3 Ways to Respect Your Writer Self, Especially When Others Do Not

Do you feel respect for your writing? Especially when you can’t place yourself in the successful rack? Or you’ve been there, done that, but couldn’t seem to climb back up?

I cannot really remember when I ever had control of my personal life. It is always about responsibilities amounting and overwhelming and a day each, one-step-then-two… to survive. It’s always been a hurdle to my writing career, in that I have to write because I need to earn, not because I had to write. Do you know what I mean? On the other hand, I cannot stop writing. No buts and whys. I cannot.

The only other thing wherein I used to have a semblance of control was when I was writing. But living the way that I was living, with people around me who are not readers or writers like myself, and pattern in my writing history showing writing doesn’t make you rich or even comfortable however many thousands of readers you have (Welcome to the Philippines in the dark ages before eReaders!), make many in the immediate vicinity unbelievers.

Writing Meme

See what I mean? Any real writer who’s seen this roaming around will laugh but then with that tiny little edge at the end of the sound suspiciously sounds like you’re about to cry.

I’ve come to the point in my writing career when you can identify me as the ‘homeless writer’ because my desk is everywhere, all my notes on my OneNote, all my inspirations in the air, all my aspirations in my spirit, and all my printing fund in borrowers’ hands. So, basically, I’m fucked.

Oh no. There’s Amazon. So I am not really as fucked.

But what I’m trying to say is, I know there’s a lot of you out there who couldn’t possibly be as screwed as me. There is some basic, experienced-based advice a 20 year in the run writer like me needs to impart to you. By any chance, you already know this. But, for the love of God, these are the most important things, especially if you are a real writer, and you can’t possibly ignore the writing Gringe when it comes to you, at any point in your life, at any time of the day, typically 24/7. Gringe, I’m telling you. It’s not a muse, it’s a Gringe!

1. Have a writing space, goddammit.

Don’t ever think this isn’t important. In the US, every kid has their own room, so it is so, so easy to make one corner of the room your safe writing space. You can sleep there, drool over a particularly genius twist, wring your fingers or pull at your hairs because of a particularly complicated plot, or laugh evilly as you get into your heinous antagonist character, without anyone thinking you’re going crazy. You can stay in that space if you haven’t bathed for three days.

But at least throw out your hotdog wrappers or the empty pizza box. That’s just gross, even the cat won’t respect you.

2. Be fiercely protective of your project until it’s truly done.

You see, with the advent of social media, Wattpad and electronic readers, we’ve come to the point when it is so easy… so easy… to send out your work to the clouds prematurely. We’ve become a slave of instant gratification. We’ve been posting excerpts before we’re done with chapter 5… most of the time it’s to prove we’re working.

Why are we so defensive? Why are we into this psychotic competition crap with ourselves? Who do we hurt the most in showing raw, unfinished work?

On the other hand, many writers thrive on collaboration, and if you are like them, don’t mind number 2. ‘Coz who could be stupid enough to upload or print books that are not finished and done. Right?

3. Be humble.

There are so many things a writer can say or give advice to ‘how to become a novelist’ but there is this one that will send you along in the long-term. Be humble. I have known of no other people who could easily fall into the trap of ‘I’m better, I’m the best’ than writers. You know why? Because it’s a counter-measure for the many numbers of rejections we’ve received and are still to receive, which also means you’ve worked about three months for a novel and you’ve got no money to buy groceries for the next day anymore. It’s so scary being a writer. But we have no choice. Do we? Aaaaargh! It’s a never-ending story!

So keep reading your favorite authors — the ones who’d guided you into finding your writing voice, keep writing, keep learning new writing techniques, explore other genres, and don’t let the ego drips get too much (sometimes, milktea helps). Stay humble, because too much pride can color your quality of work and your emotions.

So, folks, that’s it for now. My desk (right now the laptop stand on my bed) is calling on me to… I think the shower is hollering, too. Keep up the life and I’ll catch you again!

My Phantom Book Available as An EBook!!!

