So as building habits.
I knew I was set to write for life even when I was still in kindergarten.
I can even recount how I make short stories (simple ones, of course; what do you expect from a kindergartener?) with all my seatmates as characters in that story. I also write stories about simple activities at home, like how my ate (a Filipino term for older sister) Maribeth cooked rice, which got burnt.
I carried the habit until today, you see. But it wasn’t always like this. There are days when I doubt my capacity to write anymore. Writer’s block used to be so real to me when I didn’t know better (Yes, Seth Godin tells us writer’s block isn’t real, but I never knew then that it was fear that struck me).
It got to the point that I was afraid to put pen on paper again because I might write so bad I’d be a joke. I’m afraid of becoming something people laugh at because I see myself in my work. I am my work.
At least I only stopped showing my work to people. And in this process of isolated practice, always having a pocket dictionary in hand (this is the year the 2000s in the Philippines), I learned about new words. I explored new thoughts and ideas from Enclyclopedias I frequently open at home, the city library I seldom go to with friends, and from school library books at our disposal.
I was hungry for learning how to write.
And when the internet got more accessible (I used to go to the internet shops with a search list to maximize the per-hour fee), the online how-tos became my secret space. I willingly devoured them like candies; I wanted to learn how to write.
Then somebody started to believe in me again after a hiatus of about three years.
So I kept writing and writing until I learned to write over my fear. Then, finally, I learned to ship the work.
Learning more is indeed a great start for doing better things. And getting better every day is the goal because it’s the journey that matters.