Writing is just a hobby, not a would-be career

(c) xamjulliarde.blogspot.com
It all started when I was in high school, first year high school to be precise. I was as restless as a fly, but as timid as an otter. Our classroom adviser then was Sir Melvin. He was the jolliest, funniest and happiest person I knew. When I found out, days later, that he was our English teacher as well, I was ecstatic! I knew I was going to have fun. But then, he had a purpose. A purpose I didn’t know of in the beginning.

Being an English teacher, we had to submit a lot of written outputs to him and read a lot of stories! It was tiring, but I loved it. I loved him. One day, he called me over to his desk. I went, flustered if I had either done something wrong, or something right. He handed me my written outputs and laid them all down on his desk. I didn’t know what was going on. Then, he said, “Sar,” (Yes, he calls me Sar) “I can see potential in your writing. Do you write often?” I shook my head. Sir Melvin then made a deal with me. He promised to help me improve my writing but, in return, I have to do novels, short stories, articles, and write anything under the sun for him. I agreed. Still not understanding what and why I should do such a thing.

Write, send, proofread, edit, proofread, finalize and print. We repeatedly did that until slowly, my writing improved and my vocabulary widened. “Sar, let’s forward all these to a publishing company. Let’s get you published.” I laughed. He was definitely insane. “I know people who could get you published.” I laughed even more. Sir Melvin’s face then switched from excited to serious, clearly wanting me to do some explanation. “I don’t want to be a writer. It’s not my field and I don’t want it. Writing is just a hobby, not a career for me.” We were silent for a long time. “Think about it.” Were his last words for me that day.

I still continued writing and sending them to Sir Melvin. He continued to proofread them and sending them back to me for printing. Up until fourth year high school, I was very certain that being a writer is not something I would do for a living. But then, I was given the opportunity to become a Content Editor for our yearbook and a writer for our school newspaper. Before graduation day (which I wasn’t able to attend to), Sir Melvin made me promise another thing to him. “Sar, I want you to promise me that one day you’ll get at least one article of yours published. I know you don’t want to be a writer, but it would be such a waste of talent if you don’t get to share that with other people. Just one, and I’ll be happy.” I loved him so much to say no. So, yes, I promised him.

In third year college, I received a call from a high school best friend. She was silent when I picked up the phone, and then suddenly she sniffed. That’s when I knew something was wrong. “He’s passed away, Xam.” I can barely speak. I was crying too and couldn’t help it. The one person who believed in my writing; the one person who never stopped pushing me to do better and better each day; the one person who brought rainbows to my life; and the one person I promised to keep writing for has passed away. What hurt me more was I didn’t even get to see him before he died. I wish I told him how thankful I am for him. I wish I told him how happy and fruitful my high school years were because of him. He was not just a teacher, or an adviser, to me. He was a father, a tito, and a best friend. I loved him so much and that is why I continue to write: for him, for everyone reading this and for myself. I still have a promise to keep and I won’t stop until I get there and make him proud.

Sir Melvin, thank you.

I’m telling you, readers, that if you find that one person who keeps pushing you to be the best, don’t wait until tomorrow to express how grateful you are for him. If you are passionate about something, whatever it is, go for it. If you fail, stand up and try again. If you get rejected, move on and try again. Whatever you do, don’t quit. When Sir Melvin was undergoing through his medical, he didn’t quit. He fought to live. When I kept trying out for Thought Catalog and Elite Daily and didn’t get in, I didn’t quit. I’m still writing now; I love what I do and I would keep doing it for the rest of my life. There are no reasons for you to quit, so don’t. It may be a long and rocky way up. But when you get there, ahhh. The view will absolutely be amazing and all the walking and the running would be so worth it.

I thought writing would just be another hobby of mine. I was wrong (again). Writing is my passion and getting feedbacks from people that I inspire them inspires me even more. Find your inspiration; don’t wait for it to come to you. You are my inspiration.

Readers, thank you.

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