Five Years in Paulo Coelho’s Blog

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares lessons learned from having her blog post reposted in best-selling author Paulo Coelho’s blog.

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares lessons learned from having her blog post reposted in best-selling author Paulo Coelho’s blog.

(Originally posted in Little Rich Girl on October 21, 2012)

Five Years in Paulo Coelho’s Blog

By Niña Terol-Zialcita

Paula Braconnot's comment in Soul Work

It then led to a series of exchanges with Paulo Coelho’s team, then finally to an email exchange with Mr. Coelho himself.

On October 16, 2007, my post was reposted as such, in Paulo Coelho’s blog:

The blog title, as posted in the Archives section
The blog title, as posted in the Archives section

 

The post as written in Paulo Coelho’s blog, October 16, 2007
The post as written in Paulo Coelho’s blog, October 16, 2007

 

* * *

That experience taught me three important things:

  1. Our idols and heroes are actually within reach.
  2. Never underestimate the power of the Web to make things happen.
  3. Trust your inner wisdom.

I’m revisiting all these now, not just to mark the fifth anniversary of my post being up on my favorite author’s blog, but also to remind myself that everything that I had written then still very much applies to me now. I wrote the original blog post nine years ago while I was in deep discernment over the direction my whole life was about to take, and while it first appears to speak about love it can actually apply to so many different areas of our lives. Now that I once again find myself in a life-changing crossroad, I need to remind myself that everything I need in order to make a decision is already here within me.

If, like me, you find yourself caught in a major crossroad and are in the middle of a deep search for meaning and fulfillment, then this post is for YOU.

This is an excerpt only. Continue reading the full post in Little Rich GirlHERE.

 

 

 

Job openings in Travelite Magazine

Travelite is a quarterly travel magazine for elite travellers. The magazine has an international circulation focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Our readers are discerning individuals who are passionate about travelling in style and sophistication.

We are looking for creative, articulate writers with a passion for travel and lifestyle.

noun /ˈtrav(ə)lēt/


premier travel for the elite 


Travelite is a quarterly travel magazine for elite travellers. The magazine has an international circulation focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Our readers are discerning individuals who are passionate about travelling in style and sophistication.

We are looking for creative, articulate writers with a passion for travel and lifestyle.

Job Description

The writer is responsible for researching and writing articles for the magazine and the website. Duties also include proofreading and editing all print and online contents, as well as assisting the Editor with all editorial-related activities.

Qualifications

  • Graduate of a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Creative Writing or equivalent
  • Excellent English reading, writing and proofreading skills
  • Proficiency in MS Word and Excel
  • Fast learner and a good team player
  • Publishing experience a plus

Status: 2 Full-time positions open

Location: Quezon City, Philippines

To Apply: Send your resumes and writing portfolio to info@travelitemagazine.com

How writing can make your dreams come true

It seems to me that my love story with writing—or with words, in particular—has gone on for as long as I can remember.

By Niña Terol-Zialcita

It seems to me that my love story with writing—or with words, in particular—has gone on for as long as I can remember.

I was three years old when I learned how to read, and I remember how it used to be my version of the “song and dance” for titos and titas. Instead of being asked to perform cute little songs for our visitors, my parents would bring out the newspaper and ask me to read (although I loved to sing Lea Salonga’s “I am but a small voice”, too, back then.) The first word I can remember reading was “business”—which I had read as “boo-see-ness”. Other words soon followed: “Tabasco” (my parents loved hot sauce), “Crayola” (I still love crayons until now), and so on. My parents showered me with all sorts of storybooks and workbooks, and I also had a private tutor who sounded like Ms. Tina Monzon-Palma and who showed me the beauty of words and language. From the time I had first encountered words, I was already hooked.

But the real magic of words revealed itself to me through my late grandfather’s big, heavy typewriter. A former Air Force and airline pilot who loved to read, my grandfather also found plenty of reasons to write. I remember waking up to the “clackety-clack” of his typewriter and seeing him immersed in the papers on his desk. I often wondered what my lolo was doing, until I received my first typewritten birthday card from him. Then I realized: my lolo was writing! He was using that big machine to type words!

And then the thought entered my head: what if I learned how to type, too?

It was then—in the age before iPads, laptops, and even computers—that I resolved to buy myself a typewriter. I was nine years old when I bought my first portable typewriter, and it was also at this time when I started to imagine myself as Carolyn Keene (creator of the Nancy Drew series). I would make my own versions of mystery stories and whodunits, and I found myself creating my own adventures. I loved how I didn’t have to leave my room in order to encounter new characters and new worlds, and I loved how I could create my own happy endings.

