Welcome to an overdue blog post! I have been on hiatus for about a month now – in preparation for Komiket 2018 and Komiket 2018 happening in itself. I and two friends shared a booth where we all sold our work! I had self-published a small poetry book, Paper Trails, and also sold some stickers.
I had been procrastinating the actual editing and proofreading of the book, thus taking up a lot of my time and creative energy that were supposed to go to this blog. (#1 tip in writing and selling: don’t do anything last minute.)
Komiket 2018 lasted for two days: from February 24 to February 25. It was held at Centris Elements in Quezon City, and was scheduled to be open to the public – with a 100 php entrance fee – from 9 AM to 7 PM.
I was a first-timer, and so was Joaquin! We arrived around 8 AM and rushed to set up our booth. It was intimidating to see people lugging around suitcases while we had…. a bag… on the two of us.
It was, apparently, the biggest Komiket ever. There were over 500 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors. It was exhilarating to put your work out there for people to see and buy, but it was also tiring to have a lot of competition. I always get my hopes up when they open the browsing copy of my book, but then they flip through it and put it back. (Thanks for breaking the spine and making one copy unsellable. That’s 200 pesos off my earnings. And then they pick up the regular copies and manhandle everything! I didn’t know if it would be rude to tell them to put it down and pick up the sample instead.) It’s even more heartbreaking when they promise to come back – but never, ever do.
Just like many people in our lives.
Moving on – it was also exhausting to pitch your book over and over and sit there not able to leave and explore because there are potential buyers. Special thanks to Joaquin and LG when I slowly became demotivated and whiny out of exhaustion. What an experience. I had no idea sitting around could tire me so much.
It was, however, amazing to be surrounded by so many creatives. It offers welcome and support to the art and writing community, whose efforts in creation quite literally pay off. I know that unlike most exhibitors I haven’t sold a lot, but to establish connections and interact with people that get to recognize and know your work is a wonderful experience. It’s definitely motivated me to write more, and think long-term with selling my book/s. I won’t get anywhere selling poetry and pieces of prose forever in conventions
but if any of you guys are interested in buying some I’m not complaining.
I had held off on including an explanation for Paper Trails in the book itself – as to why I wrote it and what the whole narrative means. I wanted it to speak for itself and get the reader to interact with how the whole book ties up together. But I feel as if it’ll enlighten those who had bought it (as one already came up to me confused!) and maybe get you guys to be interested in it as well.
Paper Trails is a collection of stories and poetry that all tell one big narrative. It’s centered around one city, one night, and around four or five personas acting as the voices in the poems and stories included.
I’ve already said that some of my posts here made it to the book. Before I took it down, posts entitled A Story and Interrogation were there as well.
I wrote it out of the juxtaposed feelings of both detachment and empathy to see people and their experiences unfold in front of you and there is nothing you can do about it. It is only human for one to center around themselves and their own conflicts and narratives to address. I wrote it out of the realization and suddeness of death. I wrote it largely inspired by actual events and news articles: for example, A Story was real, and hearing gunshots, for me, like one of the personas, wasn’t something new. I wrote it with the realization that with growing up is the awareness to society’s ills, the disgust and the anger you feel is the one that’s new – not the inhumane things you hear of and witness. It’s a cycle of realization and desensitation. There must be something to be done, you think, and then turn to saying that this is how the world has always been; this is how it will always be; you have problems of your own and you can’t deal with others’ just yet. I always feel guilty reaching the end of the cycle, making me return to think that something must and can be done – but the world could never be devoid of problems.
I loved writing it. I love the idea that people are reading it. Though I’ve been told that it can get confusing, I don’t mind much, though it did bother me enough to create this post. At least it’ll make you think. It’ll make you draw a conclusion. It’s better for reading not to be passive, in my opinion, but an active exchange between the reader and the author.
I changed my blog’s logo and color scheme, as well as put up an Instagram account and Facebook page for my writing! This is just to expand my reach – though perhaps with better graphics, as not many people interact with long blocks of text. WordPress is a bit more tolerant. This will still be my main medium of writing, but to grow my audience, please like and share my pages on Instagram and Facebook!