Where I’m Going With Writing

Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hi everyone! It’s currently 8:15pm as I sit inside Nob Hill foods cafeteria (my new writing nook), munching on a bag of Chex Mix (bold-flavored) and typing away.

Today was a busy day, but I survived. I woke up at 6:00am, took the train to San Bruno, gave two dance lessons to a wedding dance couple, then took the train across the Bay to San José for two dance lessons of my own. Dance was a little rough today. My teacher pushed me hard, but I know that this is the only way I can improve. After dance, my mom picked me up and drove me back to San Carlos, where I worked a four-hour shift at the local health and fitness center as a childcare coordinator. After completing a double 11-hour shift the other day, though, four hours felt like child’s play– pun intended.

Life has slowly been getting better since I last posted. Going to work every day has improved my mood a lot, as I function best when I’m busy and living with structure and discipline. It is those sleepy summer days when I find myself with a million things I know I “should” do, but void of a plan of action and motivation to tackle my goals, that the depression finds a way to creep in. Though I’ve been pretty exhausted lately, coming home late at night and heading straight to bed, I feel more alive than I have felt in a while. This is one reason why I’m eager to get back to school. I want to get back in the groove of juggling academics with relationships, dance and other extracurriculars. As humans, we all need a sense of purpose to propel us to jump out of bed each morning to greet the day with resolve and determination. I feel this purpose when I am actively working to achieve my many goals– take care of my mental health; become a better writer; continue to learn the intricate art of Latin-American dance; dip my toe in the world of singing, acting and musical theater; enrich my mind through voracious reading; become a better orator; become more “woke”; force myself to gain basic knowledge of coding– the list is endless.

But enough of my rambling. In this post, I want to discuss where I’m thinking about heading with my writing “career”, if you will.

As I trek onward into my sophomore year of college, I have yet to decide what I wish to major in. My eye is pretty set on psychology, but I hesitate to say I’ll commit to the track for certain, for we all know how often I change my mind. Originally, I had planned on double majoring in psychology and English. However, to do that would be to renounce any hope of graduating from UCLA in four years, which would necessarily delay my dream of moving to New York City to pursue my passions. If I do manage to get into Columbia and end up transferring there my third year of college, I would definitely revisit the English/psych double major plan. Even so, I don’t want to purposely rush through my college years just so I can move to New York City as soon as possible. NYC isn’t going anywhere. I’d hate to look back on my college days and regret speeding through possibly the most formative years of my life.

Despite all my uncertainty, I know for a fact that writing will be something I’ll continue to actively pursue throughout college– and the rest of my life, however much longer that may be. See, for me, writing is not work. At all. I love to write. I find solace in expressing and organizing my thoughts in a create yet concrete manner. Freshman year of college, when I was stressed with finals and angst-ridden about my plans for the future, I’d turn to writing as my first responder. Not once has the act of churning out a spontaneous blog post failed to improve my mood and clear my head. I’m so, so grateful that God blessed me with the natural ability to write, for I don’t know how I’d stay afloat without my freedom.

Sorry, sorry, I got distracted. Lol. Where was I? Future writing plans. Okay. So there is still a possibility I will pursue a degree in English, be it major or minor. I will continue to write for UCLA’s school paper. While I’ve toyed with the idea of taking on an editor position, I don’t think I’d end up liking the job, as it is much too administrative for my taste. I want to focus on my writing, and my writing alone. Adopting a leadership position entails assuming many extraneous responsibilities beyond creating good work, and I don’t know if that’s something I want to do at this point. That’s another reason why I choose not to monetize or market my blog to a wider audience. Would it be cool if I could have hundreds of thousands of followers reading my blog, and get paid for doing something I love? Heck ya! The thing is, when it comes to advertising and marketing my work, my interest level goes to zero. Why try to “dupe” others– through fancy layouts, appealing font, accessible language, easy-on-the-eyes format and colorful backgrounds–into believing your work is good, when you could better spend your time actually honing your craft and creating writing that no one can resist reading? I like to believe that, if you are a good writer who produces work that resonates with people, the readers will come. No need to engage in quackery to gain external measures of success. I’m definitely more the “Wozniak” than the “Jobs” of the legendary pair, if you know what I mean (Woz cared only for building the computers; Jobs, ever the mastermind businessman and marketer, was how the Apple Computer reached the masses).

Ugh! I got distracted yet again! Ok, ok. So, I’ll continue writing on my blog and for the school paper. I will also actively search for mentors at UCLA who can provide me with one-on-one guidance to help develop my voice. I already have a couple UCLA English professors in mind whom I will reach out to when school commences.

In terms of careers in writing, I haven’t quite figured out what I want to do with my skill. There are many options out there– journalism is the most obvious one; litigation is another; becoming a NY Times best-selling author would be a dream-come-true. I love expressing my thoughts on a personal platform such as this blog, where I have utter freedom over what I write. No managers or editors telling you to what to write about or how to write, or cutting out pieces of your work that you were in fact proud of. I like to play by my rules. But, I know that, in life, you can’t go far as a lone wolf. Though I’d like more than anything to say, “Screw society, screw social normativity, screw convention, screw rules, SCREW EVERYTHING!”, I know that kind of mindset would hurt me more than it would serve. Sometimes, you have to play the rules of the game to reach your end goal. You don’t have to like it… but that can be your inner rebellion. Telling yourself, each day, that even though you hate bending to the rules and politics of the game, you are willing to trudge through the shittiness of X and Y, to ultimately reach your end goal, Z.

Digression #3. My apologies. Okay, what else? So I definitely plan on writing a couple novels during my lifetime. I’m developing an interest in writing fiction. How fascinating would it be to create a world of your own, away from the bitter pill of reality, where anything you say, goes? What an escape that would be, when I find myself in another depressive rut or period of angst. I sometimes dream of becoming the next J.K. Rowling success story, having a movie series made out of my books. Wishful thinking, I know… but who knows? Maybe someday, it’ll happen!

It’s about time for me to conclude this post. Before ending, I’d like to personally thank all those who have reached out in response to my previous post, Life At It’s Greatest Low. Words cannot do justice to how much I appreciate your guys’ love and support for me during an emotionally volatile time.