Anyone who’s ever liked a book wants to be a writer. It’s natural — you’re moved by words on a page, you think, “Hey, I wonder if I can do that?” You start a journal. You attempt to write your own version of Sweet Valley High/Nancy Drew. You make up characters in your head.
Once you’ve written a couple of stories, you begin to think, “Maybe I can be a published author one day.” You start picturing your name on the covers of books on the shelves of National Bookstore, right next to, say, Nick Joaquin or Stephen King. You imagine couples naming their babies after characters you’ve created. You daydream of getting mobbed by journalists at the premiere of the movie based on your bestselling trilogy (right after they finish interviewing the star, maybe Angelina Jolie or Judy Ann Santos). You practice your speech for your first Hugo award (“Thank you, World Science Fiction Society. This means more to me than even my Academy Award for best original screenplay.”)
You find yourself a lot of the time, after reading a book, thinking, I can totally write better than this.
And then that’s it.
For most people, that’s where it stops.
How do you think authors — published, famous authors — got to where they are today? They wrote novels. They wrote stories. Most of them wrote pretty awful stories, but they wrote more stories and they got better. Then they submitted these stories and novels to magazines and publishing houses. They got rejections. They rewrote their stories and novels, maybe attended some writing workshops. Then they submitted some more stories, and got more rejections. (J.K. Rowling reportedly received 12 rejections for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.) They persevered. They got published. They achieved what most of us dream of having — a writing career. Some of them are famous, some of them are rich. Some of them are enjoying fulfilling writing careers doing what they love and making money.
Now between casting actors for the film adaptation of your as yet unwritten masterpiece of a novel and getting annoyed that some author who can’t seem to be able to put together a coherent paragraph has now sold millions of copies of her books, have you ever asked yourself: “Am I doing what it takes to become a published author?”
No, you say. But no one in the Philippines makes a good enough living just being a writer. Most of them have day jobs and businesses.
You will be right. Maybe no one does. Not yet.
You know what the secret is? Getting a bigger audience for your books. If the Philippine market isn’t big enough to sustain a lucrative career, why not the world? How about writing books and selling them to people in the United States? France? Japan?