Sunday, December 31, 2006
Going through my reading list, I am proud to say I've read more than 12 books in a span of five months. I know it's still slow for a bookworm but at least I find time to sneak in my books.
It's funny when you think about it. I took a break from writing because I experienced severe mental block. I couldn't write anything creative. Couldn't think straight. I hated the sight of words. I took refuge in a new job and new environment. And for a while I liked the change.
But being a writer seems to be engraved in my destiny. Weeks after quitting the writing world, I received quite a few offers for gigs. More recently I was invited to write for two online magazines. And my publisher also came back from Chicago to check up on the progress of my novel. Now, I'm also associate editor for our office newsletter.
Should I be scared? No, not really. I guess what I should be is grateful and more hardworking especially since a lot of people expect great things from me. And so for my New Year's resolution I vow to read more and write more.
Happy New Year everyone and may all your dreams come true (like mine did!)!!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Hi all! Sorry been out of circulation lately. Was busy with my other blogs and writing in my journal. Anyway, how's my writing? Suffice to say that I haven't finished my story for the Nanowrimo entry. Ahh!!! What am I going to do now?
But I do love typing on my laptop. Hopefully, I love it so much to start free"writing" and actually finish a story.
I wonder what really is hindering me from writing a story. Sometimes I think it's because my imagination is slowly being eaten up by television or movies. There's something to be said of "a story repeated again." But I guess it all depends on the treatment and the way it is presented to its audience.
Take for example themes in movies. Although they are all about the same things - love, revenge, conflict, horror, etc. - we never run out of directors making films, writers penning screenplays or producers exploring other mediums in ways to make the old theme seem new. I suppose all I need to do is find the drive to learn more on how to write a good, satisfying story.
Can't wait for my inspiration to come! :)
Monday, October 30, 2006
Introduction to Philosophy
One book that made you laugh:
ANBKKBSNPL ako by Bob Ong
One book you have read more than once:
Cyrano De Bergerac
One book you would want on a desert island:
The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
One book that made you cry:
Cyrano de Bergerac
One book you wish had been written:
The missing years of Jesus Christ
One book you wish had never been written:
If I'm so great, why am I still single? (I'm not too fond of self-help books. They tend to be preachy.)
One book you are currently reading:
I'm rotating books right now. The one I always bring along is Frankenstein. The others are DeathPort, The Writers of the Future vol.5, On writing, Do androids dream of electric sheep?
One book you have been meaning to read:
Einstein's Dreams (I don't have the book yet)
I really get excited whenever I go to Booksale, Diplomat or those booksales at National Bookstore, Powerbooks or Goodwill bookstore. Just the thought that I could find a good book at a low price gives me the jitters!
I'm currently looking for classics. I bought Lord of the Flies and Dr. Jekyll and Hyde for 15 pesos at Booksale. I can't wait to build my private library! Now all I need is time to devour my books.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
As she turns the page, she hears a familiar sound outside the door. Our heroine smiles, welcoming the interruption. Lazily she puts down the book and moves towards the door. "Coming Dexter," she sighs. Three years in this place and her feline companion still insists on scratching the door to let her in. She wonders why her pet doesn't mewl like ordinary cats. Then she repeats to herself that Dexter is no ordinary cat and it is she who is slave rather than master. And as she turns the knob, expecting to see those emerald green eyes looking up at her, she gasps at the surprise greeting her on the doormat. Dexter, standing outside the door, orange fur covered in blood. And a man lying next to him, bloodied as well, unconscious but breathing.
And she thinks, "What a mess!"
(to be continued...)
I was finally able to finish the "Shadows" book. I'm now reading Ray Bradbury. Actually, I have tons and tons of books at home that hungers for my attention. But lately I have noticed that I've been reading the same subject again and again. It's always horror, sci-fi or fantasy. I need a new dish. I need variety.
Any book that you can recommend?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
So to treat my weary and exhausted brain, I went to my usual hang out. Starbucks welcomed me with open arms and I was able to sample their "Heaven on Earth" cake. Honestly, this cake falls short of my expectation. I still like the chocolate mousse from Red Ribbon.
How now is my writing? Ziltch. The best I have written are my blogs and journal writing. Even my novel has taken a backseat ever since my creativity decided to take a leave of absence. I do hope I get the confidence and inspiration to sit down and write a great, funny and moving story.