Although I was already madly in love with books by that time, I was even more enamored of the idea that I would someday create my own books and publications.

At age eleven, I declared to my mother: “Someday, I’m going to create my own magazine. Not the type with celebrities on the cover, but the type that shows stories of real people.”

* * *

Fast forward to today, over 20 years from the time I first declared that I was going to publish my own magazine. I have been using and living with words for over 10 years now, and I have managed to build a fairly comfortable life doing what I love best. I have worked as a communicator for various types of organizations, I have written and produced materials for all types of clients, I have written for all sorts of publications and magazines, and I have used words to inspire people to move toward positive change.

Most importantly, I have already gotten a taste of what it’s like to publish my own books and magazines. Thanks to my work with corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, I’ve been able to produce books, magazines, and websites of all kinds featuring the stories and experiences of real people. I’ve experienced the thrill of creating something from scratch and then seeing the final product of intense collaboration with photographers, designers, and all sorts of creative people. I’ve touched and smelled new books with the satisfaction of knowing that these were my books—made out of my vision, my hard work, my network, my words.

Thanks to words and to my decision to turn writing into a career, I’ve been able to design my lifestyle in a way that combines all the things that matter to me and all the things I love best—such as art, travel, advocacy, creativity, and innovation. I’ve traveled for free, met people from all parts of the globe, and have taken my writing to places that were once just part of my dreamboard. (In 2009, I married the love of my life while in the Homeless World Cup in Milan, Italy—thanks to his work as a performance artist and my work as a journalist.)

Not only have I been able to work in environments that inspire me, I’ve also been able to explore my own creativity in ways that I didn’t think was possible.

All these, I have done while paying the bills, supporting a family, and building a life that tries to add a bit more meaning into the world.

* * *

So, you might ask me, have I already fulfilled the desire that the eleven-year-old me had once declared?

You can say that—but, to me, I’m just getting started.

For in this age of digital formats, free information, and global connectivity, we really are just scratching the surface of what we can do with words. We once thought that words were just confined to books, newspapers, and magazines—then we discovered websites and non-print media. After that, we realized that anyone can now become a writer, editor, and publisher all rolled into one thanks to blogging. Enter social media, and now we’re seeing that we can power and change the world using status updates and 140-character tweets. There is so much that we can do with words—and all these, we can use to create a career and a life that we love.

So the next time your parents ask you, with trepidation, if you still want to be a writer, tell them that you’re not going to be just any writer. Tell them that you’re going to discover new worlds, create unique adventures, build your own ideas, explore new possibilities, make money (of course), make your dreams come true, and—maybe, just maybe—change the world through words.

 

Niña Terol-Zialcita is a co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, and will be one of the facilitators of “The Write Stuff: a writing lab for teens,” a one-day workshop running on April 21 (Saturday), 10AM to 6PM at co.lab xchange, Unit 301 3/F #3 Brixton Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Find out how you can make your own dreams come true through writing at www.writersblockphilippines.com. For inquiries and reservations, email writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text (0927) 850 8280.

The Write Stuff: FAQs

“THE WRITE STUFF: A WRITING LAB FOR TEENS”
WRITER’S BLOCK PHILIPPINES
GUIDE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

 ————

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF THE WORKSHOP?

What: “The Write Stuff” A Writing Lab for Teens

When: April 21, 2012, Saturday
10AM to 6PM

Where: co.Lab xchange
3/F #3 Brixton Street
Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig

WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR?

If you’re between the ages of 13-18, like to read and write and want to be a better writer for  school and for creative expression, and are thinking of writing as a career, “The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens” is for you. 

At this workshop, we will spend one whole day discovering our writing style, trying out various writing techniques and, we hope, come out with a better inkling of how to make our writer’s voice come out loud and clear on paper.  : )

WHAT CAN I LEARN AT THIS WORKSHOP?

Check out what we have lined up for “The Write Stuff”:

WHY WRITE?

The editor-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will share their back story about how they found their love for writing and made a career from doing what they love and loving what they do.

Nina can tell you how the rhythmic sound of her grandfather’s typewriter sounded like music to her ears. (And if you’re from a generation who no longer knows what a typewriter is, Google it before attending the workshop!)

