When I was in high school, my biggest dream was to be a “real” writer. And what I thought being a “real” writer meant was to be a published author, a poet, essayist, a literary critic… the kind of writer that produces substantial content, be it artistic or critical. You probably already know where I’m going with this considering that there’s a photo of a magazine below. I never thought that writing for magazines was “real” writing. To my mind, being involved with that sort of fluff meant selling out.
I knew I was being completely elitist but I was not willing to change my views. Real writing just couldn’t be found in fashion or lifestyle magazines—really, how could it? But then I realised (gradually, definitely not over night) that every single person who wrote for those publications was more of a writer than I. I allowed the writer in me to die the moment I stopped practicing the craft and sat on my lazy ass, expecting a literary masterpiece to brew over the years even without putting the work in. Writing is about sitting down and doing just that, and then maybe trying to get your work published and read.
The truth is that you can find good (and yes: real) writing in all sorts of mediums, although I will still insist that our local publications have quite a way to go in terms of overall quality. But then who am I to say such a thing? Not a writer, for sure. A critical reader, maybe. Still, not a writer. Hence, this:
I actually freakin’ wrote something for a publication so totally out of my comfort zone. And I liked the process. And I’m flattered to see my name in print again (it’s been years). And I don’t feel like I’ve sold out because even though I had to alter my voice a bit to suit the magazine and accept some minor edits, it’s still my work. It was a nice exercise in writing and I missed that so much without knowing it.
Becoming a writer is still my biggest dream and while I’m not saying that this particular piece is phenomenal (or even very good), it takes me one step closer to seeing myself as a writer again.
I’ve cropped out the article and left my big-ass fez in there so that if you are so inclined, you can pick up Cosmopolitan’s March issue and give the piece a read. It’s mostly about girls not being able to take a compliment, but there are some bits in there about the local beauty blogging world as well. Most of it was cut out because there was a word limit, but I’m genuinely interested to hear your personal thoughts on the beauty blogging atmosphere in the Philippines.
Right. A post that was simply meant to say “Please pick up a copy of Cosmopolitan’s March issue“ turned into this. Haha! Thanks as always for reading my personal ramblings if you have made it this far!