As of the moment, my bookshelves are very, very happy. I have tons of new books. Now all I need is the time to read them. And that's in between my web designing. Ahh! So little time, so much to do...
Oopps...excuse me. I hear the alarm clock ringing. It's time to write again. See you soon...
Sunday, August 13, 2006
So you want to be a writer?
if it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.
don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and pretentious,
don't be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would drive you to madness
or suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is burning your gut,
don't do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by itself
and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Tomorrow the "Nanowrimo" exercise of my writing group Cre-W will begin. I don't have a story plotline yet but I'm sure I'll think of something. That's 800+ words a day or a total of 25,000 by the end of the month. I sure hope I reach that!
The good thing about this exercise is I can hone my skills enough to join this November's Nanowrimo event, the Speculative Fiction contest in December and apply it on my ongoing novel. Not to mention the deep impact this will have on my vocabulary skills.
As exciting as all this sounds, I do hope I have enough money to sustain my lifestyle, enough strength for eveything and everyone I love and enough time to fit it all into my schedule.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
THE RULES: If you comment on this post, I will..
1. Respond with something random about you
.2. Challenge you to try something.
3. Pick a color that I associate with you.
4. Tell you something I like about you.
5. Tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. Tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. Ask you something I've always wanted to ask you.
8. Pick a song that reminds me of you.You then must post the same meme and my response in your blog.
Here's what jigs has to say about me:
I have the sniffles too!
--i guess there's a bug going around.
Go to blogthings.com, answer some surveys and post them!
--i would, if i had the time... :(
Blue, the first thing on my mind.
--okaayy... well, i do have a few things in blue.
I like your laptop! hehe! Seriously, I like your simple honesty.
-- ohh, shucks! :)
Same as your first memory. My first ever comment to your blog!
An ostrich. I also dont know why. That was my first thought! LOL!
-- hmm...weird. i thought you'd say cat.
Can insanity really be cured?
--lobotomy is your next bet.
High by The Speaks. I love this song, hope you like it too!
--i like it too! :)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I have a terminal case of niceness in me. When I know a person depends on me or I can see that they really need my help, I just can't say no at the cost of wearing myself thin. And that's what happened. I overestimated my body's capabilities and I ended up with an unfinished contract, lost income and possibly, a broken friendship.
I really have to work on my assertiveness skills. I must be able to say a statement and stick by it. No excuses.
Sheez! Why does it sound better on print?
Friday, July 07, 2006
I like going to bookstores. I enjoy seeing the books on sale. I feel inspired to write my own book as well. Problem is when I get home and sit down in front of the computer, my mind goes blank. Everything I was thinking of writing down while inside the bookstore suddenly escapes me everytime I try to solidify it through paper and pen. How will I be able to write my novel and stories this way?
I could use a voice recorder. I've heard other authors use this device to conveniently store ideas or finish chapters at a time. Unfortunately, I feel weird talking to a machine in the middle of a crowd. But it's worth a shot. I will tell you what happens when I actually do this writer trick.
Right now, I feel sorry for my ideas. They are like seeds waiting to be planted. I feel them burning in my hands. They are just itching to be enveloped with rich soil, to grow up and become full-blown flowers. And here I am, closing my fist and putting them back in my pocket. I am ashamed because I don't think I can nurture them to bloom properly.
Someone said, "When you do something, do it right." And that's what I follow through with my writing habits. If I know I can't do the idea justice, I keep it in my notebook until I feel that I am ready to write the story. But then I read somewhere that, "If you don't try, how will you know that you won't succeed?" So I am torn between these two perspectives.
Eventually, I will have to write the stories down. I understand that they choose me to tell their tales and share it with others. I must not disappoint them and my future fans.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Hollywood is making a film based on the sci-fi novel of P.D. James, "The Children of Men." I read the novel a year ago and I found the story flat, compared to the types of sci-fi anthologies I've been reading, of course.
"The Children of Men (1992) is a dystopian novel by P.D. James set in England in 2021. It is based on a simple yet gruesome and thought-provoking idea: What would happen if, over night, women all over the world stopped becoming pregnant? What would happen if, over the years, that situation turned out to be irrevocable? What influence would universal infertility have on people's minds and attitudes, on their behaviour, on politics? How would public order be maintained? How would society cope with an ever-ageing and dwindling world population? Would there be any hope left? In The Children of Men, James describes a Britain being steadily depopulated, at the same time telling a thrilling tale revolving around a small group of people who cannot, and do not want to, fit in with the disillusioned and apathetic masses." -- taken fron Wikipedia
It feels nice to have read something and see a movie version of it. That's what I want to do If I ever become a scriptwriter. For now, I have to start attending classes if I want to achieve one of my dreams. Wouldn't it be great though if a novel I wrote will become a film? Wow! :)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Ok fine, I don't take criticism too well but only if it's unconstructive. Saying that my article is crap, period, is not very helpful feedback. Besides, if you can't write your own article don't be too quick to judge a writer. We are not wizards who can conjure up perfection in a snap. We need time, inspiration and motivation to work.