Nikka will share her enviable job of traveling, reviewing restaurants, and getting paid to do it. (But what you should really also ask her is how she doesn’t get fat even after eating plenty of desserts! 

And Ana can tell you how throughout her career, she stayed away from writing for so long, but in end, writing found her anyway. (Ask her if she still misses her parking slot and the corner office.)

From their stories, you’ll learn about the myths and realities of being a writer and a creative entrepreneur. We hope you’ll pick up on influences and turning points and find out what opportunities are out there for writers.

Finding Your Voice     

How do you know what kind of writing works best for you? We’ll take a short quiz to find out.

(Don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of quiz you need to study for.)

Writing Techniques

How do you turn a personal experience into a feature article? How do you deal with writer’s block? Those are all issues that even the most veteran of writers have to deal with.

We’ll work out both our writing muscles and our brain waves with writing exercises specially crafted by Writer’s Block Philippines.

Writing, Blogging and Social Networks

Writing is all about practice, practice, practice.

In this portion of the workshop, we’ll talk about how you can use your blog to  practice your writing, build an audience and find your voice. We’ll also share social media do’s and don’ts to build your credibility as a budding writer.

Writing Exercise

We’ll end the day with a writing exercise, just for practice. : )

WHAT DOES THE P2,500 COURSE FEE COVER?

The P2,500 per head course fee covers

  • Course fee
  • Light snacks + drink
  • Workbook

HOW CAN I PAY FOR THE WORKSHOP?

You can pay for the workshop via PayPal which you can access on www.writersblockphilippines.com or you can deposit your payment to

Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

Once you’ve made the deposit, please email us a copy of the deposit slip so we can send you an Acknowledgment Receipt.

WHO IS CONDUCTING THE WORKSHOP?

The workshop will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a group of editors and communicators who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in freelance lifestyle and corporate writing.  

Website: www.writersblockphilippines.com

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE WORKSHOP?

Please bring whatever writing materials you’ll need to take notes.  As a provision, you may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket.
 You may also take your lunch in any of the nearby restaurants or bring food that we can heat at the workshop venue.

Know more about the business side of being a creative entrepreneur

Mark your calendars as the flagship workshop of Writer’s Block Philippines, “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career (The Crash Course Edition),” happens on March 17 in co.lab, 4/F Optima Building, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Aside from discussing the opportunities in freelance writing and other related topics, the workshop will feature a guest speaker who will tackle the business side of being a creative entrepreneur. Ariel Y. Lim, Jr., the Business Development Officer of Full Suite, Inc., will clue in the participants about business requirements and more.

Full Suite, Inc. has been operating since 1999, and the company has been helping companies of different sizes and industries for almost 13 years now. Full Suite allows them to focus on their core business by treating their company as our own. We become a strategic partner in growing their business. We become an extension of their company. Full Suite does these by providing support and other back-end activities in Accounting and HR. These include bookkeeping, financial reporting, payroll, benefits, policy setting and such.

The workshop fee is P2,500, which is inclusive of the course fee and workshop kit. Sign-up now and learn practical tips to help you jumpstart your freelance writing career! Limited slots available.

For more information, email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text us through this number: 0927.850.8280. You can also check the Writer’s Block Philippines website at www.writersblockphilippines.com.

Using feature writing to attract new clients, improve business communications

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — People commonly associate feature writing with lifestyle articles and glossy magazines. For the savvy business communicator, however, feature writing can be a great way to tell a company or brand’s story (and we all love stories!), grab mindshare, change behaviors, and attract new business.

Take the case of a multinational construction company who wanted to soften its image and appear more approachable to its clients. It needed a communication solution to a perception problem about the product being “stiff”, “boring”, and “too technical.”

The solution: develop an in-house lifestyle publication that would show cement not just as a technical product, but as the stuff of which beautiful things are made. The feature articles housed in this magazine tackled architecture, interior design, even a bit of arts and culture, and, of course, profiles of people from all around the company that made it a great building partner.

There is also the case of a financial institution that wanted to promote one of its newly launched services. Using feature writing, it was able to showcase success stories of clients that had availed themselves of this service, as well as explain–in lay terms–mechanics that would otherwise have been crammed into a small flyer. Feature writing humanized the product and made it easier to understand.

Here are a few more ways to make the most of feature writing in your company or organization:

1.    Show human interest stories of your company’s leaders to show the open and warm culture in your company.

2.    Profile beneficiaries that show the positive, life-changing results of your work, and why it will be worth your donors’ money to choose YOUR non-profit or charity.

