I have been writing for such a long time already. It was my childhood dream to be a published author. Decades after, I have made it somehow, albeit I still aim for bigger, grander publishing dreams.
I started writing short stories during high school. I write stories about love and friendship ala Sweet Valley High and BH 90210. It was the trend during those times. When Harry Potter became the talk of the town, I also wrote my own version with dragons, princesses, and witches. Back then, I am more into fiction and my imagination soared high. I used to write on old ticklers and notebooks, but unfortunately, my notes were devastated by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
During college, I became a part of our student publication. I was introduced to news writing, feature writing, sports writing, OP-ED, and others. I rose from being a contributor to an editor. I learned a lot from that experience.
My college days were also the boom of blogging sites and the entry of social media sites such as Multiply, MySpace, Friendster, and the early days of Facebook. I remember, testimonials were a thing then, and Facebook is just for virtual restaurants and virtual pets and virtual farms.
I first blogged in Multiply, with little to no readers at all.
Then came Blogger, the blogging platform by Google.
I wrote almost about everything, mostly without readers. I gained no attention, but I write anyway. I love blogging. Writing is not just my passion, it is an extension of myself.
But as I advance in years and bills pile up, I became frustrated. I want to make this passion into a profit, but how? People say that writing is a no-money profession. I almost believed it to be true. But still, I wanted to be a published author.
So, I applied to a bookstore company which opened doors for me to read tons of books and be familiar with a genre I really love now – Christian Non-Fiction. I was exposed to numerous books and authors – Yancey, Maxwell, Warren, Bridges, Chan, Lucado, etc. I also got to read from local authors, some of them I was able to meet personally.
My passion for books grew that I also became interested in owning a personal library.
The year 2014. My first paid gig supposedly was when I wrote for Bubblews. It is similar to read.cash but it pays in dollars. I had a great time there even though I was not able to get my earnings. The community there was great and some of them even became my friends on Facebook. After all my attempts to cash in my earnings, the site eventually met its demise leaving numerous writers hanging.
But then I discovered Postpresso. It pays in dollars as well and all you must do is to promote their products through clickthrough. As a budding Virtual Assistant during those times, I had a network with bloggers, so it was just easy for me to have them click through the items. I earned a couple of bucks in Postpresso, but they asked to discontinue because they really are not getting that much from me. They were not generating any sales from my efforts, just mere clicks.
As a blogger, I also tried applying for Google Adsense. I qualified, and by the year 2019, my blog Hearts and Halo already started showing ads. However, it does not earn as much.
I still aim for more.
I saw an invitation for writing mentoring and I immediately applied for it, albeit I was not qualified because of age. But to my surprise, my now-writing mentor Ptr. Ronald Molmisa, the author of the bestselling Lovestruck series, took me in! Now I am part of the Young Ezra Society, a group of Christian youth writers whose aim is to minister to the readers through our craft.
I guess all the blogs I wrote years ago paid off. Those were not written in vain.
Our first successful project as a team is to write a devotional book for Generation Z, and I am happy to be part of it. The book is entitled “Kaya Ko Pa Bes! And other lies I tell myself.” It is an interactive devotional where you do not just read its contents but can also engage with the activities inside. It is to be read weekly but meditated daily. It features selected passages from the Bible, as well as stories from the authors and activities. It is available in Lazada and Shopee, and other Christian bookstores in the Philippines.
Now, I am collecting myself and trying to be more professional in my writing gigs. I purchased my own domain which you can visit, martsvalenzuela.com. I write about personal development, Christian Living, Ministry, and my personal reflections. If you are into those kinds of topics, I am happy to welcome you.
But my writing journey is not over yet. I am praying for more writing gigs and to publish more books. Writing may not be a multi-million-dollar profession for many, but it is amazing what passion can do.
How about you, what is your writing journey? Share your story!
This is me, holding my first copy of the book!
This post is originally published in read.cash with the title "My Journey as a Writer"
Thank you for reading!
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