Right now my motivation is money and that makes poor inspiration to write an original masterpiece. But I'll try again. I'm not too stubborn to do rewrites.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
7 reasons every writer needs to blog
by Deanna Mascle
If you are a writer and you are not blogging then you should be. While many people simply dismiss blogging because of its description as a web diary they are missing a lot of traffic and revenue generating opportunities every day. Many internet entrepreneurs work hard to publish their blogs but as a writer you have the ability to easily create the content you need without needing to hire out. In fact, publishing a blog can be the perfect way for you to profit from your writing.
In truth blogs are much more than a simple web diary. They are actually a content management system and/or an easy web site template. Blogging software allows you to begin posting your content to the internet in minutes and when you harness that ability with an RSS feed you have a powerful traffic magnet.
I have come up with 7 reasons why every writer should have a blog and RSS feed.
1. Publishing a regularly updated blog helps you keep in touch with your existing audience. Whether they come for your style or subject matter, your readers will appreciate having ready access to your material.
2. A blog can help you attract new readers. Your blog entries (posts or articles) will become fodder for the search engines and will attract new visitors. Once a reader has found something of interest in one blog entry they are likely to move onto other entries as well.
3. Blogs and RSS feeds often rank higher in search engines than traditional web sites. Search engines love blogs and RSS feeds. If you design your blog properly then every time you update it the search engines are notified. Even if you don't regularly ping most search engines will revisit blogs more frequently. Plus the very organization of a blog lends itself to spidering and good search engine ranking.
4. Blogs can help you establish or build your reputation in a particular field. As your blog grows you will demonstrate your knowledge in your chosen niche.
5. Blogs and RSS feeds are good revenue streams. You can add pay-per-click ads, affiliate ads, or sell ad space on your blogs. In fact, many PPC companies also provide the ability to add PPC to your RSS feeds.
6. Blogs are great ways to generate leads. Even if you don't want to put any advertising on your blog you can use it to promote or capture leads for your own ezine or newsletter. These are great leads as the fact that they came from your blog means they are already interested in your topic and predisposed to your individual message. If you have ebooks or other products to sell then you can use your blog to promote these as well.
7. Creating your own blog is the easiest way to establish a presence on the internet and creating an RSS feed is even easier. In fact, it is also the cheapest way to get started on the internet as there are a number of free blogging sites out there. I started out with blogger.com and usually recommend them but have heard others point to several other top blogging sites as well. The blogging software that I now use is WordPress and also happens to be free. In fact, most web hosts now offer WordPress (or other free blogging software) as a free site add-on through Fantastico. Installing WordPress from scratch is quick and easy but Fantastico makes it even easier. Blogs created at Blogger have an RSS feed created for them and WordPress also creates feeds in several variations automatically.
As you can see there are several benefits to starting your own blog and RSS feed. If you can count that many benefits from a tool that is also free and easy then you are foolish not to begin using it for yourself. I don't know a writer who isn't looking for additional ways to profit from their writing and blogging is the perfect solution.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
If you want to learn more about being a freelance writer, check out their webpage. Here's one of their more recent articles explaining ghostwriting:
Feature Article: What is a Ghostwriter?
by Gary McLaren
Do you believe in ghosts? They are mostly unseen. Unnoticeable. And believe it or not they are moving behind the scenes in the publishing industry. If you're lucky you might catch a fleeting glimpse. They are officially called 'ghostwriters'.
A ghostwriter is a writer who writes on an assigned topic under someone else's name, with their consent. They often write books completely from scratch but sometimes their work involves rewriting or polishing an existing work.
Most books by famous personalities are actually written by ghostwriters. When you see an autobiography or memoir from a politician, businessperson, or celebrity, chances are that it has been written by a ghostwriter...
Click here for more of the article...
