I’ve had this blog for four years now, and I hadn’t thought of adding an About Me page until today (April 25, 2015).
Let’s start with the basics: My name is Judd Anthony Labarda. As of this writing, I am 21 years old. I graduated with a degree in Secondary Education with a major in English, although, right now I am unemployed. I’m still figuring out where I want to take my life. It doesn’t feel like I’ll be able to teach in the Philippines, given that I am an atheist, and the whole country is littered with Christian and Catholic schools. Public schools are really hard to get into. But I digress.
My writing journey has had many twists and turns. I started seriously writing when I was 7 years old. I started out writing novels, funny as that sounds. I wrote mostly to impress people around me. “Oh, he’s writing a book that young? Wow!” Things like that. What started as something I did for myself, I started doing to get attention.
This phase lasted until around I was 16, I think, when I was trying to get my books published — and had to discover the hard way that the publishing is harder than it looks. So, I gave up novel-writing for poetry.
A year later, I started Poeformology as a hobby. For the most part, I enjoyed it. But then, I regressed into my attention-seeking habits of writing for other people. So, I gave up on Poeformology for another project.
I started a modern day epic poem, which I self-published in around 2013. Of course, it was a flop, as most poetry books won’t sell well unless you get really lucky. So, I gave up on that project, as well.
It was around 2013-2014, when I started submitting my free-verse to poetry journals and magazines. I was really fortunate enough to get published in a bunch of them: The Philippines Graphic, nin, Hemingway’s Playpen, and Paper Monster Press.
From there, I got into spoken word poetry, and even helped make it a thing in the Philippines. I started an organization with a bunch of people to really get it out there. Unfortunately, we had disagreements, and I was eventually kicked out. (Bunch of jerks.)
And for a year since then, I could not write a single word from how heartbroken I was — until April, 2015, where I decided to start up Poeformology again. While writing is still difficult (as I sometimes get panic attacks just from writing), I’m on my way to recovery. Pretty soon, I’ll be back doing spoken word. At least I hope so.
Hope you’ll stick around to see that happen.