3.    Show tips for making the most of your product or service.

4.    Showcase a featured destination (or occasion) and show how, for example, your travel agency helps make memorable holidays like this come true.

5.    Share testimonials of happy clients and what makes your company THEIR partner of choice.

When done well, feature writing can be a powerful tool for business and can help you save on advertising costs. After all, there are few things more powerful than a compelling story shared online or through word of mouth.

To know more about how feature writing can work for your business or organization, join Feature Writing 101 by Writer’s Block Philippines. The one-day workshop runs on February 18, 2012, 10am to 6pm at Quantum Café, Kamagong St, Makati. For complete details, visit <www.writersblockphilippines.com>, email writersblock.ph@gmail.com, or call/text (0927) 850 5280.

A Writer’s Wish List

BY ELISHA VERA INOCENCIO

 

No writer can write without his tools such as reading books and having a good grasp of grammar.  But the act of writing itself, the discipline, I’m finding out, requires more than crossing off books from Top 100 lists or knowing when to put that often-missed punctuation mark.

To commit to the discipline, I must have a list of things: quirks, rituals, abilities, attitudes, relationships, a certain life to live that can help me (and has already helped me) to write everyday.  Books are given, but since I don’t get them a lot as gifts, more to the point, since people think that there are better gifts than books (like store-bought fruitcake or digital photo frame), they will remain the most coveted things in my wish list.

Here is a list of things that I, or any amateur writer, would appreciate from friends, family, from anyone really, including the creativity god:

1.     A metal refillable ballpoint pen with enough ink to write a narrative.

2.     A fresh stack of Moleskine or non-ruled notebooks.

3.     An ergonomic chair to match a big mahogany desk.

4.     The uninterrupted ritual of having good tasting coffee (or healthy stimulant of choice) every morning.

5.     A window overlooking a garden. A window to stare at when the blank page stares back, not a little impatiently.

6.     A great playlist—opera, romantic adagios, Adele’s beautiful singing voice, that soundtrack from an underrated indie film, whatever music that makes you cry or smile or remember that conversation or image you used to replay in your head. Any music that moves you that you can’t wait to sit and write what it could mean.

7.     A pair of good running or walking shoes to use outdoors, when the need to lose yourself in the busyness of things is great, usually during difficulties thinking on paper.

8.     Anthologies of poems, essays, travel writing, mystery stories, short stories and the like.

9.     Books. Books. Books. New or second-hand. Electronic or conventional.

10.  Memories—good and bad—awakened by a word or a turn of phrase or a scene or character from a movie or a book. Memories that must simply be recalled on paper, giving life to what you already know.

11.  Strangers, friends, or family who see and hear you, but don’t see and hear you because you are suffering from the most acceptable form of schizophrenia and your best thoughts are yet to be written. Always to be written.

12.  The forgiveness of friends whom you don’t see or talk to for weeks or months on end. Because you ENJOY your solitude. You NEED your solitude.

13.  The one who could break your heart (if it’s not already broken) because if he could make you care so deeply, then with passion, you can say, that he will RUE the day he betrayed you. Imagine how he’d make a good character in your story: the hero (or villain) you can torture and kill in the end for fun.

14.  A brave heart to help you submit your work even when you think it’s not good.

15.  The experience of having written an account or story worthy of being read even by the most avid of readers and the most critical of critics: YOU.

Not listed, but always needed are a laptop, a recorder, and a real good digital camera, which should complete my initiation to the writer’s life.  If I’m constantly traveling, having a tablet to do some Internet research on or to send quick emails from, especially during deadlines, could make my life easier (and bags lighter). But if I can already do those on my smart phone, I would ask for an e-reader, not only to store out-of-print, hard-to-find, and volumes of books, but also to do that thing which writers must do: to mark and save well-written sentences or favorite book quotes or passages and retrieve and organize them for later use.

 

Elisha Vera Inocencio is a consummate reader and an aspiring writer. She admires the works of humorist David Sedaris, award-winning travel journalist Andrew McCarthy, and fiction and non-fiction writer Haruki Murakami. As a marketing professional, Elisha has written eye care feature articles published in select lifestyle and health magazines. She typically keeps a mountain of notebooks and always prefers to write with a metal ballpoint pen.

