Tag Archives: career choices

Creativity and the search for the familiar feels

how to be a creative person
Image from Buzzfeed

After working for ten years in corporate, I can feel that my creativity level has greatly diminished. I used to find inspiration in everything. But now, writing and trying to create something is like pulling teeth.

I have written about wanting to go back to writing in so many posts in this blog, not just writing blog posts — but really writing for a living again. This year, I have never been more determined to say goodbye to the corporate world than before. I just don’t feel as excited and as motivated with my current corporate job — maybe it’s the hunger to write again or at least learn something, instead of slaving in front of a computer for 8 hours per day. That’s really not harmless, but what’s more draining for me is the people — dealing with them, making them happy with their endless demands and insane requests; the need to compete; the need to write long and rambling self- evaluation on your performance appraisal sheet — honestly, I am just not feeling it anymore.

This realization was made more palpable when I was invited by a good friend to cover their tourism-related event recently. I was there in my capacity as a newbie travel blogger, eager to be of help to promote the local tourism. Upon arrival at the venue, I was seated in a table occupied by print journalists and more established bloggers. When the guest of honor arrived, I overheard the print journalists discussing among themselves if they should make a go at it and do the interview with the DOT secretary while the program has yet to start. They were discussing possible questions and debating if they should abandon dinner and just go ahead with the face-to-face interview. I actually felt jealous.

The problem with doing an about-face and starting a new career (even if you are a returnee) is getting your foot at the door, trying to get an opening or an opportunity. Once I have this covered, I know I’ll be on my way.

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Writing.

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For the times when I am stuck with the fortieth revision of a program plan or dealing again with the stupid impossibility of office politics that I sit back in my cubicle (amidst the work clutter) and ask myself where would I be should I decided to stick being a writer and not sell my soul to the devil, otherwise known as the Corporate World.

Sure, being a journalist here (even in my capacity as a lifestyle writer) in the Philippines will never guarantee to make you rich. You will be earning peanuts but will have an ample supply of deodorant, feminine wash, napkin, shampoo and gift cheques to restaurants that will last you a lifetime courtesy of various SWAGs from the events you cover. Yes, you will eventually get to the media junket but that is after you have earned your dues and have risen from the ranks from being the junior writer to being an associate editor. But no matter how measly the pay, it is the allure of writing stories — giving angle to what was just previously words and thoughts and sometimes, pitches (from your friendly neighborhood PR agency)–to seeing these same previously jumbled words published, smelling like freshly-churned newsprint that I find myself yearning more.

I don’t know which I miss more: covering events and looking for people to interview; rushing to the editorial office, trying to make deadline while grappling with writer’s block or trying to survive a dressing down and salvaging bits of my pride and sanity as my editor reviews my written piece. Maybe all of these? Because these past few days, all I can think about is going back to writing. Or how I miss the sound of the insistent clacking of keys from 2PM to 4PM on the editorial floor.

I miss being creative. I miss the cred of being a print journalist. I miss the dressing downs that usually came with a side of insight on how you will move up the publishing world. Yes, the only thing I do not miss is the measly pay.

Almost a decade ago, sick of the rejection I had following a failed internship in a well-known glossy, I decide to throw caution to the wind, sell my soul and go corporate. First, I tried Public Relations which can be best describe as “excruciating” especially to an anti-social like me before moving on to corporate communications and marketing, fields I have come to love.

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I was happy — or at least, I thought I was happy. That is until recently when I noticed myself hankering to go back to the twenty year old me, a snot-nosed kid always eager for a writing assignment.