True enough, Tito Rene brought that same energy and exuberance to the workshop. The participants gave their all in the individual and group exercises, and I myself did the unthinkable: I talked to strangers (without coercion by my cousin Ria) and I chose to be my group's spokesperson. That in itself is a personal accomplishment. During the course of the discussions, I was glad to learn that Tito Rene and I had something in common. We each had a list of cliche words to avoid when writing. His list contained words that are all adjectives, while mine are mostly adverbs. Yes, adverbs that I have not used in this blog post so far. Tito Rene asserts that in writing, one has to be concise and specific in picking words. He says we should avoid meaningless words such as "good", "bad", "fine" and go for more profound alternatives, say, "brilliant", "nefarious" and "spellbinding". But he is quick to point out that the words should remain in context.
He adds that we should draw inspiration from our personal experiences and pour it into our writing. View the <textarea> as an empty canvass and fill it up with a slew of colors, textures and brush strokes. It is a matter of having a keen understanding of what you want to say, and say it in the most concise and creative way. I'll keep that in mind from now on, though I'm worried it might take me nine times longer to finish an article. My past blog posts were written in all but 5-20 minutes each, in a veiled attempt to be seen as a blogger who writes often. That may not be such a bad thing. Readers tend to be more forgiving of blog writers than legitimate online journalists. One small mistake from a journalist can make tomorrow's headlines. One small mistake from people like me goes virtually unnoticed. That doesn't take away from the fact that there is room for improvement in my writing skills. There are lots. Okay, heaps. One thing I learned from Tito Rene is I can be better. His workshop was the first step. He insisted for a second one. I guess we're that awful?
Here comes the obligatory part where I post spellbinding pictures of the event.
The speaker, Mr. Rene Lizada
Ria, me and Tito Rene (yes, I wear glasses!)
Group pic with all the participants
Thanks to my fellow organizers Ria, Chattee, Lyle, Brendel and Dulce for a job well done. Thanks to the participants too! Hope to see you in future events.