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.
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.
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is written by a writer and an artist and he talks about the things he has learned about the creative process. I first read it as an article online, and now it has been turned into a book. I also bought Mr. Kleon’s other book Show Your Work, which is also very interesting. So why is Steal Like an Artist so important to me? It’s because it is where I learned two things: nothing is original and fake it till you make it.
These days I’m writing fiction again, and whenever I am thinking of a new character, I go through my Facebook friend list. Facebook is a great repository of people I’ve known in my life, and they can be ingredients that I can mix together to concoct a new character.