My first book to a series I have been working on for a long time is now available as an ebook in Smashwords. I couldn’t submit it to Amazon, though, I am sorry. Kindle doesn’t accept books written in the Filipino language.

During my free time, I sleep and I still eat, thank you very much.

I hope to write more experiences in this self-publishing venture in the coming days. Hope everyone else is doing well in their own projects!

Catch you soon!

If you are a Filipino and you’d like to check my ebook out, here is the link to Smashwords.


You can contact me on my Facebook to order the physical book if you are in the Philippines!

Writing Secret Sins & White Lies

I am finally done with the book and have started shipping since the local delivery from Books on Demand last week. It is also alive in Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Yay and double Yay!

Sweet Rage Book 1: Secret Sins & White Lies in English-Filipino

I kind of like still on the phase where I still feel it isn’t real. I have been on that story too long – or at least on Philippine standards it took too long. The main problem is I followed usual protocol and announced an ‘expected’ time frame for finishing the book. Usually, as I have observed on a previous collaboration project I have had and what other self-publishing authors have been doing locally is they normally announce that a book is being in production and it will be released on this date and that. I used to churn out a book of twenty-five thousand words in a week. Fifty thousand words can take up a month. That was what I predicted.

Lo and behold. Of course.

It took me about six months for just the rough draft alone, a month of lay outing, and about three weeks for the first 200 copies to be printed before the re-sellers could have their book orders on hand.

A very rough draft of the whole story that took about 150 thousand words had been , kind of, ready August of 2018. From that draft, I planned on only taking away the first third, since I wanted it to be serialized in three parts. The first part, I announced, would be ready by September. But it turned out, the whole story is not meant to be serialized. It’s meant to become the whole first book to a series that rapidly changed concept while I was revising it. From just an erotic romance, it’s become an erotic thriller. I was finishing the supposedly original story when it came to me that it couldn’t be as simple as that. It’s going to be boring, or if not will not reach the characters’ full potential. A twisted past should have enough intrigue to balance it out. I. Just. Couldn’t. Stop. Tinkering. With. It. Or my muse just wouldn’t.

Or just don’t take a bath when you’re working on a story. It’s that moment, when you’re under the shower and you’re just being calm, getting ready for the day. thinking of nothing and just anything — unguarded — that the Muse will attack. And suddenly, you just gotta have a serial killer in your story. And someone there is just so perfect for this new character because he’s just sneaky enough.

So. Just don’t take baths. Or think of the bills when you’re relaxing under the shower. Err, just don’t relax when you’re taking a bath!

So, anyway, that’s how it first started. I put in this little scene that suggested someone else is moving in the background. And, you know about those sneaky little add-ons. Somehow, suddenly, you bring home the whole tub of chicken plus the spaghetti and the soup and the fries. Then you complain about bloating the next day!

This is the blurb of the story after the final draft is done:

GIANCARLO VERRAZZANO lives a life forged out of the sins of his past. There was no going back. Or so he thought…
Young Elise of the Von Schiller family was sent to Gian to mentor without divulging her identity. A professed cynic to love, she manages to draw him in with her innocent charm and cheeky wit, while her beauty awakens his inner demons. These are secrets she must not ever know.
Then an old enemy comes back to the city, and he exposes her to keep her safe. But it forces him to confess his connection to a secret club that caters to the darkest secrets of tortured souls…

ELISE SOLER dreads the day she has to face the world as a Von Schiller heiress.
At the same time, she fights being spoiled by her over-protective guardian and mentor. Gian is so committed to his duties and she can never believe the nasty rumors she hears about him. In his safeguarding, she has never felt more safe – especially with the spate of young women missing in the city.
But when he himself confesses those rumors are true, she has to step back and see with unbiased eyes the real man lurking behind the almost perfect mask…

To make the long story short, I finished the whole supposedly three parts in about 5 months after that unfortunate shower, and I now have the outline for the next book in the series. What is supposedly just Giancarlo and Elise in three books became the founders and members of an exclusive fetish club called Secret Sins Club with their headquarters in a exclusive twenty-storey building called Sinful Saints Chapel. There’s a shadow group that also practice fetish, but in a very dark way, and this usually affects our heroes and heroines in the most sinister way possible, as would be proven by Secret Sins & White Lies.