Confessions of a Reader Wanting to Write

BY ELISHA VERA INOCENCIO

 

The more I read, the more I discover how limited my vocabulary is for an aspiring writer. Not only that, my ability to describe things so that pink is not only pink, but luncheon-meat pink, needs improvement—the observe-everything-like-Sherlock-Holmes kind of improvement.  Then there’s the obvious: figuring out my voice or tone. Am I leaning toward being satirical like Vonnegut (whom I have yet to read) or toward being funny and self-deprecating like my favorite author David Sedaris? I can be either or both, I just don’t know yet which self is brave enough for acceptance or rejection. Maybe I have a third self, undiscovered and more hopeful. If only a sorting hat can tell.

I need to read more to solve the problems of reading enough. Luckily, my thirtysomething brain is not complaining. I love to read. I am born to read. My myopic eyes are constantly assaulted by 12-point characters and are begging for frequent rests. And so I write this to distribute the burden of my difficult but not impossible dream to another body part that needs equal flexing: my right hand.

If I could write with my left hand, I would probably force it into labor too, except that it might exact revenge by producing words that only it can read. It is not born a left hand if it can’t be subversive.  Until I learn how to master it, my left hand will remain pen-free for the time being. Besides, it is not completely useless. It is still responsible in holding the left pages of a book and turning the page as I dig deep into the story. Good or bad writing regardless, it enables me to read on.

Then there’s my backside. It needs a variety of cushions and backrests to give it the illusion of comfort during long hours of sitting, staring into the blank page, writing, staring into space or window, shifting stare into the blank page, and writing. If I’m aiming to write 2,000 words a day, it will be sitting like Rodin for two to three hours. If I brave writing 50,000 words (a novel) to get a badge (NaNoWriMo), it will be sitting for one month until it grows into the backside of the 30-foot seated figure of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Forget my backside, my left hand will be sweating, shaking, and bleeding half of the words of the novel after my right hand obliges.

I am staring again into space, particularly into my pocket dictionary. The clock stroke six. Should I stop writing? Because If I stop, then I will have to continue reading under an artificial light. My myopic eyes will love that and so will my eye doctor, if I ever dare to admit the abuses in exchange for an updated contact lens prescription. Speaking of which, are there lenses that prevent the eye from rolling and voluntarily closing when the paragraphs become longer, or when the story or the way it is written loses its appeal? Because if there are, then maybe, just maybe, it will stop me from abandoning some books just because I decide that I’ve read enough.  But then again, who am I kidding? I don’t imagine I’ll be able to write well if I don’t read, read, and read. And it’s not just because Stephen King said it. I know that the only reason why I’m able to write is because I read.  Not just fiction, but essays and news and features and children’s stories and poems, especially poems.

It is almost 9pm. Should I stop writing? Probably not, but I should get back to reading. Then tomorrow I can write more.

 

Elisha Vera Inocencio is a consummate reader and an aspiring writer. She admires the works of humorist David Sedaris, award-winning travel journalist Andrew McCarthy, and fiction and non-fiction writer Haruki Murakami. As a marketing professional, Elisha has written eye care feature articles published in select lifestyle and health magazines. She typically keeps a mountain of notebooks and always prefers to write with a metal ballpoint pen.

 

*Want to contribute to WritersBlockPhilippines.com? Just email your article ideas to writersblock.ph@gmail.com.

A Letter from One Young Writer to Another

BY ANNA OPOSA

 

Dear young writer,

When I say “young,” it can mean either in age or in career. I’m both. I’m 23 years old, and I just graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in English Studies.

I am writing this letter to you because I am a writer. Or at least, that’s what people call me. I started writing stories when I was about six years old. Inspired by Sweet Valley Kids, I created a world with twins named Lea and Lou, and my dad would type my handwritten notes and print them out so I could feel like I was getting published.

Ten years later, I started getting published in magazines. Then newspapers. Then a couple of books and literary journals.

Though I think I’m far from being a Writer (yes, with a capital W), I do write quite a lot. As a freelance writer and social media practitioner, I write for a living.

Here are ten things I’ve learned along the way:

1.    Read. A lot. I don’t just mean crossing off the titles on the 100 Books You Should Read Before You Die list, but read anything and everything: graffiti scrawled on the bathroom door, quotes painted at the back of jeepneys and trucks, and statement t-shirts. It’s fascinating how words and punctuation marks behave in different contexts. You’ll also discover nuances and insights to a culture when you have a heightened awareness for the way thoughts and sentences are constructed.

Also, you become the writer you read. You wanna become a copywriter? Pay more attention to ads, brochures, and billboards. You wanna be a feature writer? Fill your bookshelves with nonfiction anthologies and subscribe to your favorite magazine.

