What Makes Your Heart Sing?

Last night I received an email from my domain host, informing me that they updated my WordPress site. It reminded me for the nth time this year of that burning desire to write – one that has been plaguing me the past few days, but has been leaving me in a limbo.

The desire is there, the motivation and the energy isn’t. I’ve got ideas running around my head but I can never seem to pull them into reality. I keep wanting and yearning and hoping, but I don’t make that first step. I’ve got way too many excuses to support it too: I’m too busy dealing with work and life, I can’t muster the creative energy, I still don’t know my writing voice, yadiyada.

But when I think about it, really think about it and let myself be painfully honest…

I’m scared I’m not good enough. And no matter how hard I convince myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect on my first try, that I should concern myself with writing for myself and not for anybody else’s approval, that I can actually do it only if I let myself take the leap… it’s just so damn tiring. By the time I’ve worked up the courage or found the time, I’ve lost the creativity.

— — —

Recently, I’ve been hanging around my former stomping ground: my alma mater, De La Salle University. I’ve had to get up at the crack of dawn the past couple of days to travel from Cavite to Manila, helping my brother find his way in commuting.

One of the good things I got from this situation is that I discovered, much to my surprise, that I’m actually a morning person. I get things done a whole lot more from 8AM to 11AM, then I start winding down and losing steam after that. I know, I know. I should’ve discovered this a long time ago, way back when I started freelancing. But I guess I was having too much fun getting up at any odd hour that I liked, or getting to answer emails half-asleep then crawling back to bed before lunch, or the fact that I can work wherever and whenever I want to, barring any urgent deadlines.

I even managed to attend a free creative lecture last week, where this advertising dude approached me and introduced himself. As part of the icebreaker, we were asked the question “What makes your heart sing?” and surprise, surprise, we both answered writing. Now I haven’t written anything decent for six months, but he was curious and asked me if I’m a writer. It was awkward, to say the least.

creative mornings

When I wrote that writing, good writing in particular, makes my heart sing – I meant more about writing in general, like how beautiful it is when words are woven together and how they have the power to move you, whether you’re the writer or the reader. But he wanted to box me into something particular, to know if I’ve written something, or what I even write in the first place. I stammered that I mostly write professionally for a client and the rest of the writing that I do remains in secret.

And that got me to thinking: how can I call myself a writer if I don’t even write? Like in the real sense of things, writing that comes from the heart, writing that matters to me. I feel like a fraud – whether it’s stating that I write or the fact that I’m a freelancer.

But I don’t know, this whole new switch to an updated schedule has left me inspired. Because I wake up earlier, I have more time on my hands. And because I have more time on my hands, I have more room to write. God knows I have way too many half-baked plotlines and characters sitting on my phone – maybe it’s time for them to see the light of day.

I guess I just have to start with the first step: write. Write on good days, but most especially, to keep writing even on bad days. Write on discarded receipts sandwiched between peso bills, write on my journal, write on my phone, write in between coming up with content plans.

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