Friday, November 11, 2016

Occidental Mindoro Campus Writers, Arise!

The Department of Education-Division of Occidental Mindoro is all set for the live out 2016 Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC) on Monday, November 14, 2016 at Occidental Mindoro National High School (OMNHS) in the capital town of Mamburao. This Conference is pursuant to the Campus Journalism Act of 1991.

The participating students coming from various elementary and secondary schools in the province would compete in categories with English and Filipino divisions such as editorial writing, news writing, sports news writing, feature writing, cartooning, copy reading and headline writing, radio broadcasting, and collaborative desktop publishing. Those who make it to the top ranks advance to the regionals and get to undergo further training for the national level tilt.

Here in the Philippines, training on journalism starts at the elementary and high school levels. Here in Occidental Mindoro, I have no slightest idea on how many of those once campus journalists, or those winners in such competition, sustained their first forays into the fourth state and became full pledge or practicing writers.

The most intriguing poem about writing I have encountered is “So, You Want to be a Writer” by Charles Bukowski, a German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Here’s the full poem, anyway:

If it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.

Unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut, don't do it.

If you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words, don't do it.

If you're doing it for money or
don't do it.

If you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.

If you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.

If it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.

If you're trying to write like somebody
else, forget about it.

If you have to wait for it to roar out of
you, then wait patiently.

If it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

If you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

Don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-

The libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
Don't add to that.
Don't do it.

Unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.

Unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

When it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

There is no other way.

And there never was.

If you want to hear the poet’s own reading of his poem, though slightly edited, click the video link above. 

At first, one thinks this is a poem of discouragement or lack of ambition, but when you try to look at it deeper, it is actually a poem of encouragement to write. Many critics rightfully think that this literary piece is an attempt to address the challenges of the reader's creative process and imagination.

Having mentioned that, it is my wish that all the participating campus journalists be challenged, supported and uplifted by their respective coaches and schools, to be at their best in writing, now and then. They should focus on the poem’s challenging entirety and write for the rest of their lives.

Push pen, now and beyond, kids! …

(Video: Youtube)

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