20 Questions on Writing: Answers

I have stumbled upon this survey at a relatively famous blog (well, if being Freshly Pressed, having 2,000+ followers and also getting a piece published on Inquirer’s Young Blood counts) and since I thought that it would be a very good idea to answer these questions, so it goes!

1. What type of writing do you do?

I write mostly nonfiction (feature articles and personal essays) as well as a little bit of fiction in the form of short stories and flash fiction. In addition to that, I used to actively write for esports (read: video games) publications until my body told me to have a break. I keep journals in private.

I suck at poetry though. There’s no way around that.

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?

Mostly, my stuff involves essays on life and society, as well as analytical pieces about teams and trends on certain scenes (think of it as more of sports writing).

As for my fiction pieces, they’re mostly based around science fiction, along with some light stuff.

On other occasions, I just write about life.

3. How long have you been writing?

If you count the years that I’ve been writing garbage, that should make up for 12 long years.

However, I only started writing seriously back in 2013. That should make for four years of relatively careful work.

4. Are you published?

It all depends on how much you want to extend the meaning of “published work”. Since I am not a writer by profession, I guess I’m lucky to be able to do something.

For my part, I am proud of my work in Fountain Magazine as well as my piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Young Blood column. Add to that a couple of pieces on several gaming sites and that’s the extent of my “best writeups”.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?

A military science fiction story on my notebook back in high school. I really liked writing war stories until I saw a real one in the face.

6. Why do you write?

I write because I want to be able to make a difference in this world through my writing. I do this stuff because I believe that I can open up minds and hearts to the numerous colorful worlds that the imagination can create.

As a trailer for a Chinese esports tournament states, “Dream it, do it.

7. How do you find time to write?

Try working at a strenuous eight-hour teaching job that involves children, in addition to the occasional overtime (and Saturday service), then anyone can realize that it’s quite hard to do so.

I still aim for an average of one to two hours per day, because I’m aware that if I don’t set aside time for writing, there’s no reason why I should even call myself a “writer”.

Worst case scenario is that I just read books (i.e. novels) or articles regarding the field that I’m writing on.

8. When and where are the best times to write?

I’m most comfortable when I’m at my table at home, inside my room.

I typically write in the evenings (8-9:30 p.m., that is), though I also write on Sunday afternoons if there’s nothing to do on that day.

There are times that I extend up to midnight, especially when there’s either a big event to cover (as an esports writer) or if I really wanted to finish the draft on that day.

9. Favorite food/drinks while writing?

I like drinking fruit smoothies when I’m writing. It makes me feel alive!

10. Your writing playlist?

It really depends. As long as it allows me to focus on my pieces, that’s good enough for me. But I like upbeat tunes a lot!

11. What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?

They know it’s my passion in life anyway, so screw the question.

12. Parts of writing you enjoy the most?

The joy of being able to see a finished story in the flesh as well as the times when I actually get momentum and churn out three to four thousand words a day.

13. Parts of writing you find challenging?

Proofreading, editing and finishing the entire thing, especially if it’s an extremely long piece. God knows very well that I’m an extremely impatient person.

14. What do you use to write with and on?

Typically, I use my beloved laptop in order to do my writeups faster.

However, for longer pieces, I use a notebook. For some reason, it’s easier to keep the juices flowing.

15. How do you overcome writers’ block?

Go away and do something else that is not related to the current piece that I’m working on (That means watching anime, playing computer games or just eating lots of dessert). Most of the time, I actually finish them one or two weeks later.

This is mostly true for the essays and feature pieces that I write.

16. How do you motivate yourself to write?

Just. Push. Forward.

Otherwise, I just read. At one point or another, I get back my fuel to write.

17. Authors who inspire you as a writer?

This is a very quick one. George Orwell and Neil Gaiman inspire me to be better, for different reasons.

While Gaiman opens up one’s imagination (and indeed, his stories are good at doing that), Orwell keeps a person grounded with the realities that a writer must face – as well as ways on keeping one’s writing relevant to the people around you.

This list will soon expand though. Big time.

18. Books that inspire you as a writer?

Here are five books:

  • Stephen King’s Memoirs of the Craft
  • George Orwell’s Essays
  • Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

19. Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

Read. Read. Read. And write more.

On another note, here is the gist of all the advice that I’ve been given: “Don’t aim to write for a certain goal. Write for the sake of improving your art, and all those things will come by themselves (as a result of good writing.)

20. Writing goals this year?

Be more consistent. Improve. Get a freaking MA in Creative Writing this year.


NOTE: Since this is the final form of my own blog, I have copied the form from my previous blog and updated the answers to the questions given above (where applicable, of course).

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