I generally dislike writing the first entry of any new blog, because so much is expected of it. There are unasked questions that you need to address: who are you, why are you here, do you deserve to be read, can you even write, and now a snappy welcome from you (the writer) to me (the poor soul who's reading this crap).
Often enough, you can just be lame and say, "Here's the first entry. I plan to write about/post pictures of/jot down my thoughts here" then go into detail about exactly what you intend to do with this all-powerful blog of yours. You can be even lamer and put some sort of statement or quote that's supposed to pique the interest of potential readers, but obviously it's just a way of getting past the tension of the very first entry.
Fact is, I have kept a total of three blogs in my life: one when I was in high school and literally just wrote about what I did during the day (it was inane and has been deleted), one when I was in Ateneo and became overly enthusiastic about Jesus' second coming (I know; I cringe a lot when I read it again), and one when I began film school and just started writing about things that really mattered to me.
A friend of mine became a fan of my writing when he followed my third blog (thank God he was not around for the first). He was very insistent that I should go public. I made some stupid joke about being straight and therefore not in the closet, and therefore not having anything to go public about. He didn't laugh.
The truth is, I was actually deathly afraid. I am a writer; it is who I am and have always been. It is not, for me, a simple answer to the ubiquitous "what do you do" question new acquaintances are so fond of asking. Even though I am not established nor am I frequently published, I am protective of my work, and it takes a lot for me to share things in a space where absolutely anyone can access it.
And yet, here we are. So what's changed?
Yesterday, during Sunday lunch, my sister Zeka told me about a new column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. My family being the opinionated brood that we are, we began talking about newspapers and columnists and the fluff writing some people seem to favor.
My dad brought up a certain writer whose work I consider pretentious and much too wordy. I cringed and said, "The way they write, it's like they just like hearing themselves talk. It's like they read it back to themselves out loud as soon as they're done and then pat themselves on the back and say 'Ang galing galing ko talaga.'" My dad laughed out loud then said to me, "You know, you're wasting your talent. You should be writing." My sisters agreed.
I, of course, made a joke about starting a daily e-mail blast to the Inquirer Opinion Editor with my thoughts of the day until he gave me a column of my own. But the truth is, that comment made me want to jump up and do something about it as quickly as I could.
I don't know what it was or how it happened, but for once, I felt the faith. I'm not talking about Catholicism or another round of charismatic church behavior. I'm talking about people who've read my work and seem to believe in me and my ability much more than I do myself. And I'm not sure if I'm misreading the signs, but maybe that just means that there are things I have to say, and those are things that resonate with others. So as scary and daunting as it is, maybe that's enough to at least try.
So here I am, trying. Welcome to le blog.