A Writer’s Dilemma: To Read, to Watch, or to Write?

My blog has been dormant for years (kidding, just three weeks) and I’m starting to feel like a complete mess. The thing is that lately, I have been torn between three lovers: reading, watching, and writing.

My best friend gave me this Kobo e-book reader and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I first laid my hands on it. At the same time, I’ve been binge-watching 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale and seeing some movies in between. As I also write for a living, I find it hard to make time for my blog or my project.

In this post, I’ll try to solve a dilemma that’s been boggling me. Believe me, I write as I think, so in a way, we’re in this together. I have no idea what I’d write when I logged into my WordPress account. You see, as a writer of some sorts, I’ve been struggling for years: should I prioritize writing, reading, or watching?

Writing

I can’t emphasize enough how writing has saved me for years. When I ran out of courage to keep fighting, I wrote my way through depression. There were also times when my obsession with fictional characters made me temporarily forget my problems.

Writing is my therapy. However, writing for my nine-to-five job and doing some freelance gigs make it nearly impossible for me to write for my blog (a.k.a. submit articles to various platforms and then repost them here).

Reading

No matter what you say, I will always believe that to be a writer, you need to be a bookworm. When my boss at work asked tips on how to write quality articles in a lightning speed manner, I told them reading is my foundation. If you already have an idea in mind, writing the words will come out naturally. There’s no other way to do it good and fast than to read in advance.

That’s the reason why I never let my busy schedule get in the way of my passion for reading. Whether it’s a book, a journal, an online article, or what have you, you don’t stop reading because that’s how great writers came to be. Athletes work out to muster the strength they need for competitions. Writers read to gather information, exercise their imagination, and widen their horizons.

Watching

Writing for foreign clients requires knowing how to speak their native language. In my experience as a writer and an editor, I discovered that the biggest struggle of most of my officemates was Filipinism. Meaning, Filipino copywriters tend to literally translate Filipino idioms into English, which makes their copy sound sloppy and awkward.

I also found out that to be a good copywriter, you need to explain your message in layman’s terms. If you like to use hifalutin words to sound profound, you’re a pretentious little word witch and you need to learn spells to write in simple terms.

Watching American or British movies and shows helps me get a glimpse of their culture, traditions, and native language. When I write for a British audience, I’d recall how the Harry Potter characters or The Beatles phrased their words or lyrics. For an American audience, it’s easier. Our country is dominated by American pop culture. By watching and observing them, I learn to write how they speak.

Juggling three hobbies at a time may be tough, but I realize there’s no harm in doing it. After all, these activities keep me engaged. There’s lesser room for the negatives and to be honest, that’s enough for me. I’d rather struggle to choose what to prioritize than lay in bed and wallow in depressing thoughts. It still visits me every day, though, those depressing thoughts. Can’t speak for my future right now, but I have to admit, it’s getting better each day.

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