Sunday, June 04, 2006
- Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
- The Changed Man by Orson Scott Card
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Ann Rice
- Dark Masques ed. by J.N. Williamson
My writer's spirit is energized because of my need to get paid and do more things besides writing. It's not yet a torrential downpour of images, story ideas and perspective but a light dizzle. At this moment, I welcome even just dark cloud in my sky of inspiration. No more excuse of Writer's Block. This time, it's all business.
Hehe! Tough words for someone who scares so easily..
Monday, May 22, 2006
The story is in research stage right now. Still have a lot to iron out in the plot. But this can wait until I send in my manuscript for the other novel I'm working on.
Friday, May 12, 2006
when i'm babbling incoherently
when my vision is foggy from staring at the monitor all day
when my bones are creaking and finger joints cracking
when i can't put down a single word any further
one word lifts me up and pushes me back to write...
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I heard my editor will be coming to the country mid-May. Oh boy! Have to speed up my research so I can stop trimming and give him a printable draft. It's been months of revision and editing between the two of us. I hope we'll be able to finish the novel once he's here. After this, Chicago bookshelves...here I come! :)
I'm obsessing about getting my own laptop. I really, really, REALLY need and want one. I want one so badly that I salivate at the mention of the word. I'm leaning towards the Fujitsu Lifebook or an iMac. It all depends on my budget and the specs of the laptop. My needs are quite modest. Fast, durable, big memory space and efficient. My laptop should be able to take on word processing, multimedia services (photo and video editing and audio conversion), software development (since I do programming) and web dev. Hay!! When will my dream come true?
What gives me the drive and inspiration to write nowadays is the promise of payday. I know it's a sad thought to write for food but let's face it. If you don't do it, then might as well get a 8-5 job in the office or join in the call center bandwagon. Look at it this way: no matter how big the writing assignments are, I still get to write.
Now, please excuse me as I run after the white rabbit...
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Subject: Radio Interviews
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 11:45:05 -0700
What are you currently doing (if anything) to obtain live radio interviews by telephone, so that you can generate more exposure for yourself? That is what we do...book authors, public speakers, experts, independent film makers, and consultants hire us to obtain live radio interviews by telephone for them on radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. If you would like, I can send you some breakdowns on the campaigns that we have available. Just let me know and I will get it right out to you by email (just give me a good email address to send it to).
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion
So this is my future as a published writer aside from the TV appearances, book signings, book readings and writer's conventions. It doesn't seem so bad. And to think Lorilynn hasn't even read my book yet. Heck! My book hasn't even seen the printers. What foresight these marketers have in anticipating a need! I'm quite impressed.
Either that or this is a sign that my book is going to be a success and I'll be doing radio interviews in the near future. Hmm..it's a scary but wonderful thought! Wouldn't it be something if all this did come true? We'll see.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
|You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer|
Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!
I knew it. I am destined to be in the ranks of Gaiman, Lovecraft, Kutner, Gibson. etc. Someday I will finish my futuristic novel and the world will marvel at my work. I will receive acclaimed fame and respect from my colleagues. My books will be a market success and my dream to be a world-famous writer will come true.
(scurring back to my hobbit hole...)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
If you are like me then the best way to write a story is through changing perspective. Immerse yourself into your character's point of view. Live their life even though they may be fictional characters. Become them, at least until you finish the piece.
So here's what I'm going to do to finish my first novel. My entire focus will be on it (Notice I used the future tense. It's because I'm still distracted and I have a lot of thought-purging to do). No distractions...just me and my taped interviews, research materials, pictures and computer. I'm going to lock myself inside my room and concentrate on the story.
Thermos of coffee - check!
Cellphone off - check!
I'm now ready to become a hermit in my hobbit hole.
See you when I'm done! :)
Monday, March 13, 2006
Pretty interesting perspective on writing, don't you agree? Here's another funny story on writers and those who experience writing blocks.
Once upon a time there was a girl. And she was forced to write a story.
Well no one was forcing her as such. But she felt she had an obligation.
No one forces parents to love their kids.
But they kind of have to.
It’s a bit like that.
She wanted to be a writer, so she had to force herself to write.
That was that.
* * *
"Clair, what are you doing in there? "
Sometimes people took an interest in her writing, and other times they didn’t.
* * *
Bits of paper are powerful things.
Very powerful things.
This piece of paper was torturing Clair.
It didn’t help that it was bright yellow.
There was no pretending that it didn’t exist.
Read on ...
