Punta Dumalag, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara
“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.” ~ Margaret Atwood
As a writer since grade school, I’ve been through ups and downs and around that dreaded writer’s block, ins and outs of struggling with phrases, grabbing every old cliche, poring over books, doodling on poetry and unfinished haikus, pouncing over coined words, swimming through insufferable slangs and a constantly changing vocabulary. Writing was a gift I pursued by actually attempting to read and finish the whole Webster’s Dictionary (last I’ve checked, it was bookmarked under F) in the hopes of honing my skills and verbiage.
I took Bachelor of Arts in English and submitted essays and articles with high scores (sadly, I can’t say the same for algebra). One proud teacher, a Jesuit priest whose penchant for the written word knows no bounds, actually posted my lengthy essay on the bulletin board along the campus corridor where everyone could pass by and read my adolescent scrawls on marked yellow papers.
The wordplay never stopped after college. I started writing a column in the local newspaper. I began receiving “fan mails”. I was a consistent punster, as I loved toying with words (my manuals in those days were Richard Lederer’s Get Thee to a Punnery, Verbivore, Anguished English and Crazy English — all replaced with that kid wizard from Hogwarts with tongue twisting incantations). In my early twenties, I had an opinionated column in the papers that would rant and rave like a madwoman (I named it Witerary, for witty literary). I had lots of pun just coming to terms with my self. 😀
Then I discovered photography. Suddenly, my passionate writing abated. I wrote less content to give way to more space for my images on publications. I started getting hired more for shoot assignments, where the writing was given to someone else (haay, I used to take offense at that!). I was giving photography workshops, and none of the creative writing I used to do. I was rendered speechless.
Gone were the silly doodles on pages of half scribbled prose. In its place were random shots and trigger-happy clicking away. Behold, the writer’s block is gone! And all I had to do was block the writer in me. From writing to photography — honestly, can’t I just get “the best of both words?”
Today, they call me a photographer. They say my pictures speak a thousand words, for everything just clicked into place. That was no pun at all.
Sadly, I have been forgotten as a writer. I am at a a loss for words.
* model in beach photo: Nicole