Why I am proud of Heartstrung

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.

Always love.

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.

Heartstrung will be available on Createspace, Amazon, and Kindle next week! Local (Philippine) print is still TBA. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get updates!


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