publish or die trying

At 1:57 in the morning, I had this inexplicable jolt at the pit of my stomach and at that middle section of one’s chest where you usually feel pain when you’ve skipped a meal. I immediately brushed off the feeling thinking I am about to have one of those stomach cramps I often get when I have a tall caramel macchiato with an empty stomach. Yet a little while later, I realized  no that’s not it. I had been reading a number of blogs before this pain kicked in (as I usually do before going to bed), and I stopped at a travel blog (by a Filipino) that was celebrating its 7th year. Wow, I thought to myself. Seven years. You see, I had always known I’d be a writer ever since I was 10. No matter what profession or industry I’d end up breadwinning at, I was always sure I would write. I remember writing short stories when I was in 5th grade and boldly handing pages over to my English teacher. I’d watch her read and giggle to parts where the boy meets the girl or the girl falls in love. I remember writing about AJ McLean and Nick Carter fighting over a girl (obviously, that was me), and how stapled chapters would randomly bounce around desks in my Grade 6 classroom. As I grew older though, my writing became all too personal. Things happen in young women’s lives and I dealt with mine through writing. This time, perhaps only a few trusted friends in class got to pass it around. In the latter years of high school, I evolved into an income-generating writer. I’d get paid to write book reports, paid to read books and offer my opinion, collect a fee for storytelling an entire Harry Potter book (bystanders were advised to pay or clear the hall)… you know, that sort of thing. It wasn’t until college or a little after that that my writing really became private. I still wrote for the purpose of sharing to friends and colleagues; however, there were stuff I’d write just for me (and archived). Over the years, writing became my cure. When I wrote, things mattered little (or more), hurts began healing (or maybe deepened), reality was uncovered (or perhaps hidden instead). Whatever writing did, I was sure it did more for me than for anyone else. And so here we are: now at 2:37 in the morning and still deciding whether the annoying pain in my stomach is gastronomically related or is it a wake-up call to finally write—and write to be read. In truth, I have opened and closed 4 to 6 blogs in the past 2 to 3 years. Half of them were real dot-coms!—as in buying a real domain and paying for web hosting services. The irony of it all was: no one knew I had them. I mean, technically there were maybe 5 or more people that knew these blogs existed, and apart from an article here and an entry there, I was never bold enough to share any of these highly paid websites/blogs. Nothing was tied to my Facebook or Twitter (or any other social networking platforms out there). I lived in peace knowing I wrote and no one knew who I was. Some random bloggers have commented here and there, but I was sold to the idea that there was no better friend than Anonymity. Now at 2:48AM… Should I? Or should I not? Maybe it was merely a temporal surge of envy when I read that blog’s 7th year anniversary. Maybe it was approving that one comment I got today from one of 5 friends that know my current blog. Maybe it’s knowing I am publishing into an air bubble that is read by no one and accomplishing nothing but my selfish need for verbal release. I don’t know. What I do know is that it is 2:56AM and my gut tells me it’s time to unmask. You have no idea how fearful I am at this moment that in this process of unmasking… that my writing will be criticized, subject to the opinion of others, to be ravaged in the lion’s den and spat upon by better minds.

No matter. Here’s my two cents anyway. Live. And readable.



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