blogphilic turns seven today! Crazy, it’s hard to believe I’ve been here for this long.
Each year – okay, almost – I write a special entry to commemorate this day. Last year I touched upon the past six years and the role that this space has played in those defining years. This year I thought I’d touch upon writing – my passion for it and how that’s got me here because these days when I think of blogphilic, it feels like my writing has at last found a home. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Two months ago, I told Housemate #1 that I’d revisited my 2012 write-ups and was so mortified and embarrassed at the naïvety in my voice back then. Ever-wise, she simply chuckled and said that at least those write-ups are proof that that memorable period took place – that I’d once felt this way, thought that way, believed differently and loved unconditionally. “Your old write-ups are like letters that different versions of your younger self wrote to present-you, you who is here at any specific point in your life right now. At least when you look back, there’s something tangible to hold on to apart from the memories, you know? I can’t say the same about my past.”
For the past year or so, I’ve been fascinated by writing voices. Here’s how I understand it: each person has his or her own and our voices are distinct and come alive through the words under our care. What’s really fascinating to me is the realization that just as how a person evolves by adopting different lenses and gain various experiences with each year that passes, now I finally understand that a writer is much the same way; our writing voices reflect our transition and growth. The color, texture, and groove of our voices are impacted by the ongoing in our lives, just like how our physical bodies react to those happenings.
So where I used to cringe with mortification and embarrassment when I read my old write-ups, now I put on a different pair of lenses: one with nostalgia for frames and is scratch-free from judgment. I read with a lightness in my heart and with the help of those lenses, my mind forms mental images of those lost years, especially faces and places that I’ve parted from. Most of all, oftentimes the words from my younger selves take me back to an innocence that I miss terribly yet no longer have access to, except by reliving those golden eras through my own recorded words.
Truth: my writing voice wasn’t always steady.
It’s obvious given that I write under a pseudonym and not my real name, no? During my first two to three years, my writing voice was rich with the fervor of youth – my words were often wobbly, uncertain and meant to draw attention. I wrote ThIs WaY for a time and that. way. another time, trying so hard to sound cool. I was perhaps most uninhibited and carefree in my fourth and fifth writing years here; it didn’t matter if one or ten people read the blog – I wrote for myself. Sometimes I abandoned blogphilic for long periods because real life took center stage or words had simply escaped me, but there was no pressure to please anyone so there was no stress to write.
In my sixth year I grew an ego because my stats spiked thanks to writing about dramas. I was so concerned about writing stuff that people came to the blog for and obsessed over my blog stats. Over the past year, my seventh, I think I’ve worked hard to retrieve my writing purpose here – forget stats! Forget too, that half of my readers don’t care and know the hell I write about when it comes to Asian dramas, while the rest can’t care less about stuff like poetry and personal woe.
Writing is hard work with little validation, but write anyway!
In my seventh year, which is the same year life decided to throw me a real curveball, writing… this is going to sound hella cheesy, but writing saved me. There were some really dark periods and I’d held on to writing like an anchor as I wrote about everything and nothing as if my life depended on it. But… maybe it did, sincerely. What mattered most was that words didn’t abandon me (too). With each moment that my shoulders slumped with defeat from another reality curveball, my writing voice suffered and turned coarse. Still, I wrote like crazy for no one but myself because for the first time in my life, I wrote to save myself. When at last my words escaped me and I could no longer care for them in the same way that I used to, I borrowed others’ through poetry and quotes until I could retrieve mine again. Having come out of the storm, I say this with full confidence: my writing voice is now steady. It knows to hold its own.
I write for myself; this space is truly an extension of myself.
Days when I feel sentimental and think of the art of writing and my passion for it, I swear I can still taste regret in my mouth. Back then, why didn’t I fight harder for it? Sometimes this craft feels like an old lover, long gone and not spoken of – the one that got away. But my mind’s heart isn’t as sharp with forgetting; I always love too deeply.
Even now, I can retrieve the smallest details and most banal memories. I know exactly where I safe keep them… here. So I return to blogphilic, to this cabinet of drawers where my most precious trinkets are stored; a poem here, a quote there, some photos nonchalantly attached and written words, always, to tie everything together. Each word drips and overflows with emotions, eventually stringing together to form stories, all told through the different voices of the girls I used to be.
Seven years, ten years – do they really matter? blogphilic has always been home.