Tuesday, April 24, 2012

W - - - ing for a living

When I met a law block mate who worked as a writer, I instantly thought, "I want that job." I was thinking that if one writes for a living, on a daily, regular basis, he/she would be well-versed and well-skilled in writing. Something that I aim for. But surprise! surprise! When I finally got a job as a writer--two failed and one successful interview later--I realize that writing for a living would lead to the opposite of what I was expecting.

My writing "gig" mandates me to write letters, messages (for graduations, anniversaries and other celebrations), draft bills and resolutions, and make explanatory notes (these should give you an idea where I work) around 4 to 5 hours a day. I write and re-write these materials twice or thrice. One would think that I am skilled in writing since I have had this gig for 17 months now. But no, I'm still learning the ropes of writing clearly and formally. Sometimes I need to write with drama (when writing speeches in Filipino and letters asking for fund allocation) but oftentimes what I write should be clear and straightforward. No ifs and buts.

For a blogger who draws more on ones' opinion, it takes time to get used to structured writing. So as to not confuse my writing styles--for work and for leisure--the need to compartmentalize my writing arose. Yes, I do write some of my blogs when I'm at work, or I write work stuff when I'm in school or at home, but compartmentalizing is not about the place where I'm writing but it's about properly setting up my state of mind--how I need to think, to feel, when writing about a specific thing.

Sometimes, all this compartmentalizing confuses me; tires me out. Sometimes I mix my styles. Sometimes I don't know what style to use at all. It's stressful. It truly feels like work--in every sense of the word.

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