Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ningas Kugon Writing - T.O.P.

There is a Filipino idiom that is referred to as "ningas kugon". It refers to something that is not permanent, usually connotes a behavior or action not meant to last. 

Sometimes I write like this. I would start a story that I can't quite finish. But sometimes the words are just flowing out and I can't stop typing them. (I really need to save money for carpal tunnel surgery.) You can't do anything else unless you get them all out. 

I always thought Writer's Block was real. But my professor in college disproved that. She said some stories are not ready to be told. So you have to set it aside so that when you mature enough and the story is ready, it will have a life of it's own. But there are times when you have to do what you need to do, gather your talent and your skills and get things done. I realized this was the most useful thing that I would ever learn in that playwriting class. (I took it twice so I know that I learned a lot.)

I don't like to write with other people. I can't work well when it comes to that kind of situation. I can help someone with their work but usually it takes a form that is entirely my own doing. And it irks me when they change what I have already laid out. I guess it's the same for other people. This was the reason why I never really worked for a newspaper, a magazine or tried to become a good editor of anything. 

But just like the fact that I never wanted to be a teacher, despite being one now, I thought being an editor was boring and quite frankly enough to drive me nuts. It's not just the work that I have to deal with, it's the person who did it that can, in the end, influence how much I would cut out from their work. 

Imagine this, I am screaming at my laptop (Eros can handle that, don't worry.) just because the writer didn't use open quotation marks. I probably led my soul to the deepest circle of hell cursing every time I had to change a closed quotation mark into an open quotation mark. I can forgive the lack of periods, commas in the wrong places and weird code-switching, but what I can't quite understand is why they didn't learn basic tenses in high school. 

You have to forgive me since this is a rant blog. (I refer you to the tags attached to this blog.) But I realized now the frustration that editors have over having writers who can't quite comprehend the idea behind DEADLINE. DEAD. LINE. I realized that I am a really scary person when put in this position. But I don't power trip. At least, I used to when I was younger, but nowadays, I don't. I want things to be right in front of me when the time comes. I am overcoming my own need to procrastinate. But when I snap into attention and find that those who are asking me to do something hasn't given me what I need to work on, I quite frankly go ballistic. 

So if one is working on a series or a collaborative work, set a date. Make sure that everyone is clear on the deadline. If that person doesn't adhere to the deadline, cut them out of the project. That is how it's done. Multiple extensions are for losers, for those who don't get published at all. 

I will do my best. I will procrastinate less. If you think I am scary and bossy now, you have no idea how I was when I take things seriously. 

Red marks would be the least of your worries. 

Deaths, weddings, and grave illnesses are the only allowed reasons for delay. If they cut your hands, dictate your story. Even the loss of limbs is not an excuse. Blind? Dictate your story to one that can type for you. 

Afraid of rejection? Check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you want to make it anywhere you need to step up to the batter's box and hit the fracking ball. 

And remember, the rules are there, read them. If you don't understand them, ask questions. But do not, under any circumstances, ask me to extend your deadline.

Weddings. Death. Grave Illness. If it doesn't fall under those three. I am sure we can arrange for Death to be your valid excuse. 

Nazi out.


  1. katakot ang EIC namin! huhu

  2. (hugs to master foo) Anuver. Kasi ikaw soft-hearted ka. Dapat me ka-balanse. Hohoho. Joke lang. We love you like that. ^_______^ Babawi talaga ako after the darn Komikon. Baka after pa nun ma-release ang All I Need since I am still checking it. *well I don't have time actually so halfway through pa lang ako*


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