It’s a Filipino-English novel. But since it’s more than 50% English anyway, I am working on the translation to it this very day, the same time I am lay outing the ebook version and lay outing another book for another series (Wild Writers Society’s Seasons of Love.) I really want to get my work exposed to as much readers as possible, for big exposure to learning not just as a writer but as an entrepreneur, as much as possible, too. (*big sigh*) I am really hoping to finish it in the next month. Pray!

Right now, this book is available for Print-on-Demand in Amazon and Barnes&Noble through Ingramspark with links here:

Amazon Link: Secret Sins & White Lies

BN Link: Secret Sins & White Lies

The ebook of the novel will be available by April.

I hope Filipino communities all over will try to read my first solo self-publishing venture. I promise to work harder to give you more exciting books in the future!


My experience of blogging over the last three months on WordPress – The good and the ethically questionable.

Keeping this here to get back to whenever I need advice. Thanks, Louis!

Learning to write

This is going to be a review of my experience of blogging and the word press platform, and how I have gone from 0-750+ followers in three months. I will pre-warn you that not everything I talk about is going to be in the realm of good ethical behaviour.

Things I have learned:

  • Tags are important

    • Ethically correct: Use all the tags you can and make them as relevant to your post as possible. This will get you views from the type of people you’re interested in.

    • Ethically dubious: Some tags have more viewers than others, for example, I am PhD student, and I include the tag PhD in my posts; however, this only has around twenty posts in it per day, so if I were feeling roguish and all I cared about were views, I would drop this for a tag with more traffic as views are views right? No…

View original post 1,541 more words

Secret Sins & White Lies, Sweet rage Book 1 Immac Proof OUT Today

I haven’t held it yet…

Front of the Book

I think because of the long delays and the really heavy pressure, the excitement is getting delayed. The feeling of… this should have happened months ago… but later. I know later…

The spine…

It’s a 500 paged, 5.5″ by 8.5″ sized, cream paper and matte cover book of erotic thriller in Tagalog English. It’s this thick.
My very first self-published book with no collaboration.
Okay, it’s not really excitement. I’m downright scared.

500 pages of cream paper in 5.5″ by 8.5″

But it’s just me. don’t mind me, guys. Carry on.

(Crying on the side.)

The Word Count Begins

So the word count begins. 

Talent, skill, and persistence is the key to a story. Most authors I know have been more faithful, really, than skillful, before we ever got published. Talent doesn’t really guarantee getting published, and experience shows being with traditional publishers can’t give all the happiness. You can’t pin your emotional satisfaction from the work you do outside of yourself. You do good work… and the rest follows.

Nowadays, it is so easy to get your story out there. My very first aspirations were written on my notepads during boring classes in high school, and unfortunately did not even survive time’s purging of our house of non-essential things. Though, if my Mama had known I would be a writer, she would have held on to those notebooks!

I’m busy editing short stories written by my fellow writers in this group we created called Wild Writers Society, born of frustration from what we observe happening on Facebook regarding the writing industry of the little spot we have here in the Philippines. We’re just romance writers, prolific readers, and people who want to stay on loving stories — whether we read it or we write it. We don’t want negativity. We don’t want drama. We don’t like narcissism. We love egos — if displayed with such kindness and class, that is. Most of all, we want to learn together, stay learning together, encourage each other, pray for each other, give each other pats in the back for jobs well done, exploit on our second chances, and eventually pay it forward by inviting and mentoring others.

The word count starts with…
recounts of what we’ve gone through on our private group page while we’re brainstorming through story outlines, funny quotes from members, posts about what techniques have been effective so far, reviews, and suggestions, tips and advice that have helped us finish work. We are also planning on posting our experiences in publishing through independent means that we hope will help other indie writers get their stories/books out there.

And… we persist, and hope… and continue to love the craft. And we pray that it continues to love us, too.