Over breakfast this morning, my parents noted the speed and depth with which I write my blog entries. In particular, they were astonished with how quickly I posted entries regarding the Glorietta 2 bombing and how, despite writing them at 6AM while I am still groggy, they aren’t mediocre work at all. Thus with my ability to write so much so quickly and so effortlessly, they strongly urged me to seriously consider making a living out of it.
Honestly, that notion isn’t so far-fetched. I’ve been hearing this from a lot of family friends, relatives and even colleagues lately. And here’s the thing — I have long wanted to become a journalist, an investigative reporter even. (Read my Journalistic Dreams)
Over the past four years of my life, I have learned a lot about myself. The most important of which is that there are two things that come naturally and effortlessly to me — teaching and writing. That is my inner nature so to speak, and I love doing both. Though over breakfast, my parents echoed something Felix Cua, the owner of the comic book store Druid’s Keep, once told me, “There is nothing wrong with earning from doing something you love.”
Indeed. While teaching pays a bit, we all know how far that will take me especially when the time comes when I have to settle down on my own and build a family. I believe together with those who believe in me, that there can be a future in writing especially if I can get myself through the door towards becoming a journalist. My father, being in media, already has several people in mind who would love to see my work. They even imagine that I could host my own TV show one day.
But why am I not a journalist now? I always have that notion that who we are at the moment is who we are supposed to be. My life, in all its twists and turns, has brought me neither into the bullpen nor the studio but into the Philippine Science classroom. And we all know how well that has worked out. Teaching has made me hungry for life. It has taught me that I really could do anything when I put my heart into it, and I’ll be bringing this realization with me wherever I go next.
Therefore, I am not ruling out a future in journalism for, in all honesty, I want to try my hand in it. At this point, I just feel that I still lack the necessary tools and skills to be an effective journalist. I am currently spoiled by the freedom of the blog and I still find it difficult to write when there is a deadline looming — this I learned by writing for the Science Scholar and Blue Blood. And thus far, all my work is generated from a mandate from within; I write what I am inspired to write. I am not too confident of how I would deal with a mandate coming from the outside.
However, these are all skills I can learn. This is also the major reason why I plan to go back to school. When I was an undergraduate, I didn’t have a clear idea of where I was going but now I have a firm grasp of what it is I can do and achieve. In studying again, I hope to expand my skill set and sharpen my tools. Once I am done, I would like to be able to be a policy analyst, a professor and a writer. I even told my brother once that if I could work in a think tank like AIM, have one or two classes in a university every Saturday, and write for a newspaper or magazine in between, my life is set.
But until that day happens, how can I capitalize on my writing? Well, for one, I just write. I really have no imperial ambitions for it. I find blogging a great way to supplement all the reading and thinking I do since it allows me to articulate everything I learn, think and feel. Nevertheless, I have some ideas on how I can best ‘monetize’ my writing or at least, generate the widest exposure for it.
First, I can switch to my own hosted site where I can put up advertisements on my site. That way, I will be a newspaper publisher, editor and writer all by myself since it entirely falls on me to bring readers into my site and go crazy on the targeted ads. However, I am not too excited for this since I’m not a big fan of ads myself.
Second, I can continue accepting writing gigs whenever I can. It is the number one rule for a writer to get published as much as possible, and it wouldn’t be wise of me to turn down the opportunities which come my way and elude everyone else. My only consideration of course would be my priorities — anything that has something to do with my teaching will always be on the top of the list.
Third, I simply write and blog as much as possible. When the time comes that I finally leave to study, I foresee myself taking a two to three-month hiatus before I begin anything else. During that time I plan to write my first book, Confessions of a Teacher, which will be the memoirs of my teaching years. I also hope to be deep into Outclassed, a series of stories in a genre I hope to trademark — teacher noir.
Nonetheless, we can never really tell how things will go, right? Going back to school is a medium-term goal I have set for myself but there are still so many things that can happen between now and then. But if I can get some writing gigs even while I’m studying in Singapore, that would be awesome. And of course, this blog will be very much alive. It’s just that at times I wonder what will happen to Sir Martin when I’m no longer that guy. He’ll still be alive I suppose. We are all students of life after all, and each of us, by virtue of our different journeys, can be a teacher to everyone else.
Darn. I just love writing.