Sunday, December 12, 2010


We are the Bentusi and welcome
you among space-faring cultures.
The Unbound. The Outer Limb.
Trade routes were established at
the time of our ancestors.

Relic Entertainment

It was during the closing days of September when the Project Raketship took form. In the absence of the Patroness, the company suddenly lost its rudder.  The management sailed without direction, our ship went close to running aground.  Thoughts of leaving the company for greener pastures occupied much of my eight-hour shift. When work was over and its time to leave, resumes soared in search of a new world.

The project had its first setback just hours after the venture was announced. A day-long training with a blind boss ended with him walking out from the YM conference.  He left without a word. Work commissions came days later. Lacking instructions, and without proper guidance, the venture was scrapped and the project abruptly stopped.

Aerial surveys of Pinoyexchange showed few promising results. Many part-time job offers had hints of being scams, while content writing postings required skills in SEO. As I browsed the forum for available sidelines, a peculiar post caught my attention. The author was looking for writers who could produce good articles. Nothing more, nothing less. Assured of a job free from chains imposed by wretched keywords, I submitted my application hoping for a swift response.

The Great Harborship Bentus

Thank you for your interest. I have viewed your resume and you sample writings, and I would be happy to welcome you to our team.

Let me just say this right at the start, though: I need to know that you are comfortable with being edited.

I have very specific ideas on how I want the articles to be, and while I will not control most content nor style, I need all articles to be concise, using no more words than is necessary to convey a message; clear, expressing ideas in the simplest, most direct way possible; and correct, i.e., the facts must be accurate.

Within days, I was already publishing articles for an online website. Becoming a ghostwriter has brought me to the realms of newswriting. It was college all over again and I indulged at every chance to reminisce.

Soon I was transferred to my next assignment. It was science writing for kids. I grabbed the chance to explore a new kind of writing, and to atone myself, should my newswriting stint produced mediocre results. Astonished, the articles had awakened my carefree days in elementary.

True to her word, Bentusi sifts through the articles like a true fact checker. She is also your grammar police; choice of words and story flow are more important to her than actual word count. Sources must be verified. Plagiarism, crucified. Revision is part of the job and there were times it gets frustrating rewriting paragraphs of a 500 word article required for submission the next morning.

"Sana tumagal ka ng more than 2 weeks."  I remember her saying in one of our editing sessions.

Being edited is one of the few nuances of writing that breaks a writer's spirit. "Kill your darlings," as William Faulkner said. But how can you kill your offsprings knowing you have put so much effort into their creation? Bentusi might be seen as a scourge by other writers, but one thing that makes her stand out as an editor is that she gives clear directions. As soon as my drafts were submitted, she would give pointers as to how she wants the articles to come out. 

"Always remember, the online reader is lazy. He wants to get info in three paragraphs, i.e. 6 sentences."

There goes another revision.  Another few hours of word crunching in front of the computer before I can take my evening rest.

On the average, I spend four hours to come up and write an article. I usually start writing them halfway through my work shift  Sometimes the hours become eight, when the allure of blogspot or a feisty website cuts through my focus. The drive I spend in blogging sometimes goes to raket science. This explains the reason for the lack of entries these rather blissful days.

But you know when a venture gives you more than what you have bargained. More than getting the extra pay, you become drawn to the vision: You see what Bentusi sees and tries hard to make her personal goal your goal too. In blueprint, the raketship aims to make the souljacker profitable. Nuffnang would bring the ads - and new found ties with the powers to be - will allow me to write entries about different products and gigs around the city.

But things went out differently.

The Bentusi are a space-faring race in the computer game Homeworld. They aid the exiles, the Kushan, in their quest to reclaim their old world, Hiigara. The exiles were from another planet blasted to oblivion. Alone in their journey, the Bentusi armed them. They gave them hope. Before the final battle, it was the Bentusi who revealed their legacy. Like in the game, Bentusi made my raketship vision a reality. More than just a sideline, our projects could become our lifeline.

She came at a time when my career seems falling apart. In less than three months under her mentorship, The fine art of newswriting was again rediscovered. Writing for children, a subject ignored in Diliman had an introduction. The fashionista in me was unlocked, thanks to a writing project about neckties. Finally, just days before the raket season came to an end, a comment writing project allowed me a sneak peak into link-building.

More than the earnings, which could actually rival my take-home salary for 11 days;  More than the writing and editing lessons she gives between our draft revisions; More than the fall-back her projects offer should I decide to leave my workplace for good;

More than the friendship and willingness to share her family to those open enough to appreciate her way of life, the reason why Bentusi is much celebrated in these pages these days is because I am beginning to understand that my future lies with writing.

Her sunshine has seen through the darkest days of my vocation.


check the link for tips on how to transfer your earnings in Paypal to your bank account. 


Louie said...

I wish you luck should you decide to pursue writing full time. At least now, you are starting to earn something from writing. I am happy for you. :)

blagadag said...

where can i read those articles?

Nimmy said...

yan ang kumikitang at happy happy na kabuhayan. nice work kuya! :)

red the mod said...

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. - - Mark Twain

Writers dwell on the difficult, the insurmountable, that which cannot be written and expressed without much effort and candor. For to pen the ordinary and facile is an insult to their potential, and an outrage to their muses. We write because we need to bleed the words into the awaiting page, because there is no other option or alternative, and that our heart and mind, synchronously, compels us to.

I am glad that the Bentusi appreciates the prose you put forth on her tablets. May she be more gratuitous and generous in your future voyages.

Ikaw na ang professional writer! ;)

karla said...

i'm happy you see a future in writing. keep on killing yer dahlings! and belated. =D