I am glad to announce that I have successfully completed a one-week Facebook and YouTube detox. From Nov. 20, 2017 to Nov. 26, 2017, I wasn’t allowed to check my Facebook and watch YouTube videos. Recently, I noticed that I’ve been overly checking Facebook and watching too many YouTube videos especially of the show Friends. In this post, I will tell you how I came up with this idea, the rules of the detox week, my progress, and my realizations.
I don’t know why when I decided to become a writer, I decided that I will write in English. No, scratch that, I never decided. I never even questioned the thought that if I wanted to be a writer, I had to write in English. Now, when I try in Filipino, I feel my brain slowing down, translating.
Journalists who write for newspapers and magazines don’t get royalties, but in the future will that change and will that make things better? But first, let’s talk about how a royalty system will work for journalists. After being given a salary or being paid a fixed fee per article (for freelance writers), as long as the online articles get hits, the writer will get royalties (a few cents per click). The clicks have to be unique page views so as to prevent the writer from cheating by clicking on their own article.
I don’t know what happened, but now I hate writing. What? But, girl, you’re like writing right now? Ok, let me clarify, I now hate journalistic writing and anything near it. I love writing here in my blog. I can write here all day, and I’d love to do more non-journalistic writing, but I need to work and earn money. Thankfully, I don’t work as a lifestyle journalist anymore, but I do need to accept writing gigs every now and then because my teaching job, which I enjoy, is just part-time.
Sometimes I get excited about certain writing gigs, and I’m starting to pitch story ideas again (because I want to), but, for the most part, I do it because I need money. I mean, I still do my job by passing quality articles, but I must admit that the fire is gone. Friends are saying maybe I just need a break from it (I’m thinking like I need a year, but obviously it’s not happening because I’m still accepting gigs), and then maybe my passion for it will come back. Maybe or maybe not.
Last September, I read an article about why you should aim for 100 rejections a year (click here to read a previous post that I wrote about it). If you submit that many times to different publications and writing residencies, then you will get a lot of rejections but it will also increase your chances of getting accepted. I was only able to submit to 4 such opportunities and I got rejected in all of them. Somehow though, it felt really good because I’m finally trying to get my work out there. One said that I should send them another piece. This year, I plan to complete that 100 submissions, and to help me do that, I customized a page in my planner.
“Wala akong piyesa!” This was my main excuse as to why I wasn’t submitting to literary publications. I still need to write something, I kept saying. A few days ago, a friend ask me where my Creative Writing thesis was, and when I said it was just somewhere, he suggested that I submit it to this journal. I was like, ack! But he was right, I should submit. I also realized that I have entire folders in my computer of stuff I’ve written. So marami akong piyesa, ayoko lang ipakita. Then I read this article Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year, and it made complete sense.
Although I studied Creative Writing in college, I never got to practice it after I graduated. I semi-purposefully stopped writing fiction because I began questioning why I was doing it (but now I’m Writing Fiction Again). I stopped writing poetry because I got so intimidated by how beautiful it was. Recently though, I started writing poetry again, and I’m doing it in the way that I can, even though it’s against what I studied in class. I wasn’t expecting anything when I sent my poem to Ani last October, so now it’s such a pleasant surprise that it got accepted.