Linggo, Hunyo 7, 2015

#SparkNA Journey to Bravery

I signed up for the #SparkNA online class by Ms. Mina Esguerra because it's been almost two years since I last wrote a full novella. I thought I should join the online class to motivate myself to finish and produce another novella after my second self-publish book Forget Me Not for #romanceclass.

What I really liked about joining these online classes was that I was given a deadline which motivated me to meet them and produce something significant by the timeline set for us. Also, we were given themes/ topics to work on in these classes which was good for me since I usually get writer's block when thinking of what to write about. Somehow I get to have ideas pop into my head from these themes. Although I think two months to finish a full novella with a minimum of 20K words was a very short period compared to what was set for us back in #romanceclass. So it was really one hell of cramming and daydreaming in my head. I wasn't even sure I was going to finish it because of some unexpected events.

Around the time we were already writing Act One of our #SparkNA novella, I got chicken pox and was really feeling unwell. At first, I thought, "Is this a sign from God that I won't be able to submit anything for the #SparkNA? Maybe it just isn't meant to be." But then, spending only two days locked up in my room and still 12 more days to go until I can go out and not be contagious anymore, I saw the situation more as an opportunity for me to actually write since I don't have to go to work. I literally spent the whole time in front of my laptop watching TV shows I have been keeping for future viewing and sleeping and resting. After only two days, I was really bored and restless that I needed to do something and get my mind off all the itchiness and redness. So I started to work on my #SparkNA novella for 4 hours every night before I go to sleep. Soon enough, I was able to complete my novella way ahead of the deadline. I was actually surprised that I was brave enough to see the disaster as an opportunity and something positive and dump the Nega Girl that I have always been. ;) I guess the possibility of getting published by Anvil Spark Books and getting my book to the bookstores was motivation enough for me to push through and not get held back by chicken pox and myself--my own worst enemy!

Since 'Be Brave' was the theme of #SparkNA, I, like my other classmates, also came to the conclusion that not only did my character became brave but also me. (I don't know if they'll get how my character was brave but this is how I was.) This was the first time I was really challenged to write something different and mature with regards to heat levels of a romance novella. Since it is a New Adult genre I thought maybe I should up the heat level in my writing but I was still not ready for Heat Level #5 so I went from 0 to level #2 only. That was still really something new for me since I have never written anything but 'clean' sweet romance. With my #SparkNA novella I braved new territory which I still don't know if I succeeded to make readers get the feels or not. In my opinion, I was able to do it quite better than I expected since I got a reaction from one of my beta readers. :p

Submitting this #SparkNA novella meant either achieving something (which was to get published and be in the bookstores) or getting a big fat rejection. I have had my fair share of rejections from a lot of publishers from way back when I was still in college and most probably it's because of my poor writing skills back then which I would like to assume that I have improved a lot on since. I was thinking twice about submitting because I did not really want to get rejected or left hanging without any response at all. I could always get my book out there by self-publishing it, right? Why do I have to let myself go through the pain of getting rejected again. But then I thought, maybe it was time to try again. Maybe this time, the outcome will be better. Am really crossing my fingers for me and my classmates that we all get approved by Anvil Spark Books. So I did what I had to do and submitted my manuscript and braved whatever may come--rejection or acceptance. Come what may. As my best friend told me, at least I know clearly in my head it was a rejection and not just a bunch of endless 'what ifs'. It was better to have an actual result. She was right so I hit 'Send'.

To sum it up, this #SparkNA class was a great experience for me. Being more active in the Twitter feeds than I was before made me meet new friends that could help me improve and be motivated knowing that I am not alone in this journey.  It was nice to know that we have someone to cheer us on and cram together with.

On to my next journey with #HeistClub! That if life permits it. Haha

Congrats to my #SparkNA classmates! 31 novellas were produced! WOOT WOOT!!!
Let's reach for the stars!

Artwork credits to Cherriuki

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