It is a known fact that I have always wanted to publish a book. Back in high school, I loved writing poems and I would be quite giddy every time one of them gets included in the literary section of our school newspaper. I was happy to get to share my poems to everyone who would take the time to read the literary section and at the same time I felt honored whenever one of my teachers would take notice of something I had written.
Writing has always been something I had wanted to pursue and while I didn’t really get to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing or anything remotely close to writing, the dream to see my name on the cover of a book has always been there.
But truth be told I am one of the many who has always been planning and talking about the stuff I would want to write or what I would want to accomplish as a writer. I’ve bought quite a handful of books just last year alone hoping it could inspire me to at least kickstart what should be the beginning to finally achieving my dream.
I won NaNoWrimo in 2011 after completing the 50,000 word count goal for The Wedding Dress but until now I haven’t gotten around to finishing the whole story. It’s something I should definitely need to revisit if I ever decide to actually finish it. I do want to finish it because I don’t want my previous efforts to go to waste and I do believe I’ve written some beautiful passages for that novel.
I also joined #buqosteamyreads earlier this year to try and meet new people and at the same time pitch some ideas and inspiration from fellow Filipino aspiring authors. I also wanted to push myself a bit further by aiming to write a romantic short story with a heat level 3. But once again, I cut myself short and didn’t get to finish my story just in time for the deadline of the first draft.
There have been a lot of things I’ve missed and a lot of opportunities I let pass because I couldn’t finish anything. I would be so obsessed at perfecting how I should start all these stories that I come up in my head (how I should word them, how I should provide a background for the character, etc.), that that’s all I ever get to write—mostly beginnings with no end.
That’s why finishing this narrative in one sitting last year was something I felt proud of. It’s one thing to start working on a project but to finish what you started is a whole other thing. The feeling is priceless regardless of the word count or the uniqueness of the story, because I finally finished something. It was nothing grand but what mattered to me was that it had a beginning and an end.
When I started compiling all the stuff I have written from 2003 until 2013 for Hearstrung, I didn’t think it would be that hard. I guess you can say it should be pretty easy since those are words I had already written before, but that’s where you’re wrong.
Most of them have been a part of me and some are deeply rooted from my past. I was going to uncover some of the memories I had already buried. I was going to bare out my soul for everyone to see; and my ideals, not just my writing, were open to criticism.
So why am I proud of Heartstrung? Why is publishing this book important to me?
For most of my life I’ve always dreamed of falling in love. It’s something I might have gotten from watching too many Disney Princesses movies or romantic comedies growing up.
I wanted to meet a cute boy or a dashing man and be swept off my feet. I wanted to be whispered with sweet nothings in my ear. I wanted to be held with warmth and tenderness that could make my knees melt but at the same time assure me of security. I wanted warm passionate kisses even on a hot summer’s day. I dreamed and wanted all those things and most of them were/are reflected in my writing.
But life happened and for a time those dreams were clouded with cynicism and contempt.
Then one weekend I decided to pick up a book proof copy of Heartstrung to proofread and edit it. Can you imagine my tears when I read the dedication on the book that I wrote? Yes, I wrote it, but sometimes you have to really go back to be reminded of the things that you hold very dear in your heart.
I was at the brink of losing hope and faith to the one thing I have always dreamed of and believed in and there I was crying over something I had written because it was (I was) telling me not to give up. To continue on. And this is why I am proud of Heartstrung and my effort of sharing it to the world.
Heartstrung reminded me of the girl I had always been, full of hopes and dreams. It brought me back the hope I needed and still need. And I can’t help but pray that whoever gets to read some of the passages in the book will be inspired to never lose hope, to continue on strong, and to always love.
I am proud of Heartstrung because I got to finish something that could possibly dare people to move. I am proud of Heartstrung because I finally took a step towards fulfilling one of my greatest dreams.