For the past several days, I have been answering e-mailed interview questions. Some, food-related; others, not. One particular question was memorable: “How do you find something interesting enough to write about everyday?”
I’m afraid I gave the interviewer a very short answer. Sorry, but that happened when my DSL connection was down and I was working using a dial-up connection. After so many days, after deadlines have been met and I have the luxury of sitting back and introspecting on the answer to that question, I have a better answer. I don’t know if this is too late for the interviewer but I’m sending him the URL of this entry anyway.
Truth is, I don’t have something interesting to write about everyday. So many things can happen, even in a span of a few short hours, none of which I’d consider worth writing about. But there are other times too when something happens in a split-second — perhaps, a firefly flew by, a lizard fell from the ceiling or a toad croaked from somewhere in the garden — but it makes my mind travel forward, backward and sideways. Then, I have something to write about. In short, it’s how you perceive things at a certain point in time and under certain circumstances.
Let me illustrate.
That’s a photo of the fish pond in Eastwood City. I have seen that pond so many times. I have watched the koi swimming in the water over countless cigarettes after a meal at either Pho Hoa, Fazoli’s or Jack’s Loft and never really gave them a second thought. But last week, the day we saw Iron Man, I found myself standing on the small bridge and looking into the pond from an angle I never tried before. It was also drizzling, the skies were dark and I just started taking photos.
Look at the koi. They seem to be hiding among the leaves of the tree and the tree looks like it looms over the building. Only the koi is “real”. The tree and the building are mere reflections and they are not really side by side. The tree is by the pond’s edge and the building is probably more than a five-minute walk away.
Writing is like that too. Sometimes, something stimulates the mind and the words just come flowing. Other times, there’s nothing and you can’t force the words no matter how hard you try.
I have two deadlines with Manila Standard Today. The first column is due on Mondays; the other on Wednesdays. Rarely am I able to submit an article well ahead of the deadline. The last time I did, we were on our way to Boracay and I had to write two columns in one night. I felt stressed out afterwards.
Today, I wrote and submitted two articles — one for tomorrow and one for Thursday. After writing the second article, I found myself still writing. The words just kept coming. I wrote the previous entry and I am writing this one now. And I feel very relaxed. In fact, I feel that I can go on writing all night. Well, except that Alex wants to watch National Treasure on DVD and she asked if I would watch it with her. Of course, I will.