A month ago, Kath and I launched our books: What Am I To You, the prequel to Kath's novel, Before I Do, and The Stranger I Met, my first novel. It has been a month, yes, but I am still as overjoyed as I was during the launch title "KathXKat."*
I started keeping a diary at the age of 6, and when I was 10, I knew that I wanted to make a career out of writing. A lot of people were quick to tell me that there's no money in it, but what's the point of having a lucrative career if you don't like what you're doing?
Maybe I am fortunate to have figured out what I want to do at a young age. I feel blessed to have found a calling in something I'm good at. But just like in any other endeavor, I can't just sit and wait for good things to come to me. I have to work hard. Talent alone cannot bring me to places.
So what did I do? I invested time in my craft. For me, time is the most important investment because you can no longer take it back. If you spend money on something, you can earn the same amount again. But you can never earn or get back the time you spend, so it's better to invest it on something you really love.
I joined the school paper in grade school, high school, and first year of college so I can practice my writing. I consider the school paper phase a significant investment because it is where I learned to write for a publication, to edit, to conceptualize stories, and follow deadlines. It gave me an idea on how to write for a magazine or newspaper.
I also took up journalism in college. Back then, I wanted to work in the media. I wanted to write for a magazine or a newspaper. And I was able to do so. Everything that I had imagined myself doing, I was able to do. Except for writing a book. It's probably every writer's dream, and someday, when I am old and gray, I don't want to sit on my rocking chair, look back on my youth, and say to myself, "I wish I had done it."
That's why when Kath added me on Facebook, and I found out that she's also a writer, I approved her friend request. Then, I learned that she's having a mentorship program for writers who want to write romance novels. The program is called "You Are Invited 2017," where we would write short romance novels under an umbrella theme.
This how The Stranger I Met was born. It is the novel I wrote under her program, where I learned how to write a novel synopsis, make character profiles, create an outline, and bring my plot to life. Joining Kath's program is another investment in my craft, and I am happy that I took the time to sit down and write something that is not a requirement in my job.
Now, my dream of publishing my own book has come true. But this is just the start. I still have a long way to go. I have to promote and sell my book. I also want to write more books, and in order to do so, I must invest more time in it. Thankfully, I have Kath working with me. And I hope, when we launch our succeeding books, works of other writers will be launched together with ours, too.
*KathXKat was made possible through the partnership of PaperKat Books and Sun Life Financial. The launch was held at BoardroomPH Ortigas, 2/F Robins Design Centre, Meralco Ave., Pasig City
Click here to order a copy of The Stranger I Met. Log on to paperkatbooks.com to order a copy of What Am I To You.