Sometimes, all you can do is write. “Put your shit on the paper,” as Gloria Anzaldua wrote. From young, I did—mostly rants, streams of confusion, lust, and disillusion. My Aunt Marina’s gift of a spiral-bound Anne of Green Gables diary to me at age 11 got things going . . .
It’s the little things that inspire me: a pause between each breath, the syncopated moments of life. I try to stay present because life unfolds in moments, revealing the most beautiful and tragic things in ways that often get overlooked . . .
As an emerging and aspiring writer, I was thrilled to be accepted to the Diaspora Dialogues Mentorship Program in 2011. Although, at the heart of it, I’ve always been a writer, it’s only in the past few years that I’ve been making more active efforts to turn my writing into a professional endeavour . . .
Writing was my Boogieman, it was that blissful anxiety of doing something you weren’t supposed to. After all, I was the son of immigrants and there were no De Sousa’s or Ferreira’s or even Vieira’s on the cover of books deemed required reading . . .
Talent has no place in the toolbox for an emerging writer. When people say, “You have a gift with words”—smile, be polite while aware of the struggle of all those hours you spent weighing every single word . . .
I am one of Diaspora Dialogues’ 2011 emerging writers. My piece “Dear Professor L,” is a creative non-fiction and will be published in TOK: Book 7. As you can tell by its title, it is written in a form of epistolary, an extended Thank-You letter to a professor who helped me understand my identity and my place as an immigrant child . . .
I met my mentor once in person and received additional detailed feedback by email. It was tough to hear very detailed criticism of what I felt was a polished piece. And it was tougher to learn to act only on those suggestions that were true to the story I wanted to tell . . .