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Filipino ReaderCon 2014 – Filipino Friday 2: Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Filipino Friday

Hello, Friday! What have you been reading? We still have less than a month before the Filipino ReaderCon 2014. So while waiting, let’s participate in this annual meme.

The topic of Filipino Friday 2 hits a little too close to home. Deep breaths.

As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?

Yes. In fact, before I became a big reader, I fancied myself as a writer. I used to write for our school publications in high school and college. Writing workshops were introduced to us staff members. This gave me the opportunity to be a fellow of the Pamiyabe Creative Writing Workshop, a regional workshop with writer-panelists from the University of Santo Tomas, such as Lourd Ernest De Veyra, Eros Atalia (before they were famous), et al. And Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta, God bless her soul.

And you know what they advised us? Read, read, read. I wasn’t a voracious reader before this workshop. What nerves I had to write short stories! After this, I made a conscious effort to read more. I have never stopped since. I may experience reading slumps now and then, but I always manage to recover with aplomb.

So after reading many books, I decided to join another writing workshop, the Write Here, Write Now workshop helmed by Jessica Zafra. Instead of submitting a short story for everyone’s butchering, the participants wrote their novels during the months-long workshop. These will be considered for e-publishing, if we choose to publish with the author.

I thought I was ready to put out something for everyone to read, but I failed. I did not finish my novel. I managed to reach what I imagine to be the first quarter mark. Writing a novel for me is difficult because I get too attached to it. During those six months, I had frequent anxiety attacks that I could only ease by stopping, which is a paradox to my so-called writing life.  Because of the frequent breaks, I felt that I needed more than six months to write a 60k-something novel.

But if I were being honest with myself, I just don’t have the discipline. If there’s anything that I learned from the workshop aside from more read-read-reading, one should establish writing hours within his or her daily routine. And one should stop talking about his or her writing in social media, or idling hours away in social media while writing.

I’m thinking of returning to my novel after the holiday season. So if you notice that I’m withdrawing from social media, you already know what I’m doing.

See you next Friday!

For more information on the Filipino ReaderCon 2014, visit any of the following:



  1. Oh so you really have to establish writing hours. And crank up something, purposely. It’s not like, you know, when inspiration hits, you go grab a pad and paper (or laptop) and write it down. Gosh, writing is tough. :)


  2. Totally agree with you on everything, Angus… from reading a lot down to anxiety attacks (happened to me, too and did the same thing you did: stopped) and the social media thingy? Spot on haha.

    I agree too, that writing is a skill, and like any other job — it entails hard work. :)

    Here’s to hoping we’ll both be able to make significant progress on our writing before the year ends! Cheers! <3


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