“Though I may not know the right things to say, I’ll get it out to you one day. I’m shy that way.” –Shy That Way, Tristan Prettyman & Jason Mraz

Much of great writing is born in between feelings—in between a suspicion and its confirmation (or perhaps, its denial), and a desire to express what’s on the tip of your tongue, a desire to explain a loss for words. It’s a finding of words. The right ones.

To begin a piece is to tread carefully. For me, at least, there must be a distinction between a fragment and something fully-formed, something you can’t resist taking note of, something you’d be unashamed to write.

“My body tells me no, but I won’t quit. Cause I want more, cause I want more.” –My Body, Young the Giant

Have I held myself back? Have I waited until the last minute to work on my craft, something I always deemed organic?
I always thought that if it were to come, it would. A pragmatist’s call.

And yet, I could trace my growth. From learning to read billboards at age 3, to writing my first formal essay at age 10, to winning competitions here and there, to enrolling in UP Diliman as a Creative Writing major.

I have since shifted out, and become an Economics major. And as anyone would tell you, a passion is not something you run away from, you can dismiss, you can forget.

“Walking in the cold, just keep on flying. There’ll be a searchlight on the mountain high. God knows you’re lonely souls.” – Lonely Soul, Unkle

There is an amnesia you develop as you age, an affliction that some people welcome, a condition that some people choose not to notice, that some people choose not to cure.

“If at some point, we all succumb, for goodness sake, let us be young. Cause time gets harder to outrun, and I’m nobody, I’m not done.” –Wetsuit, The Vaccines

Is it so bad to choose what’s easier?

Soon, there is not only an evolution of passions, but an evolution of the thought process as well. Being practical is not a terrible thing, but a struggle does exist. For the deepest of thinkers, what comes next is the waiting. After the waiting, nothing comes next. For the most uncertain, insecure of writers, waiting doesn’t seem to be an option. And yet, to be told, “You obviously know how to write.” by someone whose opinion you respect—action must be taken. And so it has.

“Manipulate broken vertebrae, try and hold me in my shape. The fracture’s set but it won’t heal yet because there’s certain things to say.” –Broken Bones, The Holidays

To continue a piece is a function of belief. I could count my best pieces on one hand. I could count all my pieces on one hand. I could never count my unfinished ones.

“I’ve got my knives in the heart of my sleeves, but this weather’s getting too nice for me, to keep an empire at peace.” –Empire, Jukebox the Ghost

To write is to accept, from the beginning, the exhaustion it comes with—to accept, from the beginning, that acclaim is hard to come by, that to be read is often a rare feat. To write is to accept that maybe you are not good enough.
I accepted this with difficulty. And so it took me a while to try anyway.

I could trace my music taste with more ease, and less shame. At age 11, in 2003, on a trip to Australia, I picked up an Australian music magazine, featuring mainly British and Australian pop stars. Thus, my discovery of “other music”. My walkman played mix CDs of singers and bands my peers had never heard of. Pop, still, but not mainstream. At least not in the US. At least not in the Philippines.

In 2004, my best friend at the time introduced me to local rock bands, before they reached their height a year or two later.

Two years later, in 2005, on a trip to New Zealand, I discovered The Killers’ first album, Hot Fuss. So began my foray into the so-called independent music scene. And I never looked back.

My musical taste, since 2003 has always been an informed choice, something I’ve always been proud of.
So has my taste in movies, from my discovery of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s independent movies in 2006.
Writing, though it’s my official answer to the question “What’s your talent?”, has never come to me with clarity.

“I think I finally know what I want. I want to be two places at once, I want to stretch until I split.” –Yellow Wings, Keepaway

All writing, I’ve been told, is self-indulgent.
This question kills me: What do you write about?

“If my life is mine, what shouldn’t I do? I get wherever I’m going, I get whatever I need while my blood’s still flowing and my heart’s still beating like a hammer.” – Help I’m Alive, Metric

I write about fine lines. I write about the spaces between not knowing and wanting. I write about the things I know, and I pretend to write about things I pretend to know about. Most of my writing is waiting. Waiting for clarity.

To write is to point out your dark circles, your broken bones, your failing eyesight. To write is to get weak in the knees and proclaim it to the world. To write is to want people to see what haunts you. And it’s irrevocable.

“I’ve been sleeping far too long, hibernating from your love, I need some summer sun to come and wake me up.” – California Sunrise, Dirty Gold

And here, my mixtape —nine songs of wanting, nine songs of waiting, nine songs of not knowing— perhaps not the best reflection of my writing, but the best reflection of my desire to write.


Giselle Jose is a third year BS Economics student at the University of the Philippines. She’s also a student jock at Mellow 94.7’s School of Jocks. Rock on!