How did I become a published author

There is no such thing as a frustrated writer. Apparently, if you are writing, you are considered a writer. I wanted to hold on to this thought, but we all know that the fulfilment of being a writer comes from the fact that someone actually takes the time to read what we write. And so, to become a published author has become my ultimate goal. How and when did I start writing and eventually published my first book? Let me tell you my story.

Yellow papers, math notebooks, magazine cutouts

My high school friends and I were ultimate fangirls. And we loved writing fanfiction. We’d write stories about the Backstreet Boys, Hanson and other boy bands you could think of at the time (uh yes, I guess I am THAT old!). I’d like to believe that our fanfiction craze was ignited by the Bop magazine cutouts (Bop was one of the teen magazines where we get our posters and fangirl stuff). These fill-in-the-blank short stories reveal how you spent the weekend or maybe the entire summer holidays with your favorite star.

Textbooks and R.L. Stine

My school history books were fascinating. They took me back in time, to a place where everything looks and feels different. My fiction craze started when I discovered copies of R.L. Stine’s YA horror books in the school library. I got hooked on them so much that I wanted to write my own high school horror stories (like, with ghosts and paranormal things), featuring me, my classmates, and our crushes! The story could be read right here (it’s in Tagalog). I’m glad to have this retrieved because the original manuscript was confiscated by our journalism teacher.

Wattpad stories became popular

I didn’t write on Wattpad (prolifically), because I felt like I was too old for that (seriously). That, and the fact that I didn’t have the time because I was already employed. I noticed that most readers are teenagers and the things they want to read were way different from what I wanted to write. This was also the time when I already started to fill my bookshelf with books in all kinds of genres and wanted to write something that I haven’t read before. Soon, I was writing my own romance story.

Rejections are all part of it

Destiny Cheated Me was originally titled Soulmates, and I submitted its first manuscript to a publishing company. As disheartening as it was, the manuscript was rejected. Of course, at first, I felt like I lost it, and started thinking maybe I really wasn’t molded to be an author. But I just continued to read more and which grew my fascination with contemporary YA literature. Soon I was telling myself that one day, my book will be on bookstore shelves too. I revised my manuscript, taking into account what the editor told me that I could improve on. When I felt like it was way much better than the first one, I submitted it again, but to another publisher.

Destiny Cheated Me hit the bookstores

Lifebooks gave me my first break – it fulfilled my dream of becoming a published author. Destiny Cheated Me became my first traditionally published book! It was followed by Come and Rescue Me the following year.

Attending workshops help

The first writing workshop I attended was the Just Write Workshop. It was a very generous offer, because number one, it’s free. Number two, it taught me a lot about what it takes to become an author – you just don’t write and write, but you also have to continue learning so to master your craft. Number three, it opened the doors for me to meet other aspiring authors who also wanted to get published. Number four, it allowed me to meet the authors of the Filipino romance books I’ve read. Number five, the workshop gave me another opportunity to finish another story and make it available to the public. Thus, I Still… was born.

Through workshops I’ve learned that there’s more to being an author than just writing. It allowed me to do better in writing, know what to do next after I finished a story, meet other authors, and discover an entirely different world than what I’ve created for myself. Reading books, on the other hand, helped me widen my perspective and vocabulary, so there’s always something new to write.

Right here, write now

To become a published author is a honor to behold, but keep in mind too, that it’s not always bed of roses. There were lots of heavily caffeinated sleepless nights, frustrating writer’s blocks, and even days of anxiety while waiting for that email from the traditional publisher bearing the news of whether you are getting published or not. So if you also want to get published, bear in mind that it takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and patience.

become a published author

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