meaning so readers can assign their own. Writers need to be interesting enough to have a story to tell or imaginative enough to just pull one out of their ass, yet understanding enough to know every story they tell is not just their own. Oh writers! Honestly, being a writer is, for lack of a more eloquently pompous description, a horrible, painful, downright-fucking-awful existence, which rarely, if ever, passes as a lucrative profession. A profession that, at times, I wish I hadn't picked, or it me. There are days I long for an analytical mind hell-bent on solving tangible problems with a click of a mouse or turn of a wrench or a whatever the ?µ?? else. Clearly, however, that mind is out of my reach. Can't you tell? I just spend a ridiculous amount of time elaborating on the pains of a now-glorified profession when others would have simply said: "Fµ?? writing!"


[About the author. Abel D. Soto took up his certificatory double major course in Creative Writing and Performing Arts at Centre for Arts Foundation, Inc. in Quezon City. He also finished the Managing the Arts Program at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. He is a resident of Bacolor, Pampanga.]

-Posted: 9:30 AM 5/2/14 | More of this author on eK!
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