2.    Have a love affair with language, fonts, words, and punctuation marks. As a writer, these are your most powerful tools. Keep a notebook with your favorite words and phrases. Know the difference between serif and sans serif. Find out what an Oxford comma is.

While you’re at it, please look up what the most common grammatical mistakes are. You’ll be surprised at how many you’ve been using. It’s not, “I’m craving for…” but “I have a craving for…” or “I’m craving a (fill in the blank).” You were not born on December, but in. Stop yourself from saying “literally” after every sentence, too. When you say your best friend literally has your back, that means you’re holding her spine.

This love affair with language doesn’t necessarily mean using big words all the time. Sometimes, young writers use hifalutin words to sound impressive, but they end up sounding silly instead. Don’t pull out the thesaurus every chance you get. The purpose of writing is to communicate.

3.    Embrace criticism. Toughen up, for there will be a lot of this coming your way. It’s inescapable. When I took my first writing workshop, my piece, which my 16-year-old self thought was brilliant, was shown in class as an example of how not to write. In first year college, my first fiction piece was returned with angry red marks and a short note: “Ew. You have no sense of plot.” In my last year, my professor looked at a press release I wrote and said, “To say that your newswriting sucks is an understatement.”

Your professors, editors, and mentors give criticism because they want you to improve. Be more worried when they don’t say anything. What matters is what you do with this criticism. Cry if you have to, but make sure you walk back to your computer and start rewriting.

4.    Experiment with different methods and processes to let your creativity flow. There’s no right way to write, only a right way for you. Some can work in public areas like cafés, while others prefer the privacy of their own homes. A change of scenery can do wonders for your work (may be negative or positive). If you can write with music, create different playlists, because music can and will influence your mood (again, may be negative or positive). My current one has Adele, Up Dharma Down, and Beyonce. When you don’t like the way your paragraphs flow, rearrange the sequence. Start with the ending or middle. Delete an entire paragraph.

5.    Getting published is a combination of luck and abnormal persistence. There are times when an editor will stumble upon your work and ask if you are interested to write for his/her publication. But often, you will need to do you share of “selling” yourself. Build your résumé and select a few writing samples to send to different publications. Always tailor your résumé and writing samples to the job you are applying for.

6.    Read some more.

7.    SAVE YOUR WORK. Technology is both a boon and bane. Nothing hurts more than working on an article for hours only to have an unexpected virus or blackout ravage your work. Buy an external hard drive, carry USB flash drives in your bag or with your keys, and make a separate email address just dedicated to your work so you can access it wherever you are.

8.    Protect your name. To borrow one of the greatest lessons I learned from one of this country’s greatest writers, Dr. Butch Dalisay: “Whether you’re getting paid 5,000 or 500,000, you have to treat each project with the same respect and seriousness. It carries your name, after all.”

9.    Be professional. There is a misconception that being a professional writer simply means getting paid to write. Hard work always trumps talent. You may move people with your words, but if you don’t show up on time for events and interviews, or you don’t meet deadlines, there’s a huge chance that you won’t be writing for that publication again.

10. Have an insatiable appetite for learning. Don’t fall into a read-write-rinse-repeat cycle. Go out, talk to people, take a course on wine or coffee, or memorize at least 10 endemic Philippine species. Good writers know a little something about everything. Be a jack of all trades, and aspire to be a master of all, too.

And most of all, write. Writing is a skill that can continue to approve and develop.

Keep writing.

 

Love,

Anna

 

Anna Oposa was a participant at the Walk Write This Way 1.0 in June 2010. That’s where Writer’s Block Philippines first discovered her intense drive to save the Philippine seas (it’s a trait that probably runs in the genes), her insatiable wanderlust, and her instinctive ability to find a good story to write about in almost everything.  Anna’s work has been published in asianTraveler, Illustrado, and OfficiallyPhilippines.com, among others.

*Want to contribute to WritersBlockPhilippines.com? Just email your article ideas to writersblock.ph@gmail.com.

Write a Novel in a Month!

November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) month where thousands of professional and amateur writers get together to write 50,000 words or the equivalent of 175 pages in 30 days.

(To make the task a little easier to chew on, think about it in terms of the daily word count of about 1,667 words.)

Log on to www.nanowrimo.org to register, clock in your word count, get words of encouragement from other writers and just about everything you need to get started on getting your story ideas out of your head, onto the computer and possibly one step closer to getting published!