September Thoughts

I’m writing this at the tail end of a long weekend (Eid Mubarak!) so it feels right that I should write something about where I am, writing-wise.

The big news is that I did finish a manuscript over the weekend–something that I’ve been working on and off for more than a year, since I was doing it around the same time I was working on Crushingly Close. It’s a rough draft right now, and I’m still ironing out details, but I’m looking at having it beta-read before the end of the year.

The only difference between this manuscript and the two books that I’ve already published? I’m submitting it to a publisher first.

You see, this was one of those books that I wrote under a writing class sponsored by a publishing house, and while I didn’t meet the deadline for this particular class (mostly because of school), I wanted to make sure this one had a fair shot of getting published traditionally before I resume the process of self-publishing this. Does that mean I love this manuscript any more (or less) than any of the others? Not necessarily. I know that I’m taking a risk on this one by playing the waiting game for this story, but it’s a risk that I’m willing to take.I know from experience that nothing is certain in publishing, which is why I’ve spent the rest of my writing time outlining new books.

The way I see it, I’m in a position right now where I can leverage my experience with the publishing industry here in the Philippines to take more chances by writing more stories and putting myself out there constantly. That doesn’t mean that my risks are going to pan out–I already know that some of my books won’t fit the market as I know it–but if I’m always working and putting myself out there, I can build a little career for myself, and people will get to know me as a writer worth reading.

Or maybe I’ll just write whatever I want to entertain myself, and hope that I can share it with other people with the hope that they’ll be entertained too. Because, really, what’s the point of all this striving without having a little fun?

And that’s what I’m going through with the outlining I’m doing for the new books. I’m having so much fun with them (mostly because they have nothing to do with my academics) that I feel like my writing mojo has come back. I want to write more books now, share more stories, make people smile. That doesn’t mean the long-term things won’t go away (e.g. editing, cover artists, publishing costs) but the fact that I’m playing around with plot bunnies on my downtime has given me a renewed enthusiasm for what I’ve been doing in the last three years. Plus, with NaNoWriMo around the corner, I’m excited to go back to my roots and remind myself why I’ve been writing in the first place.

I’m sure I’ll think of more when I get there. But these are exciting times ahead, and I for one can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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