Content warning: Before you start reading my blog, sasabihin ko na that there are mentions of mental health issues ko here na kinubli ko for the entire June. If you’re okay with that and you’re willing to listen/read on what’s on my mind, you may continue. ‘Yung content under the first two headlines lang naman. The content under the last two headings are writing related.
Kape Tayo, Rizal on a Hiatus
Ang daming natigil kasabay ng pagtaas ng bilihin, and that includes me going to cafes. Ang mahal ng pamasahe, and nagsitaasan din ng rates for some goods. I’ve decided to put my cafe hopping on a hiatus kaysa naman ipilit ko at maghikahos ako in the end.
Grabe, ‘no? Well, passion ko lang naman kasi ito aside from writing, pero unlike writing, this consumes a lot of my energy. I have 40 hours a week to work, so that’s 8 hours a day dapat. Pero ang ginagawa ko kasi dati, I work 10 hours a day para 4 days lang ako magwo-work, and either Thursday or Friday e gagawin kong day for cafe and writing. Weekends will be for chores and for alone time sana. For a while, this worked. Pero at some point, I realized na ginagawa ko na to give others content . . . not to give myself a time to relax and enjoy. E, hello, hindi naman ako kumikita rito.
Kailangan ko mag-step back, in short. I’ll still post the cafes I’ve been to before I paused cafe-hopping.
But there’s another reason why I stopped, which I’ll tackle next.
Again, please check the content warning above, lalo na kung may eating disorders at body dysmorphia kayo tulad ko. Reader discretion is advised.
I know overworking isn’t healthy, but sometimes work—along with writing—becomes my coping mechanism. I deflect my issues that I know I should address immediately, else I get worse.
Felt down for the past two (or three) months. My BDD may have returned. I gained weight because I had to stop exercising for a time. There were a lot of factors: ‘yung sakit ko sa tiyan, ‘yung boil ko, ‘yung ilang linggo kong ubo’t lagnat, not COVID though. And I slowly gained weight.
Whatever happened to body positivity? I just feel so . . . bad about myself.
Pero pinakamalala na nangyari ‘to last June when I was supposed to work in a cafe. But after seeing myself in front of my mirror, I collapsed onto my bed and sobbed. I felt like I couldn’t share this to anyone—too afraid to be called petty, too afraid to be told “it’s all in your mind, too afraid to hear “some have worse days than you.”
The last two days, I was so eager to work, but today I slept and wept the whole morning while I try to get my shit together. I attempted to open online documents, but I was only able to start during lunchtime after dragging myself out of my bed, thinking how I could not disappoint not only the people who relied on me but also myself.Note entry last June 20, 2022
So whenever I look at the mirror, I just . . . I just want to break it, alam n’yo ‘yon? Hirap na ako mag-selfie, na-realize ko, kasi naiiyak ako kapag nakikita ko sarili ko. Natigil ako mag-cafe dahil dito. I don’t want to meet people anymore. However I look at myself interferes with how I interact. Maski video cam nga, ayoko na rin. Someone told me I wasn’t what I perceived myself to be, and that I was beautiful, pero ewan. Even compliments don’t work. It seemed to me that they’re saying these stuff to try to make me feel better.
Anyway, ginagawan ko ng paraan. I go back to the diet that worked before (medyo mahal lang talaga), intermittent fasting, pills, derma . . . lahat na. I’ll go back to exercising this week since um-okay na ang ubo ko. Kaya rin tinigil ko muna ang cafe hopping dahil ayoko namang pupunta ako sa ibang lugar only to be anxious about people looking at me tapos feeling ko nadiya-judge ako kahit hindi naman at ako lang talaga nag-iisip n’on.
Ending this negative part of my blog here. Proceed tayo sa mas okay na parts of my life.
181 Days of Madeline Jesty
Part ng Back to Zero blog kasi it’s my first time writing a story na maraming conflicts. The last time I did that was for Siya, pero this is more complex. Ang progress ng conflict ay Person vs. Destiny, Person vs. Person, Person vs. Society, Person vs. Supernatural, and Person vs. Self. Two types of conflicts may happen at the same time, and I’ll be doing this within 80 chapters—o baka puwede pa madagdagan—and in the 181 remaining days of the character, as per the title.
Na-e-excite ako, pero at the same time walang audience. Hahaha. Iniisip ko, Filipino kasi ang readers ko, and they’re quite comfortable with Filipino siguro. And fluff. E, this one’s a bit dramatic. Pero kababasa ko ng English sa Wattpad, pati language ko rito ay naiba. Hahaha. Pero okay lang. It’s a challenge for me. Kung walang Filipino audience, siguro I’ll make a way para magkaro’n. Maybe submitting to a publisher? Ewan. Basta ang goal ay matapos at makarating sa gusto kong wakas. And then revise. And then submit it somewhere na pahahalagahan ‘yung kuwento at ako as an author.
Content Warnings in Writing
That being said, 181 Days of Madeline Jesty is the second work I placed content warnings early on. Dati kasi, hindi ko ‘yon ginagawa. Pero sabi ko nga, we grow as writers. May nakita pa nga akong tweet na ganito:
authors purposefully write fucked up characters, you are supposed to HATE them. that’s like the whole point of having unreliable characters
And then in one of the comments, I found:
redemption arc dopamine
I agree with that, but a content warning would be good at the back of the book where the blurb is written. Some readers prefer stories with an “all is good, all will be good” ending to escape reality. Readers have different preferences just as characters have different goals. I’m talking about published books, ha.
If a warning was written and the way the book was marketed was honest, then readers should stand for their choice. It’s true that one can judge a book by their cover and what’s written in the cover. I mean . . . it’s what they prefer, e.
In my case, I like positive character changes in romance, sci-fi, detective, coming-of-age, and fantasy stories. And again, I’d like to know because I read and watch these genres to escape, to ignite the little hope and faith in humanity I have, which is why I always look at reviews before I read or watch. I only accept negative character changes in horror and psychological thrillers, na to be honest, itong mga ‘to ang nagiging favorite movies ko (e.g., Gone Girl, Midsommar, Ready or Not).
On Wattpad naman, I believe some writers just go with the flow and do not have a specific ending until they feel that the story should end. Kaya may mga readers na pinipiling basahin kapag tapos na kasi they can check if it’s a happy ending. If it is, saka nila babasahin. There are, of course, adventurous and spontaneous readers and movie goers. I salute them for their courage, but to each their own.
When I was only beginning as a writer, I thought that putting such warnings would spoil the fun, but I’ve come to realize that not everyone has the same tolerance. One scene you thought was “just part of a story” could actually reopen one’s Pandora’s box. I learned this the hard way. (I know it’s inexcusable that I haven’t updated the description of my old stories, but I promise, I’ll fix them when I have time. Isa-isa lang huhu.) I mean, kung ako rin siguro reader ng Gakuwesaribig, matutulala na lang ako habambuhay. Sorry na powhz.
Anyway . . . the tweet is an opinion about another opinion, and this blog is an opinion about that tweet, and things must have ended with the tweet only if I didn’t choose to write this. Ha, it’s difficult to shrug off a topic that is related to what I do.
Ayun lang. I only allotted an hour for this blog dahil ang dami ko pang gagawin today, which includes writing two other blogs. Listen to Wildside by Red Velvet and ingat kayo lagi.