Finished, not perfect.

I’ve been seeing this phrase a lot on social media (Twitter, mostly) and, much as I related to this quote, I didn’t really know who to attribute it to until today. A quick Google search led me to Jake Parker, a Utah-based artist who has worked for big studios like Marvel, Disney Animation, and Warner Brothers Animation and who has apparently created the #inktober challenge. Check out this inspiring Finished, not perfect video below:

Two years ago, I came across a similar mantra when I joined Arianne Serafico’s #DareToShare Instagram Course: Done is better than perfect. I find myself always going back to these words whenever I feel like my manuscript isn’t going anywhere, or I’ve strayed from my outline for the nth time, or worst of all, I feel like deleting my entire manuscript out of frustration.

Finished, not perfect. Done is better than perfect.

Before I could publish a book, I need to write it first. Nothing is going to happen if I stall and drown myself in an ocean of Oh no, this will never be as good as *insert author’s book here*. The best thing I can do as an author is to nurture my story, make the most of it as I possibly can, and keep going until I reach the end. It doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect. I belong to a community that will help me shape whatever I’ve created into its best form, and that process, to me, is more important than getting everything perfect/right the first time.

So why am I really writing this blog post? I’m actually trying to make myself feel good about finishing a manuscript, no matter its flaws. Yeap, you read that right! I finished a manuscript!

About #ProjectDatu AKA The Struggle

For those of you who have already read Like Nobody’s Watching, you might remember one of Pio Alvez’s brothers, Datu Alvez. He’s an indie film director with a temper, but I’d like to think he’s a marshmallow deep inside. #ProjectDatu AKA the manuscript I finished last month, is his book, his journey toward finding his own HEA. I have already written a short story that featured him (Rushes, from Second Wave Summer), fully intending for it to be the jumping off point of his book. It took me almost six months I think to fully flesh out his story in my head, and for the sake of accountability, I announced this on Twitter a little over a year ago:

Of course I still had delusions of grandeur back then. What 2019 release? *CACKLES* I didn’t even start writing until March of this year. Ilusyonada. *cue paluan*

It was a bit of a struggle writing this one, and I was…surprised, I guess at how much energy it took from me. (Check out this whole ass Twitter thread for my journey.) It could be argued that I also was having a super busy year in terms of work, so maybe that was also why I usually felt so exhausted after writing several hundred/thousand words. But one of the best things about my writing journey this year was the #romanceclass sprints, where I got to do four 15-minute sprints with fellow #romanceclass authors and share snippets of what we’ve written afterwards. It’s a bit draining and there’s some level of pressure, but it helped me so much in completing this book. So yeah, thanks, sprinters! <3

(We’ll resume the sprints soon, by the way—let me just get a handle on all my work stuff. *dizzy emoji*)

If everything goes according to plan, you will be meeting Datu and Kalila within the first quarter of 2020. I might be brewing something special for my newsletter subscribers, so if you’re not yet part of my mailing list, please click on this link to subscribe! For now, I leave you with this #ProjectDatu Pinterest board I have been adding stuff to since I began writing the book, and this Spotify playlist / #ProjectDatu Mood Music I put together.

In the meantime…

It’s 15 days till Christmas and I’m looking forward to a long break because I am planning to catch up on sleep and my Kdramas (I just started Chicago Typewriter and I’m planning to watch Bring It On, Ghost as well), and outlining my next book: #ProjectIsagani.

Good luck to me L O L.

Remember: Finished, not perfect. Done is better than perfect.

If you find these mantras work for you, then good. ^_^ Let’s keep creating and finishing many, many things moving forward, yeah? <3

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Once Upon a Project

When I released Waiting in the Wings in February, I had no idea I would be writing a spin-off novel so soon. Honestly, I already had plans for a second book in the same universe, but it wasn’t top priority on my writing calendar. (Yes, I have one. :P)

And then, #AprilFeelsDay2017 and a certain theatre actor came along to shake things up.

Needless to say, I succumbed to the kilig and gigil and began outlining #ProjectPio in May–and if there was a phrase I’d use to describe everything about this writing process, it would be whirlwind affair.

