There are two ways to approach the matter of writing:
On one hand is the path of the dilettante. You read, you write, and that’s about it. Whatever comes out of your keyboard is good enough. You show it to other dilettantes and they politely tell you that you’re quite good and that you should be doing it professionally. You get enough comments like that and you actually start believing that you’re good. That you’re a writer, ye gods. You look at your peers’ work and you give polite comments about how good they are. I jerk you, you jerk me, and we all jerk each other happily. No hurt feelings. The Internet is a safe place full of rainbows and unicorns and Baby Jesuses. Years down this road you will start telling younger dilettantes that writing is a noble craft, and that the writer is a hierophant of cosmic powers, weaving words and ideas from the eternal song of the universe. Horseshit like that.
On the other hand is the path of the wordslinger. This is the way of the wolves. A dude starts out with a hungry belly, a full heart, and murder in his eyes. Along this road he will bloody his fists. He will stand close to the beast. He will touch it. He will be intimate with it. He will even fornicate with it. He will understand that words are his only weapons and as such must be honed… that he must excel in the art of wrestling the savage things to the ground and beating them to submission into the fucking page. Along this path illusions and false modesty will be shed. Good enough is not a virtue. Good enough is for those left behind. Down here respect is not the default setting. It is a thing to be earned through awesomeness. It is a fortress to be built stone by stone. It is a prize to be defended often.
Let me put this in a better context.
It was some time ago that I returned my passport to FilipinoWriter.Com due to the inanity currently flourishing there. Of course, I’ve been lurking from time to time in the hopes that things would get better. Predictably, the clique of drama queens currently lording over the playground have started beating their virtual chests in (self) righteous indignation because of my attack of Cocoy, A Virgin Boy. Their opinion seems to be that the Internet should be a place where only good things are said and negative comments should be kept to oneself. If that was true then dictators and despotic governments would have nothing to fear of this techno-cultural frontier where common blokes can call on anyone’s bullshit anytime. My attack on Cocoy, A Virgin Boy was a statement calling attention to the garbage that comes with the Internet Revolution. I’m not saying I’m abandoning my belief that the Internet is the most awesome invention of Man. I’m just saying that—Christ in a bucket!—lookit all the vermin coming out of the woodwork wanting a piece of the pie.
In the interest of harmony, though, I believe I must apologize for that post. Thus:
I’m sorry that you’re acting like a bunch of Internet noobs, thinking that you can publish your work in the public arena of the Internet and expect that all you’ll get are praises.
I’m sorry you didn’t know that if you’re afraid of people throwing tomatoes at your work you can actually make a private blog account where only people who won’t criticize your work are allowed to see it.
I’m sorry that there are people who think FilipinoWriter.Com is going down the drain because awesome writers like Ed Roa, Adewuyi Adeniyi, Danny Sillada, John Robert Luna and their like are being ignored while the poseurs are turning it into the MySpace of Filipino literary mediocrity.
Most of all, I’m truly and sincerely sorry that you people suck.