Sunday, December 22, 2013

What I Learned in 2013

2013 started in a rough way, to the point that I found myself scraping for cash just to pay the electric bill. But things started to turn around as the year progressed, thank God.

The highlights of the year for me were:

1) As you may have guessed, my debut as a playwright. "Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady" was well-received, even landing in theatre critic Gibbs Cadiz' list of the best one-act plays of the year. The comic book adaptation is now out in the market, though I noticed that not all bookstores have stocks yet. As one of the top three entries of the Virgin LabFest 9, it will be restaged in June 2014, and the full-length musical opens in October.

2) Winning my second National Book Award. Totally unexpected, since "Zaturnnah sa Maynila" Part One isn't a complete work. I'm finishing the whole thing next year, since I'll be presenting a paper on it as part of my writing fellowship with De La Salle University--another surprise I'm thankful for. The musical adaptation has already been scheduled, though it's something I should't be thinking about right now.

3) Finding a part time job. This is something I've been wishing to have since I left Summit Media in June 2012. I finally got one last September, and I intend to stick with it for a while.

4) Going to New Zealand for a month. This was a wallet-drainer in a major way, and prepping for the trip had its snags for sure, but I have no regrets. I want to go back.

Ever since 2002, I've never fully acknowledged myself as being a Writer--the kind with a capital 'w.' I mean, I knew I could write, but I haven't been fully convinced that my writing could make an emotional impact in a unique way, to the point that other people would find my work interesting enough to adapt to other media. And despite the success of the Zaturnnah book, I've always considered it a fluke, even if I've gone so far as self-studying the whole creative writing thing. Yes, I won't always succeed, but that's all part of the process.

So what's my big lesson from this year? I've been more open to the idea of my being a Writer, though it will still take a while before I embrace it completely. There's still a lot to learn, and a lot more to do, and I intend to share what I've learned and what I know to others who would be willing to listen.

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