If you are an aspiring writer residing in the Philippines (preferably the Greater Manila Area), great news! Anvil Publishing’s Spark Books is sponsoring a writing class called #SparkNA with Mina Esguerra at the helm. The class is absolutely free and will be done online, with two or three optional face-to-face classes which are still to be announced. Classes will run from April 6 to June 6, though when I signed up the other day, I already received my first writing task. If you’re scared about these tasks and challenges, don’t be. I’m pretty sure these tasks and challenges will mold us into better and more responsible writers.
Oh, and the best part? If Spark Books likes your piece well enough, they may offer to publish your book! Isn’t that great? I know I’d love to see a book of mine on display at local bookstores, so this is a real treat. To be quite honest, I don’t really have a solid idea on the story I’d like to write just yet, but I’ve decided on a theme, at least. My next step would be to create character sketches and a working outline so I don’t get swept away by deadlines come class time.
It’s amazing how many young writers and readers are on Wattpad these days. Admittedly, I learned about the site very late (I joined in late 2013, so you can say I’m still a n00b), mainly because I haven’t been actively writing fiction since late 2010, and man was I floored upon seeing the writing and reading population in that website. In fact, it had been so popular here in my country that publishing companies have ventured printing popular Wattpad novels, and film and TV producers have been jumping onto the bandwagon as well, producing some of the more famous stories for film and mini-serials.
The accessibility of cheaper smartphones and data services has made it easier for the younger generation to access Wattpad. If memory serves me right, there’s a major telecom company offering free access to the site when you avail of a certain data service–that’s how popular it is now to the youth in my country.
About a month ago, I’ve come across this comic strip by Manix Abrera and found it quite funny. As someone who dabbles in social media management in my day job, it really is quite humbling to see people liking and sharing posts you write, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media channel there is that you use. However, the general thought of this comic resonated louder in me about two weeks ago when I published my first ebook.
I’m a rather visual person. I watch pictures, artwork, films and shows and easily get inspired by what I see. (I also take a lot of inspiration from music, but that’s a story for another day.) If you’ve read my previous post, you’d know what I mean about drawing inspiration from something that stuns me visually, but there’s also something else, something new I tried doing while writing and trying to finish my most recent full-length story.
Yeap, you guessed it… it’s got something to do with Pinterest.
It’s an awesome thing when dreams come true, isn’t it? If you had told me a few years back that I’d be able to publish a certain piece of fiction as an ebook with very minimal fuss, I’d have told you to “get out of here.” Anyone who’s lived as long as (or longer than) I have would know that getting something published is no joke. You’d have to go through certain processes and channels to even get your work considered, and that required a lot of time, money and effort. Of course, not a lot of young people could afford to expend that much, so we make do with the next best thing and publish our work on free space online such as forums and blogs.
These days, however, it has become very easy for aspiring writers to publish their work and get it recognized by reputable platforms such. For rather inexperienced writers like myself, this is a really amazing development, and I have personally embarked on this journey only a week ago when I published my first ebook, Paper Planes Back Home, on Amazon and Smashwords.
Honestly speaking, I am a newbie about all this, and everything’s still so overwhelming to me. Time and again I have experienced seeing my pseudonyms on forums, blogs, and content-sharing sites like Wattpad, but there is nothing quite like seeing your name displayed beside your book on Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or the Apple Store. It’s pretty surreal. I admit I have spent a considerable amount of time just staring at my book’s pages and feeling so thrilled. I finally did it. Sure, I might not sell a lot of books, but goddamn, I finally have something up there with my name on it, and that’s just completely awesome.