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The Agony of Waiting

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If you’ve been following me on Instagram (personal & author accounts), Twitter, or Facebook, you’d know by now that I’ve finally finished my current work-in-progress. Last year, right on the heels of finishing The “Forget You” Brew, I came up with a story that merged my love for the undying friends-to-lovers trope and musical theatre. Labeled #teatrofic for a while, I filed the concept away for months until May of this year, when I began to really, seriously outline the story. A week later, I started writing.

The question that started the concept was this: What if your first kiss, and every single kiss you’ve received thereafter, is a stage kiss?

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Are you ready to get Scandalized?

In April of last year, I joined my very first (non-academic) writing workshop under Mina V. Esguerra’s guidance, #SparkNA. The goal was to finish a contemporary New Adult manuscript of no less than 20,000 words in a span of 2 months. It was a tall order, but worth a shot.

One year later, here I am, making preparations to release the fruit of that workshop. But while final touches are being done to the manuscript, cover, and everything in between–here’s a little something I made for East Genesis Project, the Korean pop-rock band featured in my book, Scandalized.

More to come, SOON! ^_^

P.S. If you come to #AprilFeelsDay this coming Sunday (April 17), I’ll have some tiny Scandalized stuff to give away. So see you there!

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The One With The Cats

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I don’t remember which month it was last year that Mina posted an announcement about a Children’s Lit writing workshop, I just remember wanting to be in it. So much, that I was already playing with a concept in my head even before I officially signed up.

Maybe it’s because this was going to be my third MVE-facilitated workshop that I’ve come to expect a thing, something . . . like a parameter, a rule. For #SparkNA, it was being brave. And for #StrangeLit it was truth. I wondered what kind of theme #BayongNgKuting was going to have, and as I did so, I sort of abandoned that concept I’d been thinking of just so I could start with a blank slate, just in case.

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{ Short & Tweet } Episode Three

Because it’s been two weeks since the #StrangeLit bundles were released, and I have been getting nakakakilig comments about The “Forget You” Brew (which really make my very busy days more bearable), let me share with you some of my favorites.

^ Squeeeeee! <3 Krissy even mentions the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind while tweet-reviewing my novella, and while I haven’t yet seen it (I’m so sorry I have this . . . thing), being put in the same category as a film most of my friends like/love is a lovely compliment. Thank you, my dear.

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A #SparkNA Update: We’re on Wattpad!

So . . . remember that online writing workshop I took from April to June of this year? Yep, the one for which I wrote a (gasp!) novel about a KPop band and their road manager? Nope, no publishing deals have been handed out yet, but we’re given bite-sized #SparkNA treats–AKA short, kilig, snippets from everyone else’s works–on Wattpad!

Scenes from #SparkNAThere are currently eight different scenes from eight different stories (mine included) up right now, each of them promising, with varying degrees of kilig . . . because hey, when you’re writing romance, that’s what we’re looking for, right? The compilation is updated every few days so you won’t have to tear your hair out waiting for the next one. Simply click on the cover to your right and read to your heart’s content.

My #SparkNA novel is entitled Scandalized, and if you ever find yourself interested in taking a sneak peek at it, I have the first four chapters up on my Wattpad account too.

And now, a quick (and shameless) intro before we segue to a Read More link.

Tara Frejas

Somewhere in Apgujeong, Fi Legaspi’s heart is racing wildly.

No, not because the universe has compelled bright-eyed East Genesis Project band leader Jo Yihwan—the personification of her silent heartbreak—to see her as more than just their group’s reliable Girl Friday. It’s because one good deed unexpectedly backfired overnight, and now she is in the middle of a hostile fangirl witch hunt, one she elects to ignore in favor of professionalism.

But even as PR representative Gabriel Park holds her hand while taking careful steps away from the glaring limelight, the bullying continues to worsen, affecting Fi and the band members as well. When Amethyst Entertainment decides it is not willing to sacrifice EG Project’s marketability for a mere roadie, Fi is clueless on how to proceed. Does she fight for the job (and the people) she has come to love, or concede to a force more powerful than the dictates of her own heart? [ Click here to read Scandalized ]

Of course you are more than welcome to leave me comments on Wattpad, or here. Whatever floats your boat. ^_^

And thank you in advance! <3

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