Rhapsodies of the Barefooted Gypsy

An open letter to writers who stopped writing


Nine years ago, we were all dreamers. We were enthused and inspired by some of our professors, and belittled and sneered at, and bashed by others. The point is, we felt feelings from sheer bliss to dread. We were so eager to start sinking our heads on piles of freshly photocopied reading materials. We were afraid to run late to that creative writing class because the professor is known to be a terror. We were confused and thrilled, at the same time, but mostly scratching our heads contemplating on how we will finish a three-page, double-spaced, font size 12, times new roman writing assignment with Michael Jackson as the main character and Cuba as the main setting.

We were raw, and ready to be cut open, and bleed for that 3.0. A 3.0 can mean a perfect mark depending on the professor, and we can sure be damn proud that we don’t have to retake that class. It’s more sacred than passing Math 11, that’s for sure.

We all wanted to be published authors, story tellers, editors of the most popular fashion and lifestlye and whatnot magazine. We wanted to be playwrights, and screen writers, songwriters, whathaveyous.

But what happened to that? Somewhere along the way, we got a little bit distracted of this, a little bit distracted of that. Most of us moved on to different directions, while some of us stopped completely.

Was it because there is no money in writing? Was it because of too many rejections and failed attempts? Or the lack of motivation and inspiration?

I still have the blogs we were required to write in our uni days bookmarked. I still check it once in a while, just in the off chance that some of you might remember it and update it one bit. But what I get is my heart broken once in a while. Nothing changes. The last post you wrote on your blogs are still dated 2007.

It seems that the closest way I can get to your writing is through your smart one liner status on facebook. Sometimes, it comes in the form of full-on, full-length, quasi-literature ranting about the daily chaos you go through. From the clumsy coffee spills, to how riveting Jennifer Lawrence looked, then back to how badly your boss sucks, to celebrating your 113th month anniversary.

And I must admit, when I read those status, those moanings, and whinges, and whatnot, I smile. Because it’s funny! Because it’s witty! Because it’s spot on! Because I can taste how vinegary your awkward first date went. Because I can feel the pressure you placed on the handlebar on that one hell of a bus ride. Because your words have texture and aesthetic! Because you’re still temperamental, and we all know that writers are meant to be bipoloar or something!

I smile because I know that you still have it in you, despite your corporate or academic attitude sometimes, no offense. I just wish you guys can tell me more, I wish I can read more of it, I wish you will write more.

Maybe some of you stopped writing because there was no material to work on. Well, experience is like Santa’s big red bag! Turn that trip to Nagsasasa Cove into a travelogue and I will be the first one to read it! Make a review about the last book you just read because I can use a good insight. Write a review about the latest blockbuster movie, or write a commentary about the Sundance Festival and I will read it all because I trust your taste in film.

Maybe you stopped writing because you’re going through a hard time right now. Maybe your relationship really really really sucks. That’s no excuse. Look at Adele and the tons of songs she has written! Maybe some of you stopped writing because you don’t have the time. Well, if you have the time to browse reddit and 9gag, please, shoot me now!

Maybe you stopped writing because you got pregnant or got married, whichever came first, but that’s no excuse either. Write children stories–stories that you know your little kiddo will love listening to before bedtime. That’s inspiration and experience right at your fingertips.

Writing is a state of mind. Although having that perfect cup of coffee and feeling the breeze on your hair while you’re sitting under the shade of a tree somewhere in the outskirts of India is highly recommended, most of the time, you will find yourself waking up at 2am in your cockroach-infested apartment, with a drool drying at the corner of your lips. Wipe it off, and pen it down, dammit! Or write it on your computer. Or phone. Whatever. You have no idea how many brilliant ideas get lost in ideasphere every single night just because we’re too lazy to try.

Kidding aside, just start writing again and make sure to send me a link. I mean it.

PS. If you’re reading this and you belong to the UPLB Com Arts 2004, yes, this letter is specifically addressed to you.