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
(This was my article for 2BU's edition on comicbooks but it didn't make it on print. I'm rather proud of this piece as it gives an inside look into the mind of the comic book reader. Feel free to comment!)
Psychology of a Comic Book Reader
Nerds. That’s what they call us comic book readers. People attempt to differentiate us from the geeks and weirdoes but all they do is just label us and put us neatly in a box. It’s a natural human reaction to keep at arm’s length what they don’t understand. Because the truth is they are afraid of us. They are afraid of what we know, scared that we hold the key to some unknown universe. And they envy us. Because we have had a glimpse of the future and that is something they will never have.
We comic book readers live in a world of panels and speech balloons. Although life in a comic book may seem constricted, we know that it represents the absurdity of the real world. We live in amazement at what life is and what life can be. We become its audience as we see life through the writer’s eyes.
We are special. Print readers create a world uniquely their own with the writer’s world subjectively formed in their heads. But we comic book readers already know what the world should look like. With the expertise of the artist’s drawing, our Metropolis looks exactly like your Metropolis. Our Daily Bugle is the same Daily Bugle you read about.
Though print readers may argue that it takes the fun out of imagination and creativity, we comic book readers beg to differ. We also use our imagination. We use it to experience our character’s pain and triumph. We feel every punch, every blood-splattering scene on the glossy pages. Our stomachs turn with panels of tortures, entrails and decapitation. And our hearts melt with a beautiful sunset, a pretty girl and a child’s first steps.
We are art aficionados. Each sketch, each drawing is a priceless art for us. Just as art collectors thrive in search of the masterpiece so do we comic book readers. We appreciate good art: the perfectly drawn explosion site, the voluptuous super heroine and tasteful landscape. Even bad art is beautiful to us. Abstraction and distortion has a place in our world without prejudice.
We are code breakers. Have you seen the movie Unbreakable? Remember how Elijah Price’s mother dissects the anatomy of the villain through the artwork. “ See the villain’s eyes? Note how they are larger than the other characters. They insinuate a slightly skewed perspective on how they see the world. Just off normal,” says this formidable woman. This is what makes a comic book different from print. Sometimes what you need is a picture to convey what words can’t express.
We bring hope. Time and time again, comic books have proven their value in a teenager's life. Comic books give them an alternative world to let loose their real selves. By reading these books, we relate in the hero's struggles. This is what The X-Men and Spiderman give us. The X-men are outcats of society who chooses to defend those who persecute them. Spiderman is about a boy's discovery of power, his humanity and struggle with his uniqueness while trying to live a normal life. We reconcile the future with the present through the human condition. And though life may never have a happy ending, in our pages we can make the world a better place than it truly is.
And lastly, we are kids at heart. We know that once we reach the end of the page, we will hunt for the next issue like a kid hungers for his next candy. We are big kids who enjoy reading picture book with stories that reflect our own experiences. Maybe not exactly the same experiences but parallels.
Do not envy us. Do not fear us. We are from but one race. Instead, try to understand us. Think out of the box and sneak a peek at what the future might be like. View the world through the eyes of a comic book reader. It’s full of action, drama, horror, suspense and comedy combined to form a psychedelic hue. Our world is not so alien to you. After all, you’ve been there once, have seen our naked gypsies…all in the comfort of your dreams.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
- San Mig Cafe 3-in-1 coffee mix STRONG (any 3-in-1 instant coffee mix will do except Great Taste. I think Great Taste is too mild for nightcrawlers like myself)
- 1 pouch of Nestle All-Purpose Cream, chilled
- McCormick Cinnamon powder
Next, pour the San Mig Cafe 3-in-1 coffee mix with hot water in a coffee mug. Mix it in. Spoon the cream on top of the coffee. Finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the foam.
Enjoy your cup of mojo while reading a book or watching a movie on a cold, rainy night.
WARNING: Strong caffeine tends to transfer its smell on the teeth and urine. Cleanse your palate with a glass of water afterwards.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Apparently, a pinoy writer saw a need and printed out a book last year on the business and craft of writing in the Philippines. I'm sorry to say that I forgot the title of the book. It didn't make an impact on me because although it was written by a pinoy, the concepts are still american. Even the business section of writing was too small to be significant for any freelance writer, which is why I think it wasn't much of a success.
We still have so much to do to progress the plight of newbie writers and to push Philippine Literature to the global market.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Here is the sample book cover that I did for my first book. Though my publisher chose a different cover (I did three for him), this is my second favorite.
