Writing With Many Hands

Written by: Ava Arnejo | 6 months ago

Who would’ve thought -- that an awkward Bisaya bumpkin with no formal training in literary arts would be able to string words good enough for a national audience?

Just a week ago, one of my essays made it to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s YoungBlood section. For a bumpkin writer who never thought of reaching a national audience, it was a remarkable feat and a validating moment akin to overcoming a hurdle or reaching a summit.

And though it may seem that I was the one who reached these heights, I could not forget that I wasn’t the only one who wrote the essay. The Weight of Grief was a piece written by so many hands, those that belonged to mine and those that didn’t, changing and changing form until it finally appeared in the Inquirer’s column.

I was born in a community where literature and arts were considered lofty ambitions. There were no art students, communication, and language majors in our neck of the woods, as engaging in arts and languages as a trade has been frowned upon by many, especially the elders who often believed that the list of acceptable careers one could be living off did not include writing at all.

So when an opportunity opened up for me to be mentored by well-acclaimed writers through IndieCo’s mentorship series, I jumped at the chance to do so. The decision has allowed me to jumpstart my writing career. Not only has the mentorship built my confidence to write, but it also allowed me to dream bigger, such as getting published -- and my mentors and peers have made sure that I know these things could be possible.

And seven weeks through the mentorship, one of my dreams, one that was once considered a lofty ambition, became real. If you were like me who wants to go get your foot into that threshold, to take a step toward the realization of your dreams of being a writer -- if a bumpkin could make it, so can you. 

You only need to try.

If you want to jumpstart your writing career as you did mine, you can sign up for the mentorship series here.