I always say Investing is for everyone! In fact, that’s what IFE (the name of our benefit corporation) stands for – Investing For Everyone! But how about writing? Is it for everyone?
In today’s world of free flow of information, there are two main stands on this question. One side says yes, and they are happy about the democratization of writing. Gone are the days when you have to wait for a publisher to finally pick your work after hundreds of rejections. You can just have your own blog and start writing what you want to share. Or you can join Wattpad, a free online storytelling community where users post their stories, fan fiction, poems, etc.
The other side says no, and they don’t buy into this democratization of writing because they find the current set-up very conducive to a lot of noise and trash. They believe that literature is for everyone but writing is not. They would rather have the old set-up in order to have gatekeepers, consequently, filtering the materials distributed in the market.
What do you think?
One thing is sure. Writing is very important in the history of mankind. The earliest form of writing dates back to thousands of years ago when men needed to keep records of grains, sheep, cattle, etc. when it was becoming difficult to rely on memory. These writings were done on clay tablets. Think Babylon, Sumeria, Mesopotamia. The Sumerians were responsible for the first system of writing called cuneiform.
We were able to pass on history from one generation to the next with the help of writing. We are able to exchange ideas across the globe and across generations through writing.
For this week’s feature, I interviewed two writers Sha Nacino and Dada Fres Felix. We had a wonderful afternoon of kwentuhan sharing their respective experiences, how they got into writing, their writing style, why they write, what they write, their favorite books and writers, dream readers of their books, and of course their childhood money memory and FQ-ripot tips.
We also talked about the economics of writing. We always hear the warning that writing is a financially challenging career and so it was great to hear it from the writers’ mouths.
Getting into writing
Sha Nacino was not at all fond of reading during her school days. In fact, she didn’t like writing. She had a terrible experience in her college writing class. Her favorite subject was Math. After graduating from college she worked in a foreign bank. It was a financial disaster that unexpectedly got her into becoming a writer.
Despite having a decent salary, Sha succumbed to the lure of that mighty plastic – the credit card. From frequent meals in restaurants to buying her laptop, groceries, to rebonding/relaxing her unruly hair, buying her badminton and other sports gears and many other things, her two credit cards were maxed out and she accumulated an amount way beyond her earnings for several months. This jolted her to stop and do something about it. What took her just a year to accumulate in credit card debts took her three years to fully pay!
She felt she needed to share this knowledge with her friends and would eagerly tell her friends the lessons she learned. Unfortunately, because money is such as sensitive topic, she found her friends shying away from the conversation. That’s when she decided to write her first book Think Rich Yuppies. To date, Sha has written many more books including Money and Me, How to Write a Book, Why You Need to Write a Book, Who Took My Hard Earned Money, How to Earn While on Vacation, and Mission Happiness. She is now a speaker, radio show host and owner of Write University.
Dada Fres Felix is a US-educated economist turned fictionist. She has always loved reading since she was a child and I personally remember her wide collections of Nancy Drew Mystery Stories and many more. Why do I know this? Well, she happens to be my sister, our Manang Dada who didn’t only love to read but was also good at sketching. During the era of paper dolls, ours were handmade with lots of clothes to choose from, and originally created by her. During the time when it was easy to find your friendly modista in the neighborhood, Manang Dada would make sketches for our dresses. She actually dabbled into this business of making ready-to-wear dresses together with her sister-in-law and our other sister, Lina.
But her day job was at the Central Bank (now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), as an economist, and later on at the PDIC (Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.) where she headed the Corporate Affairs Department. In between these two jobs, she was able to write books that made it to the most prestigious award-giving bodies. Her book entitled Boy in the Plastic Palace was a finalist at the National Book Award. Her other books ‘Sup?, Making Straight Circles and other pieces were critically acclaimed and won Palanca and other literary awards. Recently, she launched her latest book entitled Crimetime (Inspector SJ Tuason Case Files), which is now included in the “5 Great Reads this Summer” and “8 Local Literary Picks.”
Writing Style and Other Matters
It was interesting to hear Dada and Sha describe their respective writing styles. One has a 90-day formula while the other is character-driven leading her into an unknown adventure. (More on this in the FQ-wentuhan.)
Writing is indeed both a creative and a disciplined process. One thing’s for sure, it is an expression of the human spirit, a way to reach out to another soul, a way to give something of oneself in the hope of affecting others positively.
My personal experience about writing is this. I occasionally wrote diaries. As a young mother who decided to be a full-time mom, I found solace and happiness writing my experiences about raising our sons. I wrote when I was happy, troubled and sad. Then I noticed that writing was not just therapeutic to me, it also helped me to understand and process my feelings. Almost always, at the end of my piece, I would know what to do. It was like talking to God, that I actually consider most of my vignettes my prayers. Little did I know that these pieces of writing would form into my first book Raising Pinoy Boys. And the rest is FQ Mom history.
What’s your story? Do you want to be a writer?
I believe that we all have a story to tell. So do you want to be a writer? Never in history has it been this easy to reach out to an audience. Yes, it’s true that the current set up has become conducive to the proliferation of noise and fake news, but the exchange of ideas has become more free-flowing and vibrant. No need to be picked by the literary agents and players, but please be careful with your grammar and content as a sign of respect to your audience. Since it has become more crowded and noisy, the challenge now is to work on your craft even more in order to stand out. Fortunately, this standing out is no longer limited to the standards of the literary club’s taste, but the widest array of preferences because you can now go directly to your audience. And this is the best set-up where each writer can allow himself or herself to be as authentic as possible.
Join our contest
To listen to the other tips and stories of our featured authors Dada Fres Felix and Sha Nacino, please watch our FQ-wentuhan tomorrow at noon on FQ Mom FB Page.
If you want to win autographed books from our two guest authors, share this article on your timeline with a nice personal post. You may wish to share how you’ve been thinking about writing your own book, suggest the insights to a friend, or whatever message you want to post together with this article. Please include #IsWritingForEveryone #FQMom in your post. We will announce the winners on or before Friday. If you’re chosen, please email us your address so we can have the book delivered to you.
- Because our featured writers are good storytellers, I want you to hear it straight from them. Join our FQ-wentuhan with Dada Fres Felix and Sha Nacino at noon tomorrow Thursday July 13, 2017 via FQ Mom FB Page.
- To know more about Dada Fres Felix please click https://www.facebook.com/MariaLMFresFelix/. To know more about Sha Nacino please click http://www.shanacino.com.
- My son Martin and I will speak at the Investors Forum of SLAMCI (Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.) on July 18, 2017.
- The Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADs) will compete at the World of Dance in Los Angeles, USA on July 22, 2017. It will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center. World of Dance is the largest international urban dance competition with focus on the art of street dancing and new age choreography. My youngest son Anton is part of the team. Let’s all wish them luck. May they perform for His greater glory and make the Philippines proud.
- Want to know your FQ Score. Take it today. Click link to take the test.
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook and You Tube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom.
ATTRIBUTIONS: Images from Company of Ateneo Dancers, Grays Harbor College, Seminar Philippines and World of Dance Network put together to help deliver the message.