The fun part about photo editing is that you can create new art works. The hard part is searching for pictures to alter. I admit. I'm not a real artist, that is why I will eventually hire a graphic artist to do the final book cover. For now, I'm just enjoying the sight of my future "baby."
Now to get back to my writing...
Monday, January 16, 2006
The Internet is a major force in jumpstarting my writing life. I joined online writing workshops, writing e-groups, read various writing articles from different websites and met other writers who later became my friends and idols. I also bought a lot of writer magazines, which is only available at Booksale. Ahh, yes. Booksale is another major contributor in my journey as a writer. Its cheap books and magazines are exactly what an improverished and newbie writer needs.
Then I worked on gaining confidence by starting out my own e-group and submitting articles and stories to websites. I dreamed of being published on print so I can make my parents proud of their little eccentric, easy-go-lucky, lost but brillant daughter. You see, my folks wanted me to become a lawyer. But because they respect me too much (and probably they got tired of giving me all those sermons), they don't pry into my business. They just let me be and pray to God that I find success in whatever field I choose to focus on.
2004 was the year I got my first article published online. And it was my first PAID article. P500.00 for 800 words. I know, it's cheap. But I didn't care at that time.
Then came my first major break. A friend of mine referred me to a client to do web content writing for a company in Quezon City. Though the contract was for P9,500.00, I was only paid half of it as it was stipulated in the contract that the other half will be paid once they received the second set of the articles. However, they never asked for the second part (even though I had finished writing it) so I never got paid. It was a lesson of sorts. I had to learn to write a MOA, to estimate how much I should charge per article and to encash my first check.
Yes, I got paid via check. But I received my check only the following year. Another lesson learned--make my MOAs iron clad.
2005 was the year of ghost writing. I received an email and I responded. It was that simple and efficient. However, the pay was only P150.00 for each 500+ word article. Still, I took the job. It's better to write than do nothing. Besides, my fiction writing was slow and none of my queries were answered. My e-group's activities waned and rather than wait for manna to rain from the sky, I wrote anonymously.
At that same time, I was busy with the e-zine project that my writer friend started. I wrote feature articles there and did the marketing for it. But we had to cut the e-zine short because of the lack of funds.
I also met one of my writing idols. July 2005 was Neil Gaiman's visit to the Philippines. I was ecstatic! Meeting him is one of the highlights of my writer life! His SANDMAN series made a deep impact on me as a creative writer back in college. I used to borrow copies of his graphic novel from my band mate and read through it during jamming sessions.
Now 2006 seems to be my year. Closing a book contract is no joke. And though I'm not getting paid like the American writers who get about $100,000 or more in book advance, I am quite content with how things are. I'm not greedy. Writing is not my bread and butter. I've always thought of it as taking a complimentary role in my jumbled life. I have too many loves to give any of it up, which is why I'm not sweating the monetary stuff.
Again, I had to learn to write a MOA and how to estimate my rate on a project basis. So I asked friends who knows more about the writing business than I did. And then I realized something...there is NO RELIABLE RESOURCE for freelance writers in the country. There is absolutely no guide to help new freelance writers and fiction writers like myself with regards to the financial and legal aspects of the job.
Hmm...what a great book idea! (must pitch this to Anvil!)
Sunday, January 15, 2006
This blogsite is all about my journey as a writer. Hopefully, I don't bore you too much since I've only had a year and two months since becoming a paid writer. Yes, I am fairly young to receive such a project. I've never been published in the country, not in a magazine, newspaper or an anthology. Except that one time when I was a respondent for an article written by my friend and my name appeared on Manila Bulletin. I have been published in India though. One of my poems was included in their collections of the world's best poems by cyberwit.net. Most of my writings have been online, which is why if you search my name (my real name) through google and yahoo, you'll be sure to see it immediately.
Honestly, I don't know why this client choose me. Maybe because it was my enthusiasm, my smart answers during the interview or just plain old fate giving me the shot I've dreamed of. He said he got my name by typing the keywords "creative writers in the philippines" on google. But when I did the same thing, my name wasn't on top of the list. There were hundreds more on that site (writer's.net) who are published and more experienced that I am. I get the chills just thinking about the odds of him and me teaming up for this project.
Now my real journey begins. I hope you'll join me as I share with you my writing life.
As my favorite quote goes, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead." (Gene Fowler)