When you’ve been a loner all your life because you prefer books more than people, it’s such a breath of fresh air when you meet aliens like yourself.
For me, I met them on May 26, 2014.
They didn’t come in a space ship, nor did they come with trumpets blaring my eardrums off. No. They were in normal clothes with their almost human faces.
They clearly made their work speak for themselves.
The 21st Iligan National Writer’s Workshop was – for the lack of a more exaggerated word- simply electrifying. Gathering writers who were just starting to make a name for themselves and writers who already have a stand in the literature world was like entering into a room with creativity palpable in the air.
It felt like I was on cloud nine actually.
Someone loves me up there, because that person granted me the wish I wanted ever since I was that bullied little kid.
I wished for people I could relate to.
I couldn’t believe that there were people out there who shared the same weird thoughts as me, who were as curious as I was about the world. People who understood what it was like to just pour everything out onto the page.
And even though we spent the workshop criticising everyone’s work, the pointers and suggestions people made were more than helpful to each and everyone of us.
The panelists? Don’t get me started on them. They were ruthless, honest, and downright helpful. They made us see our work in a different light. They were a breed of their own, each with their own right to be sitting in front of us and ripping our work as painfully as they could. Their background and knowledge of literature that was so vast that all I could do was stare in awe.
As for the other fellows? They brought out my inner extrovert, even for just a week. They were just a group of people who seem to be pieces of my life I never knew I was missing. It was my first time interacting with people who aspired to be a real writer like me. Each of them came from somewhere, each with their own story to tell.
Those six days in Iligan were days that would forever be imprinted in my mind. I just hope I get to see them all again!
So now I will write MORE. I’d definitely be fulfilling my motto. Which is to write until my heart runs out of ink 😉